Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 X 54 Toro
Price: $10.50 (A buck less online)
Today we take a look at the Oscar Valladares Super Fly.
A gift from a friend and I’m flying blind on this one…this should be fun. But since it is a $10 stick, I expect it to be good.
It has over 4 months of naked humi time on it.
Release Date: July 2019
According to Smoke Inn:
“Oscar Valladares Super Fly has been transported straight from John Travolta’s fevered prime into the hands of premium cigar smokers! This retro-fied smoke boasts all the phat, plush, groovy trim and polish you remember from the disco-lit clubs and velvet-upholstered furniture of your youth. The only difference is, at the time, it probably wasn’t premium cigars you were smoking…
“Super Fly dances onto the premium cigar scene as the most full-bodied experience to date from Oscar Valladares. Rolled at Valladares’ own factory in Danlí, the cigars make use of a Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper, secured over a Honduran binder (harvested from Honduras’ Copán region) and a diverse filler of Honduras, Nicaragua, and the DR (marking the first time that Dominican tobaccos have made their way into an Oscar cigar).
“This cigar ain’t no jive turkey! Expect intense flavors from start to finish, including flavors of earth, wild herbs, zesty cabinet spices, oak, clove, and a balancing dark vanilla sweetness.”
Now, that’s some PR!
SIZES AND PRICES:
Corona 5.25 x 45 $9.00
Toro 6 x 54 $10.50
Gordo 6.5 x 60 $11.50
Not a bad looking stick. There is some difference as I ply the cigar with my fingers and find there are some soft and hard spots up and down the shaft…but nothing significant. Seams are tight. It’s bumpy and lumpy. Very toothy. The triple cap is OK but a little off kilter. The wrapper is slightly oily and is the hue of a brown paper bag.
The cigar band with the Super Fly harkens back to the 70’s as advertised.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
The cigar is very aromatic…notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, berries, coffee, malt, barnyard, cedar, a touch of floral, caramel, black pepper, spicy and tangy notes of Worcestershire sauce.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, salty pretzel, black pepper, chocolate, espresso, malt, cedar, and cream.
The draw and resistance are spot on, so no need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.
Some 4-5 months of aging have serviced this blend well. The cigar immediately kicks off with flavors of red pepper, creaminess, sweetness, chocolate, espresso, malt, cedar, and a citrusy tangy sweetness.
I can sense complexity already. Transitions begin immediately with elements whizzing by and comfortable. A nice subtle finish. Good start.
I like the smoke output. Makes me feel like Churchill.
Strength is an instant medium/full.
Next to nothing in the review department. This always scares me and causes me to think twice about reviewing a cigar when no one else seems interested. My preference is to bring great cigars to your attention. My secondary purpose is to warn you off dog turds which is not as gratifying…and I make no friends in the cigar industry by doing so.
The Oscar Valladares Super Fly spews potential. Halfwheel.com has an interesting review you should read. Their review occurred two months ago which probably put the cigar at 3+ months of rest.
This is a very nice cigar. Well balanced with a soothing savory v. sweet compliance factor.
The photo below gives you a hint of the wrapper’s toothiness.
One thing mentioned in the Halfwheel review is something I’d like to expound on. The Leaf by Oscar series that provides each cigar in a corn husk seems really silly to me and nothing more than a gimmick. I’ve had the tobacco wrapped sticks in all their variations and wasn’t that impressed. Instead of going the way of Joe Camel, Valladares should have spent more time on the product instead of its quirky presentation. And they aren’t cheap based on the quality of the blend.
On the other hand, the Super Fly seems to be turning into an exceptional blend. It is pushing all the right buttons for me. An immediate complexity with flavorful incarnations. The balance is so important as it keeps the cigar taste from seeming lopsided.
We are now at medium/full only an inch in.
The blend becomes extremely creamy now…I like that. It enhances the hell out of other flavor tidbits. The spiciness of the red pepper is just how my palate likes it. In the background instead of the forefront squeezing out more important nuances.
A salty nuttiness shows up.
This is what I expect from a $10 stick. (Relax you British Commonwealth countries…I know you pay ridiculous prices for your cigars. I’ve had comments and emails from guys in the U.K., Australia, and Canada all giving me shit for whining about cigar prices when they are getting it up the arse where they live and must pay 2-3 times what we pay…bummer).
Mustiness appears. I don’t have a clue where that comes from. It usually disappears but I don’t know enough about the blending process that gives me insight why all of a sudden a cigar tastes funky for a bit.
The blend is not chock full of tobacco as the burn is quick. It feels light in the hand compared to many other sticks. The draw is a little light as well…maybe too airy.
But it tastes good. Not great. Good. The rising complexity has halted. It now has leveled off and hanging in suspension. Stopped at the checkpoint and frisked.
