Pre-Release: Ortega Serie D Black | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli)
Size: 6.25 x 52 “Belicoso”
Body: Full
Price: $9.25


First, I must thank Eddie Ortega for sending me the pre-release samples of his new blend.

I’ve had these sticks in my humidor for over two weeks which is how long any Ortega cigar needs. Obviously, more humidor time is good but if you are dying to try the cigar, a short humidor time is wonderful.

While not quite rustic looking, the cigar does have a boat load of veins; big and small. The dark coffee bean wrapper shimmers in the light with oiliness and feels like satin. The triple cap is impeccably presented. Seams are tight. The stick is jam packed with tobacco; as are both the Ortega D versions of Natural and Maduro.

The major change to the D Series is that this blend is not box pressed. A perfect round circle. And it is one of the most perfectly shaped cigars I’ve seen in a very long time.

I clip the cap of the Belicoso and find aromas of the deepest, darkest, richest baking cocoa; it is intoxicating. There is a lovely sweetness with the shaft smelling of peach or apricot preserves. I smell wood and leather. And a wonderful earthiness.
Time to light up.

I am getting the master blaster effect from the red hot spice. Loads of smoke with a perfect draw.

The cocoa is upon me immediately. And the blend is noticeably different than the previous D blends. The only way to describe it is as extremely rich like the most decadent French chocolate mousse. It is elegant.

I smoked an Ortega D Maduro yesterday so it would be fresh in my memory for this morning’s review.

With ¾” of the cigar smoked, the flavors begin to roll in: Creaminess, sweetness, fruitiness, cedar, leather and…I don’t know exactly how to put this…but a master blender’s flavor profile of deep complexity. The cigar is so complex that it is almost overwhelming to my palate in trying to pick out individual flavors.

And then I find a familiarity associated with the Ortega D Maduro line. It is the signature of all Ortega cigars. Just like rock bands have a “sound,” Ortega cigars have a “signature taste.” It is the complex flavor, and earthiness, deep in the back of my throat ruminating around my palate. Nothing tastes like an Ortega D Maduro.

The Black has a tanginess that the D Maduro doesn’t have. Almost like the elusive Cuban twang.

The flavors: Earthiness, cocoa, cinnamon, spice (red pepper), baking spices, cedar, creaminess, and leather…with a touch of graham cracker.

The char line is spot on.

My God, this is a great cigar. With the Ortega’s Wild Bunch series, I thought it would be next to impossible to top it. This might be Eddie’s crowning glory.

We all have major steps in our lives. Things that later define us. For Eddie, it was going out on his own. He has been brave, and bold, with his experimentations and pushing the outer edge of the envelope.

The strength is at classic medium bodied. But not for long.

This is a very slow smoker. The dark chocolate is just brimming with a heavy dose of Cacao. The red pepper is just climbing the rungs of the ladder with each puff.

I feel the power of the cigar in my gut and the back of my throat. This stick is going to knock it out of the park with potency of flavor and body.

The fruit is blackberry. A dense, sweet, and tart berry.

The second third begins after almost 40 minutes. The ash is close to being completely white with flecks of gray.

The strength makes its move to medium/full. I’ve only smoked 2” and the cigar is about to enter the full body arena.

A floral note is here for the first time. As well as a nice sweet raw honey flavor. Coffee moves quickly to the front of the line right behind the swelling red pepper.

The flavor profile blossoms with even more potency. The cocoa is neck and neck with the coffee. The red pepper has cleared my sinuses.

This is completely different than the other two D blends. It is bolder and feels like the next move in the D blends’, and Eddie’s, evolution.

I think this is Eddie catering to the desire for a stronger, more potent, cigar blend. The public craves stronger cigars and this cigar is going to meet those demands.

The cigar balances out perfectly. Flavors are: Spice, cocoa, coffee, blackberry, buttery smooth creaminess, graham cracker, honey, leather, and wood. With the rich earthiness still leading the pack.

