Cigar Review: Ortega Serie “D” Natural No. 8
Ortega Serie “D” Natural no. 8
Size: Robusto (5 1/2 x 50 ) Box Pressed
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Esteli, Nicaragua
Filler: Esteli & Jalapa, Viso & Ligero
Price: TBD (pre-release sample)
“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. “
ToastedFoot.com would like to thank Eddie Ortega for providing friends of the ToastedFoot with a bundle of pre-release samples which allowed us to get our grubby little fingers on a few for this review.
But enough about that how’s it smoke?
Pre-Light: (1.8) The Serie D Natural, much like the Serie D Maduro, is a box pressed beauty. The Rosado wrapper is a light golden reddish brown with a lot of mottling. The band is identical to the band on the Serie D except for gold background, which is green on the original Serie D. The bar coded portion also indicates the natural version with the “NAT” abbreviation.
The wrapper visibly has a lot of veins but the box pressing has flattened them out. The color is mottled and the wrapper has a delicate feel to it. The box press is slightly rounded but it is firm to the touch with no soft spots. The cap is finished off with the typical triple cap (and is a bit cleaner on these samples than on the San Andres Maduros we reviewed).
The foot of the Serie D gives off an aroma of sweet hay with a nutty undertone. The prelight draw offers a dry grassy flavor.
Burn: (1.8) The Serie D Natural takes to flame quickly. The burn line starts off crisp but gets wavy periodically through the smoke. The draw on both samples I smoked was incredibly open despite my efforts to restrict it with a smaller “V” cut. The ash is pale grey with black ash interwoven throughout. While the ash does hold for the first inch, beyond that it is a bit flaky and doesn’t come off in picture perfect fashion. The ash does have a tendency to flower at times but it doesn’t fall off so no mess is made.
Flavor: (2.9) The Serie D Natural starts off with a very mild peppery spice that lays the undercoating for what’s coming. Then, as we get past the initial mild pepper, the flavors just take off. The Ortega Serie D Natural offers rich sweet flavors I can only describe as being reminiscent of butterscotch. It is really unique and really, really, good. There is a very mild cocoa that occasionally appears in the flavor profile. As rich and unique as the flavor is, the retrohale only serves to really bring out the flavors even more and really ramp them up.
Smoking through the second third I get lots more sweet tobacco flavor, butterscotch, almost a bit of tanginess, and that occasional hint of cocoa. Again there is a mild undercoating of peppery spice but it is very mild and is a welcome contrast to the sweet profile of the Serie D Natural.
Smoking through the final third the flavor profile continues to be a sweet, almost butterscotch flavor but I taste hints of red wine in the flavor and the retrohale is eerily reminiscent of cotton candy!
Overall: (2.9) I said previously “I absolutely love the Serie D” in the closing of my review of the Maduro. I think I may love the natural even more! The flavor is just so damn unique! The Ortega Serie D Natural offers a very unique,complex, creamy, sweet smoke that is only comparable to a few very super premium natural wrapped smokes, but the flavor on the Ortega Natural is so much richer and more pronounced.
I closed my review of the Ortega Maduro with the following: ” The Ortega Serie D no. 8 is going to be an early candidate for my top 10 of 2012 list.” , well the Natural version will be right there on the list, and maybe even higher!