Big Papi by David Ortiz | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Claro
Binder: Dominican Criollo ’98
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Body: Medium
Price: $11.99
Humidor Time: 6 weeks
Number of cigars smoker prior to review: 1

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Today we take a look at the Big Papi by David Ortiz made by El Artista Cigars.
Thanks to a friend for the sticks.

I’ve made it clear that I’m not a fan of celebrity cigars. They tend to be overpriced and under blended. My reviews and ratings reflect that position. But just one has to hit the bullseye to give me hope. Will it be Big Papi? Let us begin.

BACKGROUND:
From Wikipedia:
“Ortiz’s nickname “Big Papi” originates from his habit of calling people whose names he can’t remember “Papi”. The nickname was given to him by Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.

“David Américo Ortiz Arias, 41, is a Dominican American retired professional baseball player. Ortiz was a designated hitter (DH) in Major League Baseball (MLB) who occasionally played first base. He played for the Minnesota Twins from 1997 to 2002 and the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2016.

“Ortiz was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, seven-time Silver Slugger winner, and he holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, set during the 2006 season.

“In Boston, Ortiz established himself as one of the most powerful sluggers of all time. He was instrumental in the team ending its 86-year World Series championship drought in 2004, as well as during successful championship runs in 2007 and 2013. He was the MVP of the 2013 World Series.”

“Each time Ortiz crosses the plate after hitting a home run he looks up and points both index fingers to the sky in tribute to his mother, Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in January 2002 at the age of 46. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.”

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DESCRIPTION:
This is a beautifully marbled pecan/caramel colored wrapper. With oil to spare.
There is a fine grain of tooth. Seams are invisible. Lots of veins, both big and small.
A solid stick with a perfectly applied triple cap.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell lovely herbal chocolate, floral notes, honeysuckle, cedar, espresso, thick heavy cream, and nuts.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell very dark cacao, espresso, red pepper, cedar, floral notes, nuts, marshmallow, and rye.

The cold draw presents flavors of malt, red and black peppers, chocolate, coffee, an array of fresh herbs, cedar, floral notes, and fresh fruit.

FIRST THIRD:
Let’s start with a quiz.
What is the most highly regarded guitar solo in rock history? (Remember: This is not my opinion but the opinion of the greatest guitarists in the world and the top echelon of professional music reviewers.)
Name the band, the song title, and the guitarist. Hint: Brit band.

Easy draw and first up: Chocolate, cream, black and red peppers, malt, coffee, and roasted nuts.
Complexity settles in right away. Transitions begin a lava flow past my palate.
I gotta admit…I am pleasantly surprised. I did not expect the Big Papi by David Ortiz to start with a big bang.

Strength begins at a heavy medium body.

The dual fighting peppers are a joy. Each one is duking it out with the other for supremacy.
Now…fingers crossed. Can the Big Papi by David Ortiz not only maintain this quality but build upon it over the next 90 minutes? (I’m shaking in my Wellington boots while my pet sheep shutters in anticipation.)

The Big Papi by David Ortiz has a very heavy sensibility. It rests heavy on my palate and my chest. Wait…er…my left arm hurts. Never mind…just gas.

Creaminess moves up the line…creating a nice concoction comprised of chocolate and coffee. The marshmallow effect is pleasantly strong.
Malt and rye joins the fray completing the picture.

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Strength hits medium/full.

I am honestly impressed with my first celebrity cigar…ever! El Artista Cigars….you did good, buddies.
A nice slow roll with a savory declaration of immodesty.
Complexity pulls the individual flavors together creating some impressive distinction.
Touches of caramel, peppermint, dried fig, and lavender appear.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.

I get a small crack in the wrapper. The weather in the Midwest has been terrible. Snow? Not so bad. But the cold…oy vey. It is currently -29°…going up to -10° this afternoon. 7-10” of snow tomorrow. Brrr…And of course, my wife Charlotte wants to go Xmas shopping today. It hasn’t been this cold since last year. Methinks she will be sorry if she goes on her errands. I shall rest in the reclining position watching blues concerts on Blu-ray.

No matter how I shield my cigars, the cold just can’t be stopped from permeating our apartment. Of course, it doesn’t help that I have to crack the windows in my mini-man cave for smoke to escape while allowing the arctic air to run rampant. The cat’s whiskers have icicles.
Other than this horrendous cold, the cigar is holding its own with impeccable construction. No touch ups required.

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Then Sweet Spot 2.0 appears like magic. Flavors deeply intensify. Complexity digs its heels in. The dueling peppers are screaming laughter.

How much is this stick? $12.00. This might be a first. A celebrity cigar that isn’t $22.00. A cigar that most can afford for a treat.
And it kicks ass on all those other celeb blends. The JZ Cohiba Comador was the absolute worst.
The Big Papi by David Ortiz pulled it off. I see no slacking off of its potential right to the end. Exhilaration awaits me at the finish line.