I’m still early in the cigar when a nicotine kick smacks me in the puss. Wow. The only other sticks that had this much nicotine kick, this early, are some of the Illusione blends, LFD blends, and the original La Bomba.

I find this quite exciting to taste a cigar still in the midst of being blended prior to the final release.

Again, this is a very slow smoke. I like that. This 6.25 x 52 will take a good 2+ hours to smoke. This blend’s slightly higher price point is well worth it. I hope that the cigar will be a regular production cigar. It could easily go for $10-$12 a stick. After tasting it, no one would blink an eye.

This blend will be exclusively for the experienced smoker. The aficionado. The “Black” is destined to be a huge seller.

I am at the halfway point.

Creaminess moves to the front of the line. A sweet gooey caramel flavor erupts at the halfway point. But the real star of the show is still the rich earthiness of the tobacco.

This is the big brother of the D Natural and Maduro. Giving the Ortega fans the perfect selection of blends.

I’ve got a mild case of the spins. The La Bomba no longer holds the strongest cigar label since ownership changed. And the Moya Ruiz Nunchuck is supposed to take its place. But if my senses don’t deceive me, this may be the one that takes that title.

The cigar is now a bona fide flavor bomb. And a strong one at that.

The cigar moves to very full bodied.

The floral notes weave in and out of the other flavors.

This is by any standard, a high premium cigar. This stick will blow everyone away. It will be talked about everywhere. And it is the type of stick that has staying power. It is unique in every way.

The red pepper is still extremely strong. I like spicy cigars. And I like spicy cigars that stay spicy. And the brilliance of the blend is that while the cigar is full bodied, and very spicy, it still allows for the other flavors to shine.

I should have eaten some breakfast before lighting this up. This is an after dinner cigar. Food is a must.

A new flavor arrives: A gooey marshmallow that has been held over a campfire. An intense sweetness.

The beauty of this cigar is that has an ever moving flavor profile. Changing when you least expect it.

But after thinking about that statement, this could be the golden ticket for the cigar. I’ve never smoked a cigar that changes the order of flavors so consistently. It keeps me on my toes. It makes the cigar uber interesting.

I have to take a break from it because of the nicotine. I pour myself a bowl of cereal.
I’m back after 10 minutes.

This is like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland.

This is one of the strongest cigars I’ve smoked.

The last third begins and it has mellowed some. Probably due to getting a bit of food in my stomach. It still has a helluva nicotine kick so I smoke it slowly. Which allows for a more complete dissection of the cigar.

It is here that the flavor profile coalesces. Here are the flavors, in order: Earthiness, spice, creaminess, cocoa, coffee, sweetness, blackberry, honey, graham cracker, leather, and a new addition of citrus.

Again, the cigar is one of the earthiest cigars I’ve smoked.

The complexity really digs in its heels at this point. The spice has backed down a bit. Moved to around fifth place.
This is a brilliant cigar. It is a new direction for the Ortega Brand.

With less than 2” to go, the flavors explode on my palate once again.

I think this is a magnificent cigar. And it will shake up the cigar industry. As well as the smoking public.

Normally, I like cigars in the robusto size. But while that is a prudent size, it is not necessary. Larger cigars usually take longer aging time in my humidor. And I’m an impatient smoker. But this large cigar has everything needed for a satisfying smoke in a very short humidor time span.

When the cigar is released in the next few months, there is going to be a run on this cigar. So be ready with your credit card and act fast.

The cigar finishes without a hint of harshness or heat. Smooth and cool. I’ve somehow managed not to pass out from the nicotine. More humidor time will solve that if you are sensitive, like me, to nicotine.

Once again, I must thank you Eddie, for allowing me to test smoke this new blend.
You’ve got a winner on your hands. It is a true epicurean’s delight smoking experience.
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2 replies

  1. Yo got me salivating, Kat! If you get a release date on these let us know.

  2. Every Ortega cigar I have had has been a real treat. Can not wait to try this one! You sure got us drooling with this review!