Cigar Review: Ortega Serie “D” Maduro No. 8

Cigar Review: Ortega Serie “D” Maduro No. 8

Ortega Serie “D” no. 8

Size: Robusto (5 1/2 x 50 ) Box Pressed

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro

Binder: Esteli, Nicaragua

Filler: Esteli & Jalapa, Viso & Ligero

Strength: Medium

Price: $6.90 msrp

Grade: 9.3

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The Ortega Cigar Company was founded in 2012 by Eddie Ortega, formerly the “O” in EO Brands, makers of 601, Cubao, and Murcielago.  In early 2012 Eddie left EO Brands to launch Ortega Cigars and the Serie D is their first release.  Like the EO brands, the Serie D is crafted at the My Father Factory under the watchful eye of Don Pepin and Jaime Garcia.  The Serie D is a small batch production with a limited number of retailers in order to maintain the brands quality and limited production levels.  Ortega Serie D is available in 10 & 20 ct. boxes.

But enough about that how’s it smoke?

Pre-Light:  (1.8) The Serie D is a box pressed beauty with a dark Maduro wrapper with a bit of marbling.  The band is traditional with the Ortega signature and product line in white over a red background with red and green trim.  The Serie D also has a bar code on the label, something I’m sure retailers appreciate and it suprises me a little bit we don’t see more often.

The wrapper has some tooth and a few veins.  The box press is slightly rounded on the no. 8.  The no. 8 is firm to the touch with no soft spots. The cap looks  just a bit sloppy, but it gives a very rustic appearance to the cigar.  The foot of the  Serie D gives off a rich barnyard aroma with a sweet hay underneath.  The prelight draw has a wet hay taste to it.

Burn: (1.8)  The Serie D takes to flame quickly.  The burn line is crisp at first.  Through the course of smoking the burn line occasionally gets wavy.  The ash is predominantly pale grey with some black ash interwoven throughout.   The ash does have a tendency to flower at times but it doesn’t flake off and ash at my typical one inch intervals.

Flavor:  (2.8) The Serie D starts off with a pleasant pepperyspice that coats the palette.  This is not the typical Pepin spice, as its quite a bit more mild and very well balance with the smooth profile of the smoke.  Shortly into the smoke a note of dry bakers cocoa emerges and doesn’t leave. 

Before the beginning of the second third the spice gets more mild and becomes the platform for the other notes to harmonize.  Notes of dry bakers cocoa, espresso bean, and an occasional note that I can best describe as a hint deep red wine treat the palette.  The rerohale really brings out the cocoa and espresso notes.

The flavors don’t transition much from the second to the final third but they really don’t need to.  The smoke is rich, thick, and chewy with defined and very well balanced notes cocoa, espresso bean, and the occasional red wine note all on the mildly spicy platform.

Overall: (2.9)  I absolutely love the Serie D.  I have smoked at least two boxes worth of the Serie D since they came out and simply can’t get enough. I have smoked each size and they are all really good, The first few I smoked were the no. 6.  I’ve already burned through my box of 7’s.   I’ve had the 10’s and 12’s as well.  After smoking the entire line I think the flavors of cocoa, espresso bean, and the red wine are more defined in the no 8. and the no. 12.

Let me add this, while I don’t typically talk about price in my reviews, it is amazing to me that Ortega Cigar Co. has released such a complex, balanced, flavorful, quality premium cigar and delivered it at a price point that makes it much more available as an everyday smoke or to the smoker who wants super premium quality at a more pocket friendly price.  The Ortega Serie D no. 8 is going to be an early candidate for my top 10 of 2012 list.  Kudos to you, Eddie.

Total: 9.3

@WillyStyl