While my stick has a couple more months of humi time on it than Halfwheel’s did, I’m in agreement with their view. The cigar is pretty damn good and then it flattens out some. Inconsistency is an assassin.
The medium/full is backing down to more of a medium smoke. Supposedly this is Valladares’ most powerful blend but I still have my vision and don’t feel the power.
I don’t like comparing blends from one company to another…but, for the same price, you can snag some incredible Isabela cigars, Southern Draw cigars, Roma Craft cigars, and other fine boutique blends. At this point, I was hoping and expecting for more.
It has had plenty of time to strut its stuff. Casdagli cigars really shine starting at the 4-month time slot. This stick has had more than that.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m enjoying the cigar. The mustiness went away in the time it took for me to write about it. But it isn’t taking my breath away. It’s not classic.
The berry flavor zooms to the front without provocation. It now has a creamy blackberry flavor reminiscent of a fancy yogurt…or ice cream.
Maybe the Oscar Valladares Super Fly just needed some time to warm up. Hope I don’t eat those words.
The 4-country blend always gives me high expectations of something special. At least half the time, I am let down. Still not sure about this baby.
Mustiness returns. Drat.
Red pepper morphs to black pepper. The spiciness transfers from my tongue and lips to the back of my throat.
This is a roller coaster blend. Over, under, sideways, down. The blend’s foe is the inconsistency. One moment, I’m in love…and the next, I’m flaccid.
There is better tobacco distribution in the second half…and hence, the burn slows down.
I don’t believe that the extra two months I’ve given this cigar over Halfwheel’s time makes any difference. And I don’t believe any extended humi time will make a change to my opinion.
They rated it an 88. Seems pretty fair to me.
I know lots of reviewers shun the price issue. I can’t. $50 for a fiver is a lot of dough to me. I look at the new stuff being released in the boutique brand category and the prices are just fucking nuts.
Everything coming out is seeing huge PR and most new sticks by reputable boutique blenders are in the $15+ range. Remember a few years ago when we all got whiplash when we saw those price points on a new cigar? Now they are commonplace.
Yet, if you check out my top 25 cigars for 2019 and you’ll see that most of my picks are in the $9-$12 range or less.
Complexity hasn’t really changed. It is missing intensity of purpose.
My favorite part is the balance. Valladares nailed it on this issue.
But there is no forward momentum. The profile doesn’t change as the cigar burns towards extinction. The cigar is more like a good $7 stick.
Strength is closer to medium+ than medium/full despite the manufacturer’s claim it is their strongest cigar yet.
Flavors don’t pop. They are constant but more of a background element than jumping out at me.
The enjoyment level is somewhere between my bris and getting IV drugs just before they knock you out for your colonoscopy. During my last one, they gave me fentanyl and propofol. Holy shit. I was speed talking to everyone and then the doc tired of me and shot me up with some more to make me sleep.
The construction and burn have been spot on. No issues.
The Oscar Valladares Super Fly increases the peace in the last third and excels. Now the flavors pop big time. The chocolate is gone but the sweetness is gorgeous. It’s creamy, nutty, malty, a bit citrusy, and the balance is screaming laughter.
Strength is just barely medium/full.
With the right tweaks, this could have been a great cigar instead of just a good one.
I’m pretty sure I’m in lock step with Halfwheel’s opinion of this blend. Maybe that’s why there are nearly zero reviews of this blend which is a regular production cigar.
My recommendation is to buy just a couple and let them rest and see what you think. I wouldn’t buy a fiver.
Basically, the passion from the blender is missing. The cigar is just interesting to keep you involved but it doesn’t blow me away. The blend is on the cusp of being a better blend but can’t seem to get there.
If you were to spend $10 on a stick, I’d take a look at my top 25 list and pick from there.
As I near the end, I experience no elevation of my sensory perception.
“Foxy Lady” and then “Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid.” Nice.
I could have saved my time and just directed you to the Halfwheel review. It contains all you need to know.
I had higher expectations.
And now for something completely different:
My recording studio in Long Beach, CA was only 3 blocks from the beach. And it was in the gay section of downtown.
We were the only studio in a town of 500,000 people. The business flooded in. We did bands of all genres, singers, radio DJ’s doing promos and commercials, orchestral players, and tape duplication.
We also saw our share of lesbian bands recording in our studio. I gave it a never-no-mind. Having spent several years in big time rock and roll, I worked with a lot of gay people and I’d never been a bigot or intolerant. When you boil it down, people are people. Nice people or shitbirds. Sexual orientation had nothing to do with it.
There was this one lesbian band that recorded regularly. And they scared the shit out of me. They would come in and record about once a month. Use a block of 8 hours each time. Normally, we only charged $35 ($90 in 2019 dollars) an hour. But for a solid 8 hours, we brought the price down to $25 an hour.
My partner, Dave, was the head engineer. I had all the skills needed to do that if he wasn’t available. But my main gig was being the producer. Dave was a genius about taking apart equipment and putting it back together; or tweaking it; which I could not do.
I got a lot of bass session work when bands came in without a bassist. But I did not have the time to play while they recorded…to much work to do. So, I would stay at the studio and around 10pm, when things were quiet and I was alone, would sit in the booth and go direct and work the equipment and record my parts. I loved walking out of the studio as the sun came up and grabbing breakfast and then going home and getting a few hours sleep. It was only a few years ago, that I read that McCartney would do the same thing in the latter Beatles’ albums.
I got a good rep of being able to get the best out of people. Something I learned from good buddy, Rick Tunstall of The Attitude. He was an old salt at producing and taught me everything. I must have produced a thousand bands.
I loved it when a band came in and wanted to produce their own music.,,knowing absolutely nothing about producing. So, I let them do their thing. And just when they were smiling and kicking back, I would ask them if I could mix and produce a song for them, on my time, and they could choose.
I got a lot of selfish gratification when I saw the looks on their eyes after I finished. Now they had to plunk more money on the barrel head to allow me to produce their sound. Of course, not everyone was pleased with what I did and told me to go fuck myself. So, I did a reach around on myself.
Often, I cajoled, pleaded, whispered or downright screamed at them. I had relatively good people skills and could tell what certain musicians needed. Of course, nowadays, most bands self-produce themselves because they have all the equipment they need to learn on…back then, digital was new and no one had their own complete studios or studio software as computers were in their infancy.
Back to the lesbians…
They always came in with an entourage. 75% of them were bull dykes. Big burly girls with men’s haircuts and built like wrestlers. They could be very hostile.,,I never understood that. We had gay bands come in and they were usually easy going and fun to work with. Meanwhile, the band itself was made up of normal women who happened to be lesbian. No hostility towards men. But their hangers-on just didn’t like men.
Some were so hostile, they refused to come in. And they would sit, parked at the curb, for the entire 8-hour session…fuming. That really weirded me out. We had the building next door we used as a rehearsal studio and offices. So, I’d have to run back and forth and I’d see them glaring at me.
One day, I was in the control booth, kicking back and listening to them record while Dave mixed. The control area was up high and just below us was a bank of couches for people to relax in while watching. I saw a beautiful girl that seemed to be totally out of place. I stared at her now and then. I was single.
You know how sometimes you can feel the eyes of someone on you; but don’t see it? Well, the biggest bull dyke stared at me, staring at the pretty lesbian. Clearly, this was her property and no lookers allowed.
All of a sudden, she pounced on me. Her fists were flailing. She had 100 pounds on me. Back then, I was thin and good looking…now I’m overweight and watching my hair disappear. I weighed maybe 170lbs but was no match for this gorilla.
The other lesbians tried to pull her off me but she was too strong. I finally blacked out from being pummeled.
When I woke up groggy and fuzzy, they were gone. My partner told them they were no longer welcome at the studio. My partner was a really big guy and he also helped pull Rodan off me. But this bull dyke was on a mission.
I was dating my ex-wife, Teri, at the time…a nurse. Dave called her and she came racing over. She took me back to her place where she attended to my wounds. I can’t remember exactly what she did but her mother was also registered nurse and came over. For some reason, we didn’t call the cops. And I have no recollection if they took me to hospital. Unfortunately, I’m not in contact with any of these people; so, I can’t ask. The whole thing is fuzzy now.
The next morning, I could barely move and was stiff as a board. I got to the bathroom to pee and saw myself in the mirror. I was bloated and cut and looked like Frankenstein’s monster.
I spent the next three days at Teri’s. She had the innate talent of being a caregiver. I don’t know what I would have done without her. I lived alone in my house in north Long Beach.
She fed me and tended to my face. So did her mother. My partner, Dave, took care of things while I was mending.
On Day 4, I went back to the studio and…leave it to Dave….he had an all gay band recording. Men, not women. Gay guys were always cool.
In fact, one of the best friends of the studio was gay and allowed us the use of his Yamaha electric grand piano for sessions. But I didn’t know he was gay til one day he asked us to help get the piano from his apartment down the block from our studio. As I entered his place for the first time, I saw framed nude photos of men covering the walls. My jaw dropped…I had no idea. I thought he was straight. He laughed uncontrollably at me.
A couple weeks later, the core group of that lesbian band showed up at the studio pleading to be allowed back. Dave told them unequivocally, “NO!”
Being the nice guy, I said they could come back but without an entourage. Just the band. They quickly agreed. Still, I wore my S&W .38 hidden in my pants. Once was enough.
Being beaten up by a lesbian is something everyone should try just once….puts things in perspective.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS