Oceano by La Sirena | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Habano Vuelta Arriba
Binder: Dominican Criollo
Filler: Dominican Criollo Visos and Ligeros and Nicaraguan Viso
Size: 7 x 52 “Atlantic Super Belicoso”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.50 MSRP (I paid $5.00 on Cbid)

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Today we take a look at the Oceano by La Sirena.

I read all the reviews I could. No one seemed particularly pleased with this cigar. My opinion? They were smoked green. But I could be wrong.

BACKGROUND:
The Oceano made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.
But I’ve found conflicting information about the release date. So be it.

The other lines are: La Sirena Original, Merlion, and Old School. (See my review of the La Sirena Jaxx).
From the La Sirena web site:
“La Sirena Cigars is fully owned and operated by Arielle Ditkowich as of January 1, 2014. Below is the full brand history:
“The La Sirena Story began in 2006 in New York City when Nestor Miranda met Arielle Ditkowich at an event. He was immediately taken by her love of tobacco, desire to learn more and the way she connected with people. Over the course of time he took her under his wing and they both learned from each other about the changing cigar market as well as the cigars that people demanded.

“In early 2008, the two decided to produce a cigar that would fit the profile of what today’s cigar aficionado wanted. At a roundtable discussion names were being discussed, when Arielle asked, “What is the Spanish word for Mermaid”. The answer was, “La Sirena”.

“With the name in place and a desire to create a full bodied cigar, the team set off for Esteli, Nicaragua where they began working with the Garcia family at My Father Cigars. Over the course of the next few months countless blends were smoked and finally the blend that fit the profile that La Sirena was seeking was found.

“After a successful 3-year partnership, Ditkowich was ready to spread her La Sirena wings and became an independent company. Ditkowich purchased the distribution rights from Miami Cigar & Co. and continues to manage the brand. La Sirena brand cigars are distributed nationwide and available at over 300 retail stores. International distribution is growing quickly as we continue to push through 2014.”

The Oceano is made at the Quesada MATASA Factory.

DESCRIPTION:
A big honker. A beautiful, extremely oily, mottled, dark chocolate brown wrapper with some tooth. Invisible veins, and lots of veins. A very pretty cigar band.
An impeccable, flawless triple cap.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Arctic 4.75 x 38/58/44 $10.50 MSRP
Southern 5 x 43 $8.50 MSRP
Indian 5.5 x 50 $9.50 MSRP
Atlantic 7 x 52 $10.50 MSRP
Pacific 6 x 65 $11.00 MSRP
The Arctic is a limited production run with only 20 count. 500 boxes. The remaining sizes are regular production.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I can smell sweetness, green tea, earthiness, and hay.
From the clipped cap and foot, I smell dark cocoa, coffee, sweetness, spice, and more tea.
The cold draw presents flavors of hot peppers, coffee, chocolate, sweet cedar, and leather.

FIRST THIRD:
I haven’t tried one yet so I hope I’m not jumping the shark with this review.
The draw is tight. The cigar is super packed. Time for the Cigar Awl. Success. But that was one giant plug!

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There is an extreme sweetness factor to the blend; full of sorts of goodies: Black raisins, figs, molasses, sweet cream, and hot cocoa.
The flavors are very subtle. Not bold as I expected. After all, this is a My Father concoction. A month of almost any My Father blend is plenty of time for a good smoke.

Just for kicks, I take a second stick, clip the cap, and gently insert the awl. Not an inch in and the wrapper cracks like split wood. So it just isn’t my cigar. It may be that the whole line is too tightly packed. This will weigh heavy on my rating. BTW- I never would have pulled that stunt with a $10 cigar. Since I only paid $5 for that $10 cigar…no worries Moon Doggie.

There is a fine thread that runs through all Garcia blends. This blend seems to be missing it. There should have been a Power Pepper Bomb at the start. Instead, barely any spice.
An inch in, some black pepper begins to rise from its crypt.

The plug seems to have self-healed and the draw is terribly tight. So I buck the odds and insert the awl right to the hilt. Magic has happened. The draw is spot on and no cracks were caused.
I’m beginning to see now why this wasn’t a popular cigar with the reviewers. And why it’s going for half price on Cbid. I’m the last to know.

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1-1/2” and this baby is pretty flavorless. DUD!
But as the Union for America Cigar Reviewers, UACR, proclaims…I must finish the cigar, and the review, on penalty of being forced to spend a night with Jonah Hill.

I’m 2” in and some flavors arrive in the nick of time…late actually: Chocolate truffle, creaminess, bolder spiciness, roasted nuts, and very toasty.
I just realized what the problem is. This ain’t no My Father cigar. It is a Quesada cigar. Major difference. Quesada uses Old School methods which means that each cigar produced needs 6 months of humidor time. Du-oh!
An AM (Alzheimer’s Moment).

I never should have reviewed this cigar with only a month on it but now I’m committed.
And, of course, as I write this the cigar blend comes to life.
Strength is medium/full.

The spice is big and bold.
The chocolate is screaming laughter. The other flavors are distinct and delicious: Creaminess, nuts, toasty, dried fruit, molasses, salt, Indian spices, sweet cedar, and leather.
I’ve just spent 4 million words on the first third. Shame, shame, shame.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 40 minutes. Whew.
The Oceano by La Sirena is now where it should have been at the very start.
Flavorful, complex, and long finish.
And then it goes to fade out.

5third

Where did the flavors go? This is friggin ridiculous.

First, I’m sucking on this like I’m the bitch on Cell Block B in Quentin. Second, there is no resemblance to any La Sirena or any other My Father blend, and lastly…the blend has all the makings of a $3.00 cigar. I think I overpaid with my 5.00 purchase.

I’ve recently reviewed some behemoth sized cigars that were dazzling. This piece of junk is…well…a piece of junk. My apologies to my esteemed colleagues that I dissed for not letting the cigar rest long enough. There should be something like a cigarette warning sticker, “Do Not Smoke Until You Have Humidor Aged This Cigar For A Year.”

How the hell does the plug heal itself? Jesus Alou! Manny Mota! I can’t use the awl again because I have a crack at the cap from one too many times.
I massage the cigar while my eyes are shut. That helps. I need to smoke a cigarette.

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The flavors are like confetti. Too small and floating around aimlessly.
Caramel and vanilla show up which boosts the impact of the creaminess and chocolate. The coffee element gets a macchiato element. I check out the Starbuck’s menu and it is exactly like the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (Steamed milk, mocha sauce, toffee nut and vanilla syrups, topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt.).

Now if only the Oceano by La Sirena tasted as good as that description sounds.

My prediction is that somewhere just past the hallway point, the Oceano will come to life. Let’s see if I’m a schmuck.
Oh..Oh..Oh..wait. Flavors seem to be coming to life again, Igor. But it pulled this trick on me once earlier. So calm the fuck down Uncle Katman.

I think my rating of this cigar will be like my credit rating: 42.

OK. Here they are in their new format: Creaminess, caramel, nuts, chocolate, vanilla, salt, dried fruit, sweet cedar, and leather. I’m not impressed with the earthy tobacco component.

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I’d be surprised if any of the Big Guy reviewers reviewed the Oceano by La Sirena. They don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them. Plus, if they’ve smoked one or two, they know that this cigar will need 6+ months of humi time.
I’m not a Manuel Quesada fan. He makes cigars for everyone and his brother but his own blends are pedestrian at best.

HALFWAY POINT:
Here we are. Seems like an eternity when you review a cigar you don’t like.
Smoke time is over an hour.
I have to clip the cap back due to cracks. A real winner all the way around. LOL.
Damn roller coaster ride. Flavors are good. Flavors are gone. Flavors are good. Flavors are…well you get the picture.
What made La Sirena think that it would be a good idea to release this blend? Acid flashback? In the throes of an orgasm? Having a good dump? Who knows?

8half

Right now, the flavors running the show are creaminess, caramel, and black pepper. Man, I’m impressed.
And then pay dirt. Finally once again with feeling. I do believe we’ve hit the flavors I’m supposed to taste. Really. These won’t fade.

My prediction was pretty damn close. I’m only ¼” in from the halfway point and the flavors make their appropriate debut.
And here they are ladies and germs: Black Pepper, chocolate, caramel, creaminess, sweetness, dried fruit, nuts, malt (Both Chocolate Malt and Honey Malt – See the Malt Chart), baking spices, sweet cedar, maple syrup, and almonds. Whew!

This would have gotten a huge rating if the cigar started out like this. But that’s OK. This means there is hope for the cigar with another 6 months humidor rest. I ruined one with the cigar awl, so I have three left to age. I will check back.

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Now we have an excellent cigar. My rating will be based on the second half. Clearly, it wasn’t fair to review a cigar that is green. Now I know how it will taste.
Strength moves to full body. And nicotine kicks in.
Barring my fucking around with the cigar awl, the construction is very good. The char line required a couple minor touch ups.
The Oceano by La Sirena is extremely smooth despite the onslaught of nicotine.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 35 minutes.
I have three more Outlaw Cigars to review: High Plains, Perdition, and Unforgiven.

outlawcigars

I also have all three of the new Nomad Therapy cigars to review thanks to Fred Rewey.

nomad

The Oceano by La Sirena is cruising.
The black pepper adds red pepper to its complement.
My tongue is burning.

10third

The cracked wrapper at the cap caused by my futzing with it is traveling. But just on one side. We shall pretend that it isn’t happening.
This cigar is too big for me. 7 x 52 is just too much. I get bored too easily. The only place I would consider smoking it is at a garden party or a festival where time isn’t relevant. But sitting downstairs in the man cave? Wouldn’t happen.
Factoring in that the Oceano by La Sirena was too green to smoke…I still have to factor in that the cigar is too tightly packed. This affects my final score. If I was to have a perfectly constructed cigar and the flavors boomed right from the start, I’d give it a 90.
But factoring in the issues mentioned above, I give it an 86.

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PRICE POINT:
Is this cigar worth $10.50? Nope. Is it worth $5.00? Yep. A box of Super Belicosos is going for $58 and ends tomorrow. At CI, the box is going for $190.
Figuring the $58 will go up by maybe $10-$20, that’s a good deal. $3.75 per stick is about right.

SUMMATION:
The other reviewers ran into the same problem I did. We smoked it too soon. Thinking that this was a My Father creation, I expected more.
Every My Father or Pepin Garcia cigar I’ve ever smoked was ready to go in 3-4 weeks.
Knowing it is a MATASA built stick, well….
Construction was dicey. Flavors showed up too late.
I can only recommend this cigar on the basis that you buy it and stash it away for at least 6 months.
But if you are like me on a tight, or nonexistent budget, pass.
I only purchase cigars I know will require a short humidor time.

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