Halfway point. Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.

Big Papi is cruising Whittier Blvd in a cherry ’58 Cadillac.

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Damn. This is a fine blend. I did try one a couple weeks into its humidor time and it was nothing like what I am experiencing at 6 weeks. Glad I waited. The difference between a rating of 87 and 93.

My streak of lousy celebrity cigars has come to its conclusion. Someone finally figured it out that you just can’t use PR to sell a mediocre cigar blend that some famous schmuck added a cigar to his personal marketing strategy. You have to put your heart and soul into it. Where was the passion in all those multi blend expensive cigars that tasted like crap? There was none.
Now the Big Papi by David Ortiz charts a different tack all its own. It reeks of full flavor, little surprises of hidden gems, transitions whizzing by, and a rich intricacy.

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A big Toro; but this phase has jumped the time space continuum. Each moment brings pleasure and satisfaction without sex being involved.

Here they are: Malt, chocolate, spiciness, creaminess, coffee, rye, caramel, peppermint, dried fig, lavender, roasted nuts, cedar, and musk. There are additional flavor elements buried in this treasure chest of a blend that I just find too complex for my palate. I’m stumped.

This is where those folks come in who say, “I don’t taste chocolate bull lard in this cigar. I only know it tastes good.”

At this point, it is just pure synchronicity.
Definitely a box worthy blend.
Could only find a couple reviews but all agreed with me in the final outcome.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.

The minor cracking of the wrapper stopped dead in its tracks half an hour ago.
The Big Papi by David Ortiz reaches full strength. Some nicotine appears.
Transitions have been dead nuts. On the money. No sudden lurches. Smooth and delicious.
I’m sitting next to a cracked window and my nuts have receded. I’m thinking of placing my cat in my lap til I finish this review.

Gorgeous cigar:
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Temps are improving now…only -17°. Shorts and tee shirt weather.

Flavors begin to rearrange themselves: Caramel, spiciness, creaminess, nuts, dried fruit, malt, chocolate, coffee, mint, rye, and cedar.
The Big Papi by David Ortiz has that elusive “It” factor.

Bam. The red and black peppers take off like a rocket. My sinuses exit my right nostril.
The nicotine disappeared while I wasn’t paying attention.

I’m simply amazed at how the Big Papi by David Ortiz healed itself. I was in deep fear that the early cracks might continue throughout the cigar. Didn’t do that. And the char line is nothing short of impeccable.

I don’t know whose idea it was to keep the Big Papi affordable; like any other boutique blend…but that was smart. The cigar has a great chance of attaining good word of mouth and becoming very popular. And unlike so many celebrity cigars that end up going for $4 on Cbid this doesn’t seem to be the fate of the Big Papi by David Ortiz.

The cigar creates a luscious smoothness to the end. No harshness.
Final smoke time is one hour 50 minutes.
Definitely get some.

Come on…What is the most highly regarded guitar solo in rock history? (Remember: This is not my opinion but the opinion of the greatest guitarists in the world and the top echelon of professional music reviewers.)
Name the band, the song title, and the guitarist. Hint: Brit band.
To my musician readers…if you don’t know this…Shame.

RATING: 93

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14 replies

  1. Stairway to Heaven…Jimmy Page, the bit before “as we go winding….etc”.

    • There are so many possibilities. I’m a guitar/keyboard player. I also liked Clapton/Cream doing live version of Crossroad and David Gilmour in Comfortably Numb.

  2. My final quiz answer is: Black Sabbath, “Iron Man” Tony Iommi, guitarist.

    My first answer is: The Beatles, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” George Harrison, guitarist.

    -Michael

  3. The Kinks
    You really got me
    Solo by Jimmy Page

  4. All good guesses. As I said in the review: “(Remember: This is not my opinion but the opinion of the greatest guitarists in the world and the top echelon of professional music reviewers.)”

  5. Neil Young … Cinnamon Girl ???

  6. Cream Crossroads Eric Clapton

    BTW, Clapton plays the solo in the song While My Guitar Gently Weeps

  7. Queen
    We will rock you
    Brian May

  8. That’s right Nick! I had heard about that, but very easy to overlook, and forget, when scrambling for a quiz answer . lol (Neil, is Canadian eh?)

  9. Everyone knows the greatest guitar solo ever is Kirk’s on Fade To Black?

  10. This is the official answer: Pink Floyd. “Comfortably Numb.” David Gilmour.

    Gilmour played the song on his 1958 Gretsch Duo-Jet:

    David Gilmour's Gretsch Duo-Jet

    Gretsch

  11. Cinnamon Girl has to be the lamest solo of all time. One note.

  12. Now that’s a very nice Axe!