Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Size: 6.5 x 52
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 0
Accompanying Libation: Water
Today we take a look at the new Ortega Larceny from Ortega Premium Cigars.
Eddie Ortega and Sean Williams (El Primer Mundo) collaborated on designing two different blends and housing 10 from Eddie and 10 from Sean in one box. They have a web site called “The Ortega Project.”
They decided that each blend would be the same size. And the premise was simple…”What would I enjoy smoking?”
The Ortega version uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper while the Williams version uses an Ecuadorian Oscuro wrapper. The binders and fillers are Nicaraguan.
Through my research, I found that no one can decide on just one number of boxes released. I’ve seen it reported that it is 300 and other sources say it is 400 boxes. And the cigar is too new for the people who work on the Ortega Premium Cigars to insert it with the other Ortega blends.
The project is distributed by Ortega Premium Cigars.
The cigars are named Ortega Larceny and Larceny EPM (El Primer Mundo).
I’d like to thank the lovely Eddie Ortega for samples.
I’ve got two samples of each blend. And each one is drastically different from its brother. One is very rustic looking and the other has a higher roller number appearance.
The wrapper is an oily, toothy, mottled, very dark coffee bean color. Both samples have tight seams. The one for review this morning has very few small veins but some large honkers that look like giant roots from a Redwood tree. The other sample is lumpy and bumpy. Way out of round. And no tooth. Smooth as silk. It has no large veins but it does have a plethora of small veins. There are also discolorations and lots of imperfections. Like a highly visible triple cap. Meanwhile, my review stick has those rings tight and barely viewable.
The cigar band’s color is the only way to differentiate the two blends. The Ortega Larceny is bright red while the Larceny EPM is gray.
Both sticks are packed solid without any give when pushed gently. I dry boxed both cigars for 36 hours.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft smells of cocoa, spice, floral notes, honeysuckle, barnyard, and a rich earthiness.
The newly punched cap and foot smell of dark baker’s cocoa, pungent spiciness, even richer tobacco earthiness, and fruit.
The cold draw finds fruit, sweetness, earthiness, melon, and leather.
The draw is excellent.
It begins to punch it with flavors of cream, cocoa, coffee, and quickly building spiciness.
And then the Ortega Larceny kicks it: Kick ass red pepper, creaminess by the tub, generic fruitiness, leather, salty pretzel, cinnamum..er..cinnermoon..ah…cinnabon…er. cinnamon. That’s the ticket. Had a friend in high school who couldn’t say that word and at parties, we’d make him say it and the crowd fell apart laughing. The guy was a good sport about it. Actually, I think he knew how to pronounce it but loved the attention.
I’m getting some seam separation near the foot. Not good. Can’t get to it with glue quite yet. Hopefully, I burn right through it.
The sun is beginning to come out so in the meantime, I am using the lighting equipment. The direct photographic light shows off a reddish/orange tint to the wrapper.
The Ortega Larceny needs its first touch up at the burn line. The stick was about to canoe on me so it took some serious torching to get it back in line. Fingers crossed this doesn’t happen again. The whole point of dry boxing is to get as much moisture out of the cigar as is reasonable so you don’t have burn issues.
Flavors have flattened out a bit. Tasty, but not bold. Subtle and nuanced. Like Abbott and Costello. “Hey Abottttttt!”
As a little guy in the 1950’s, Saturday morning TV was a real treat. Instead of all these stupid shows that are aired today, they played the great vaudevillians. Like Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, Looney Tunes, Buster Keaton, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Clutch Cargo, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Heckle and Jeckle, Huckleberry Hound, Little Rascals, Ramar of the Jungle, Sky King, and Mr. Wizard. Whew.
Today’s Saturday morning drek can’t come close to those great old shows.
A sip of water refreshes the flavor profile.
New flavors: Caramel, black licorice, summer fruit, and herbal notes.
The strength is medium body.
A slight bitterness sits at the bottom of the list.
So far, the Ortega Larceny is just OK. Yeah, there are lots of flavors to choose from but they are morphed into one by the onset of complexity. The balance is OK. And a short finish.
Smoke time to this point has been 25 minutes.
Chocolate makes its mark. Along with the creaminess, it tastes like chocolate cream pie.
The once bold spiciness is on the wane.
I now believe that the Ortega Larceny needs months of humidor time. Which is unusual for an Ortega blend.
Nicotine showing up this early means I’m in for a real roller coaster ride.
The complexity has turned the corner on the blend. The Ortega Larceny has become a very meaty cigar blend. I’m getting flavors of campfire meat on a spit.
The char line has really settled down now and is dead nuts.
The wrapper issue at the foot is gone. The draw remains excellent. And no wrapper issues.
We’ve hit full body. And the nicotine is right in my face. I’m going to slow way down or I’m going to swoon uncontrollably.
The Ortega Larceny is now one of the strongest cigars I’ve smoked. I wasn’t expecting this. And I have a long way to go.
This will be a test of my wussiness.
In this photo, you can see the rough texture.
Flavors have been redeemed: Creaminess, cocoa, sweetness, fruit, black cherry, leather, earthiness, black licorice, nuts, and meaty.
Now we’re talking. The sweet spot. I’m sure with a lot more humidor time, the sweet spot will show up earlier.
Man oh man. The blend has an adult portion of nicotine. I’m very dizzy.
The nicotine is so powerful that it is now uncomfortable smoking the cigar.
I get up and walk it off.
Years ago, when I was working, I was an avid Beatles memorabilia collector. There is a web site that sells authentic rock memorabilia. Can’t remember the site’s name.
This poster is the first known record of the Beatles playing a gig. It was 1961. And I paid a small fortune for it.
OK. Back to the Ortega Larceny.
The cigar went out while I was walking off the nicotine.
The Ortega Larceny is a double full body. I cannot think of another cigar this strong. Newbies, stay away. Extended humidor time should mellow it out some.
The Ortega Larceny is super complex now. A beautiful balance. Long finish.
I find it odd that in all the information about this cigar, no one mentions how strong it is.
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
I keep getting up and walk around so I don’t pass out. LOL.
The list of flavors I described earlier is still in place. But the spiciness has returned in the form of black pepper instead of red pepper. I love spicy cigars.
Another major tune up of the burn line is needed.
If I was smart, I should have allowed the Ortega Larceny to rest for a couple months. With me, it doesn’t matter when I review a cigar. Regardless of when I publish a review, it always ends up in the top 5 in all the search engines.
My brain has ceased to function. Obviously, this is a cigar that should be saved until you’ve eaten a large meal. I’m doing this on an empty stomach. If I eat a bowl of cereal, it will affect my palate.
The nicotine has settled down considerably. And I must be getting used to the powerful strength.
The strength is not so powerful now.
Too much glue on the cigar band. Normally, I would just tear it off. But I need it for the photos. So I cut it off. And nick the wrapper.
The flavor profile hasn’t changed. While the Ortega Larceny is a complex blend, there aren’t very many transitions.
Black pepper makes a huge resurgence. This is how most Ortega blends start instead of showing up late in the smoke experience.
Ortega went big or go home with this blend. It is masterfully blended despite its strength and the nicotine.
So $9.50 is a reasonable price. Especially since it is a very limited cigar. I applaud Eddie for not going the route of so many manufacturers and turning this into a heavy duty double digit priced cigar.
The Ortega Larceny needs serious humidor time. I didn’t have enough samples to test drive it before reviewing it. The second cigar is promised to a good friend who has been very kind and generous with me.
The construction issues had a big impact. Too many touch ups required.
While the flavor profile was pretty good, it wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped.
I give Ortega props for doing something completely different. If I blind taste tested this cigar, I would never have guessed it was an Ortega blend. In fact, it is a throwback to the 601 blends. Or better yet, I find it to be the love child of the Ortega Serie D Black and the original 601 La Bomba.
The Ortega Larceny finishes with that super strong full body. But no heat or harshness.
Even with the issues I had, I can recommend this cigar but you must give the stick some extensive aging. I think that will do wonders for the flavor profile and strength.
And now for something different:
Back in 1983, I took film classes at UCLA. I had just written, produced, and directed my first music video starring Eddie Munster for the song we developed called, “Whatever Happened to Eddie?”
