Thursday, April 29, 2010

Omar Ortiz Natural Review

Size: 6.12” X 52
Shape: Belicoso
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

After another long working weekend, I finally got to sit back in my smoking chair next to the window to enjoy a leisurely smoke, and today, the Omar Ortez Belicoso was there to provide it. I liked the way it was presented: very straight forward with a small band at the foot, allowing the cigar to speak for itself. What I like in particular about this band, is that it allows for a surprise when you remove it. The filler of this cigar is darker than the wrapper, providing some interesting visual impact. Even though the filler is darker than the wrapper, the wrapper is not light by any means; it is dark, oily, and toothy with a few veins in it which, admittedly, were lighter in color than the rest of the leaf.

When I ran the cigar under my nose, I experienced wafts of creamy leather and light pepper. The prelight draw was nice and open, offering flavors similar to the scents.

When I lit this guy up, I got a peppery punch in the face. For a moment I thought someone might’ve rolled this cigar with black pepper! Fortunately, the intensity of the pepper thinned out very quickly, giving way to much more delectable flavors.

Throughout the smoke, I experienced varying degrees of leather, caramel, earth, and coffee with sweet compost and spice experienced mostly through the nose. The cigar ramped up a bit towards the middle and the end, and the room began to wobble by the time I’d put the stick down.

I found this cigar to be absolutely delicious all the way through. Even though the overall experience is relatively straight forward, the flavor profile is deep and exquisite, providing a lot to keep any smoker interested. The price for these Nicaraguan Puros is also excellent, especially considering that these tasty power houses come in chests of 60 and are of extremely high quality. I’d call this cigar a full bodied diamond in the rough. Another? Yes please!

Presentation: 7/10 – This is tough for cigars which are deliberately left bare, but the band at the foot is simple, attractive, and efficient. I also enjoy how it masks your ability to see the filler before removing it. It provides a nice surprise when you discover that the filler is darker than the wrapper.

Appearance: 6/10 – An overall attractive cigar. However, it did have some inconsistency in the coloring of the wrapper, being lighter near the leaf’s veins. There were also two spots where small patches of the wrapper had chipped off.

Construction: 33/40 – I found the construction of this cigar to be pretty good. The cigar smoked with little effort, indicating an open draw. The burn was a bit uneven at times and I had to touch it up twice, but after the second touch up it burned much more evenly.

Flavor: 37/40 – The flavor of this cigar was where it really shone. The profile was consistent and complex throughout, never becoming bitter or unpleasant.

Overall: 83/100 – I really enjoyed the flavors that this cigar brought to the table and the complexity that these flavor combinations created. It’s tough to make a cigar which allows a smoker to experience so much range on their palate from sweet caramel to coffee, leather, earth, compost and spice. This cigar is very successful and I have yet to find one of its caliber in its price range.

A note about Omar Ortez Cigars:
The Omar Ortez line of cigars is made by Altadis and comes packaged in chests of 60.

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