Wrapper: Honduran (Copan)
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
Today we take a look at the Oscar Valladares Wild Hunter Maduro.
From Atlantic Cigar:
“New for 2019 from rising star cigar maker Oscar Valladares, comes the Oscar Valladares Wild Hunter. Focusing on his Honduran roots he wanted to deliver a cigar showcasing the flavors of Honduran tobacco. This Honduran puro with two variations, a natural version and a maduro version, with the wrappers for each cigar coming from the north of Honduras in the Copan region. The binder and filler draw on tobacco grown on Valladares’ farm, La Estrada a Copan. Right out of the gate the Wild Hunter received a 91-Rating from Halfwheel,com and for good reason. This is not a gimmick cigar, rather a solid consist smoke from start to finish that honestly showcases Honduran tobacco flavors extremely well. Something Oscar Valladares does best, so if you like Honduran flavors or some of the other lines from Oscar this is surely a must try.”
This is a strange looking bird. The name Wild Hunter is apropos. The stick is a multi-colored combination of colors: black oil, cedar, copper penny, and an old log. The cap is a mess. Seams are visible but tight. The bumpy lumpy stick left on the forest floor would disappear completely. The cigar band is in keeping with the theme of the blend.
The cigar is firm after 3 days of dry boxing. But it is super light in the hand. This tells me it is not jam packed with tobacco. It could be a quick cigar.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are very faint. I can just barely notice creaminess, black pepper, caramel, milk chocolate, barnyard, cedar, and cloves.
The cold draw presents flavors of black licorice, cedar, barnyard, root beer, creaminess, espresso, and black pepper.
The draw is on the money so I gently put away my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for another time.
An immediate creaminess topped with spicy black pepper shows up first. Smoke pitches from the foot like a massive horseshoe tournament. There are some sweet notes elbowing each other for attention: Caramel, maple glaze, and cantaloupe.
On the savory side, I detect mesquite cooked steak, random bits of varying spicy entrails, and mushroom.
The cigar burns fast. Took less than 5 minutes to burn an inch. And the burn is uneven.
The balance is good. Transitions are minimal. And the finish is mostly black pepper with hints of cream and licorice.
Not a lot of complexity. But I sense it wants some. It’s still early.
Strength is straight ahead medium.
Since I spent 40 years as an engineer in commercial construction, I never had to deal with the public before this cigar lounge gig. It is a microcosm of social behavior that is sometimes intriguing and other times frustrating.
Most customers are polite and fun to be with. It’s the kids that are a pain. One can sense that they had parents who were the arch enemies of common sense…they allowed their children to behave any which way they liked so they could grow into wonderful human beings. Some of those have made it on the shores of Prime Cigar.
At least once a day, I get a couple guys or a guy and a chick come in. They normally seem dazed and confused as most early 20 somethings appear. The moment I ask if I can help them, they get defensive as if I’m insulting their intelligence. Fucking strange. They pretend to know more about cigars than they really know. But they only see me as some old useless man who probably doesn’t remember where he is. They find this as an excuse to actually be a little rude to me. I just shake my head and wait…a few minutes later they come to me for help and disclose their total lack of cigar knowledge that I guess they hoped their friend wouldn’t see.
I truly hope these kids find wisdom from somewhere…or the other option is for Darwin to kick in and make sure they don’t spawn more like themselves.
This is a nice cigar. It doesn’t challenge your palate. It has a number of good flavors mixing it up and the medium strength keeps my feet on the ground for a first cigar of the day.
The first third burns in only 20 minutes. I could barely keep up with my typing as it burned. A Toro should last at least 90-120 minutes. This will be less than an hour smoke.
A lot of baking spices in play. Cinnamon works with the black pepper. Cloves are present again. The creaminess lays down a nice platform. I taste that A&W root beer float. Savory is present via notes of charred meat, A-1 Sauce.
Just last week, I had a customer ask I we had a Honduran puro. He had no idea what that meant because someone asked him to snag one for him. As I don’t remember the leaf stats on every cigar in the walk in humidor, I volunteered to do a little research but he didn’t want to wait. Now…I have what he wants.
You don’t see Honduran puros that often. Just now, I went on a search to find some of these beasts and all the big magazines and online store lists merely show a cigar with a Honduran wrapper. I can’t find any puros. I know if I spent more time on this, I will find them but it shouldn’t be an industry secret.
This is a perfect morning cigar. The strength is constant and doesn’t rack the brain with nicotine.
Root veggies are all over the place. I hate this term, but it is a very earthy soil kind of blend. The thing that makes this cigar stand out is that it stands out among the gazillion other blends you’ve tried. No Nicaraguan tobacco. Contact Guinness.
If I had not dry boxed this cigar, it would be a much slower smoke. I’m sure most of you are experiencing the heat and humidity right now. It even seeps into my humidors. But an over humidified cigar requires constant relighting, usually has a difficult draw, and doesn’t have the flavor profile that occurs when you let the cigar breathe and dry out a bit.
I get asked all the time to recommend a solid medium strength cigar. Here is a good example. Yesterday, a nice young man and his girlfriend came in and he wanted an ass kicker. I went straight to the Robaina Ilegal Maduro I just reviewed. Half way through the cigar, he looked frazzled and joked that this was a potent cigar. I slapped him on the back and welcomed him to the adventure of exploring cigars that are out of your comfort zone. He was pleased with himself for not vomiting on the floor. I kept a bucket nearby just in case. But he finished it. Brava!