You cannot see it anywhere on YouTube (This link is not the video, only the song that someone posted). You can listen to it but not see it. Why? Because every Halloween, or when the big production companies do a child star special, I get to sell a temporary license to them for the use of the video. If I were to post in on YouTube, I would lose that right. I get on average $2500 for a one year agreement. So you can see my point. This occurs on average twice a year and I don’t want to lose that $5,000.00 per year fee.
And if you read the comments below the video, you will see a lot of contentious finger pointing and stupidity galore.
I sometimes sell the whole memorabilia package of the video, a mint condition 45 single, a rare mint condition T shirt and an autographed 8 x 10 promo photo of Butch and the band (Eddie and the Monsters) on Ebay.
Anyway, I went to UCLA and took pre-production classes, production classes, post production classes and editing classes. All taught by towering people in their field.
The post production class was taught by John Thomas Lenox, an executive producer. He was in the tail end of producing the movie “Splash.” But instead of being taught about the intricacies of post-production, we got a class in “Splash.”
What an arrogant prick. Me this and me that. Every class was this guy extolling his brilliance.
But there were a few perks. He brought in other producers and Ron Howard himself; who directed the film. That was a fun night. And if you are wondering if Howard is Opie? Yes, he is. Down to earth and friendly. Very approachable.
Previous to Howard coming in, Lenox took us to a pre-screening of the film. It was missing some sound effects and there was no music sound track. We got to go to Disney studios to watch it. That was exciting.
During the question and answer period with Howard, there was one jerk that was really mean and kept asking embarrassing questions. Remember, this movie was a fantasy/farce. And this idiot kept bringing up how the movie didn’t feel real. I have to hand it to Howard. He was a real gentleman and didn’t lose his temper.
At the end of class, I gave Howard a complete package of my Eddie Munster stuff. He knew Butch from back in the day and asked me out for a cup of coffee.
We went to some movie star hangout and had some nosh and Cokes. Howard didn’t drink. And neither did I. It was an exciting 2 hours. We talked more about life and I didn’t interview him which would have immediately turned him off. Something I learned during our PR excursions the record company sent us on all over the country. Treat a star like a peer and you’ve got him.
Several celebrities stopped by the table to say hello to Howard. Here comes the name dropping. There was Streisand and Howard Cosell. What a mixed bag that I would never have expected to see. Howard politely introduced me and we shook hands.
We said our good byes and Howard told me he would peruse my video and give me a call. Guess what? I never got a call. LOL. It was the old “Leave your name and phone number in the ashtray and I will get back to you” syndrome.
Some of the lectures in the class were very boring and they always took place in near auditorium sized class rooms. There couldn’t have been more than 25 students. So I began to talk to this very nice looking chick.
After a few weeks, we would steal ourselves away and head for the bathroom. Each time I got a great blow job.
She was married and when we went to the Splash screening she brought her husband. She introduced us and all I got was the stink eye from the husband. Ooops. Turns out she was impressed by my minor accomplishments and told her husband all about me.
At the end of the class, Lenox had promised a one on one with any student that requested it. I gave him an Eddie Munster package. His assistant made an appointment for me and then they kept postponing it so I gave up.
He made the announcement for individual meetings as he handed out a piece of paper asking the students to assess the class. So of course, everyone gave this guy an A+ hoping for that one on one. The bastard offered the meetings so we’d give him a good score.
The other two classes were not as exciting and no blow jobs. The editing class was taught by an old timer who thought he was Douglas Fairbanks Jr. He had the whole look going for him. He must have been 70 years old.
He did take us to MGM and we got the royal tour. That was fun.
But all in all, the classes were just a waste of money. My project soon collapsed when the record company was taken to jail for embezzling. A real story of intrigue and underhanded dealings.
My dreams of becoming a music video mogul were dashed as I found out my recording studio partner was embezzling. He was too coked up all the time and took the money we made to buy nose candy.
So I folded the studio. No point in having it if the money we made went into the pockets of my partner. Following that was when Rocshire Records went down. I didn’t get my royalties as the FBI shut them down. And I was broke and no longer had my studio.
I have an interesting story about what followed…for another time.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS