September 29, 2018

Cigar Review: Ortega Serie D #8 Maduro

Otega Cigar
Like any industry, some companies begin with two or more individuals, and eventually there is a day where they go their separate ways. Many years ago we had the ermergance of EO Brands, and the company had a huge start. The company was founded by two men, and one them was Eddie Ortega. In early 2018 Eddie Ortega announced that he would no longer be with EO Brands, and that he would be founding his own cigar company. The company would be called Ortega Cigars, and would be run solely by Eddie Ortega. Eddie wanted to keep his ties with the Pepin Family, which he had used for all cigars in the EO Brands, for his future lines of Ortega Cigars, and it was with them that he created the newest line, the Ortega Serie "D".

Crafted in the My Father Factory, this is the first line by Ortega Cigars. The cigar comes in two varieties, a Maduro and Natural version, and for this review I chose the Maduro version. The wrapper is one of my Maduro favorites, and it is a dark and gorgeous Maduro wrapper from Mexico San Andres. Underneath that is a blend of Nicaraguan tobacco from Jalapa and Esteli in the filler. All the cigars are box pressed in the line, and for this review I chose the robusto vitola, known as the #8. The cigar measures 5.5" with a 50 ring gauge is like a dark chocolate bar in hand. There are some veins present in the wrapper, and it is slightly oily. It is really a dark wrapper, and with that there is an amazing aroma of black pepper, spices, rich earth and cocoa. It is firm in hand, and the cold draw is perfect and flavorful.  
Mexican San Andres
 Lighting up the cigar I am immediately picking up tons of pepper notes. There are some major black pepper flavors present with it, and I am also getting some soft dark cocoa notes present as well. There are some spice flavors with the cigar and some definite wood notes present as well. I would say the strength of the cigar in the first third is at a medium full level, and it is a nice start to the cigar, and it is showing some strong Nicaraguan flavors and some solid San Andres, Mexico flavors also. There is a nice burn line with the cigar, and it is producing an ash that is holding on firm. There is a nice dark ash with the cigar, and it showing those great dark charcoal colors. There is a nice start to the first third, and I am interested to see where the cigar goes.   
First Third
 In the second third of the cigar there is a flavor profile that changes gradually, and the pepper notes have faded less and less with each puff. There are still some solid spice notes with the cigar, and it is showing those great wood notes from the first third. The cocoa notes are still slightly soft in this third, but there has been a nice rise in espresso notes in this third which has been a nice addition. I would say the strength level of the cigar is remaining at that medium full level, and it is a great strength level for me. The cigar is still burning very well, and it it is keeping that dark charcoal colored ash to the cigar which is lovely. It was a nice soft transition in flavors in the second third, and I am looking forward to the final third.
Second Third
I am in the final third of the cigar now, and the flavors have made some subtle changes, but it is still fairly similar to the second third. Those espresso notes have become more prominent in this third, and I would say there is some cocoa notes that are more prominent in this third as well. The wood and spice notes are still present and the pepper notes have faded more and more. There is a long finish to the cigar and it is producing a great amount of smoke. The cigar is still burning perfectly in this third, and it has been keeping that dark charcoal colored ash as well. The strength level of the cigar is remaining at that medium full level all the way to the end, and on the finish it is very cool and flavorful.     

Final Third
Two of my friends, who are also big cigar smokers have gotten into debates over this smoke, and it is not that anyone has negative thoughts on it, it is more the "positivity extreme areas" that the debates falls in. I enjoyed the flavor profile of the cigar from beginning to end, and thought it possessed a great strength level and was constructed wonderfully. From a smoking perspective it smoked great, and the presentation was wonderful as well. I think a lot of smokers would really enjoy this cigar, and I know a lot of Maduro fans would enjoy it as well. Would I say it is my favorite Maduro? No, but it is a solid Maduro and a great release. Is it my favorite San Andres Maduro wrapper? No, but it is definitely not the worst as well. I consider this a solid cigar, and would be a cigar I would recommend to many smokers. There was some nice subtle fluctuations in flavors from third to third, while not remaining too drastic. It is definitely a Maduro that smokers of all levels could enjoy, and I would smoke it again. I give this smoke a solid 90. I am interested to see how the Natural version compares, but overall I think it is a great first release for Eddie.    
Serie "D" #8 Maduro

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