This is a different sort of complexity in motion. I believe Valladares nailed it with this blend in terms of calling it as he sees it. He wanted an outside style of blend and he got it. It is only 3 steps away from smoking a twig. I can nearly taste the bark. Woof.
I like this stick.
There are no leaps and bounds made by this baby. But it is anything but linear. It pushes out flavors in a nice even keel motion that keeps my brain active and my palate happy.
We’re going to run out of these cigars at Prime as I will be selling the shit out of them to those that seek a good medium strength cigar.
My first sip of water and it all comes together in the transitions and finish. Big notes of black pepper, creaminess, baking spices, root beer, licorice, mesquite, cinnamon, cedar, and that juicy Honduran soil.
The cigar slows down. Clearly, the first third was somewhat underfilled. Not so in the second third.
And then it happens…a boot full of complexity arrives. Like a light switch, the cigar kicks into high gear. Everything pops now. Nothing subtle about this blend any longer.
Flavors attack me like Charlotte’s German Catholic family did when they met me and discovered I was a Jew. I got quite good at shallow graves. I was young and foolish then.
The root beer and licorice root are spearheading the drive. Creaminess keeps the black pepper in check. No nicotine. (There. I jinxed it).
Now there is nicotine.
There is a floral perfume aroma coming from the cigar now.
This is a damn fine journey.
What an interesting cigar blend. I must admit it’s nice to smoke a cigar that isn’t half filled with Nicaraguan tobacco.
“How Long” by Ace is playing. I remember meeting their leader Paul Carrack at Ian Copeland’s home on Hampstead Heath in the mid 70’s. Everyone hung out with Ian. He was a year older than me and ran Miles Copeland’s booking agency. Ian had the biggest vinyl collection I’d ever seen. Stew, me, Country Joe (He rented Ian’s guest house out back), and Paul sat for an afternoon and listened to music and smoked weed.
Out of the three Copeland boys, Ian was my favorite as he was the most out there of the brothers. He also was the babe magnet. He dated Marianne Faithful and Courtney Cox. Unfortunately, he died of cancer at age 57 in 2006. He wrote a book called “Wild Thing” in 1995. Yes he told everyone what a pain in the ass I was.
Surprisingly, I only found three reviews of this cigar. This is a review worthy blend.
There has been no sign of the usual suspects: chocolate, espresso, malt, dried fruit, or nuttiness. Like the cheese, it stands alone.
The nicotine is in abeyance. Just enough to make sure you have a little buzz.
The cigar will remain a healthy medium strength to the end.
Oh joy…complexity makes its next move. A beautiful richness enters along with a great balance. Despite that, the transitions are minimal. The finish is rootsy.
I swear I can taste buttery mashed potatoes.
A delightful cigar blend. (Have I said that already?).
This is a departure from the Oscar blends…of which there are many. This cigar is eventful, imaginative, and brings something new to the table of my everyday go-to sticks.
Licorice uses a Super Soaker to envelop my palate. And I love that the root beer component has not lost a beat. Add creaminess to this menu and we have a bona fide unique cigar blend.
My daughter, Katie, is ready to pop with our new grandson. They are planning on inducing labor but keep putting off the day. The uptick in Covid patients, in Milwaukee, puts her on a waiting list. Could be tomorrow or could be next week. It is making the elders bonkers not knowing. The only thing guaranteeing her a bed is if she goes into labor.
With an inch to go, I have no plans to put this cigar down.
“Georgia Blues” by Jimi is playing. Feels like I’m in a strip club.
The stick rectified its quick burn issue. It will be a one hour 15 minute smoke.
I think this is a cigar you should check out. It’s different. It’s unique. And tastes great.
And now for something completely different:
Back in 1983, I took film classes at UCLA. I had just written, produced, and directed my first music video starring Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick for the song we developed called, “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” You can see it on YouTube.
I sometimes sell the whole 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. Most of the time, no one is interested so I’m waiting for Butch to climb a tall clocktower with a high-powered rifle as he tires of attending car shows to sign autographs and decides that Eddie Munster is going out in flames. Then, I bet I can get at least $50 for the package on eBay.
I took pre-production classes, production classes, post-production classes and editing classes. All taught by towering people in their field. It seemed more like a vanity project for these teachers to brag to their friends about.
The post-production class was taught by John Thomas Lenox, an executive producer. He was producing the movie “Splash.” And instead of being taught about the intricacies of post-production, we got a class in “Splash.” It was novel, at first, but it never ended.
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. The class only had around 25 folks in it. And for three hours, Howard was a delight. Someone you want to have a cocktail with.
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 sound track. We got to go to Disney Studios in Burbank to watch it. It had retained the look of the 1950’s. With street signs that said Mickey Mouse Ave. or Donald Duck St. What a hoot to be there.
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.
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 Hollywood syndrome of “Leave your name and phone number in the ashtray and I will get back to you.”
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.
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 too. 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 was Douglas Fairbanks Jr.’s doppelganger. 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. We watched movies being filmed. We watched the editors at work. We got to hang in the commissary where we saw movie stars and extras.
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.
Rocshire Records was a brand-new record company out of Anaheim. A ton of money was spent signing acts. Big deal record guys were stolen from big record companies. And the owner’s wife embezzled $15 million from Hughes Aircraft where she worked during the day. The FBI swooped in just before my first big royalty check was to be cut and shut the company down; forcing me to relinquish my royalties. This would have made me whole as I put my own money into the project so I’d get the first penny back on the first record sold. It’s called a production deal.
My dreams of becoming a music video mogul were dashed.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS