Cigar Review: San Lotano Oval Maduro Toro

Cigar Review: San Lotano Oval Maduro Toro

San Lotano Oval Maduro Toro

Size: Toro (6 x 52)

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler:  Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic

Strength: Medium-full

Price:  $ 9 MSRP

Grade: 8.4

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One of the hazards of spending a week, or two, on a theme as we did with the Lil Monsters is that other sticks in the humidor get their review postponed.  Unfortunately, this was the case with today’s cigar, the San Lotano Oval Maduro.  The Oval Maduro has sitting in my humidor and slated for review for a few weeks now, I finally had a chance to smoke a few, and finally here it is.

 

 

A.J. Fernandez has been one of the shining stars of this industry for a while now with some excellent releases.  Last years release of the Oval really catapulted to the tope of a lot of smokers lists with its complex yet rich flavor profile.  The Natural Oval in the petite robusto Vitola is one of my go to smokes after Saturday breakfast. Needless to say I was quite excited when the Oval was released with a maduro wrapper a few months ago and this has been on my must  try list for a while.

Pre-Light:  (1.8) The Oval Maduro is wrapped in a beautiful dark San Andres Maduro wrapper with minimal veins, a wonderful chocolate brown mottling, and a soft box press creating the “oval” shape.  There is a secondary band which denotes the maduro wrapper. The principle band is identical to that on the natural.  There are no visible defects or flaws.  The caps were a bit large on the sticks I smoked for this review, I assume this to be necessary to accommodate the unique shape.

 

 

The scent off the foot smells of hay, earth, and a bit of sour barnyard.  The pre-light draw is fairly unremarkable with the aged tobacco coming to the forefront and hints of spice and pepper balancing it out.

Burn: (1.6)  The Oval Maduro takes to flame and produces a very nice, almost billowing smoke.  The resting smoke too, is quite noticeable.  The burn line is fairly crisp with a few stray spots at times.  The draw was a bit tight at times but not so much as to affect the quality of the smoke. The problem I had with the burn is that it required attention or it would get too light and I’d have to touch up or relight and I wasn’t smoking at a slow pace.

Flavor:  (2.5)  The first few puffs start off with a smooth blend of peppery spice balanced out with the sweetness we’ve all come to expect from a maduro wrapper.  The principle flavors I pick up are that of pepper, but different from the typical white or black pepper, that is so often tasted.

 

 

As the smoke progresses into the second third the flavor presents itself in a creamy mix of pepper and leather with hints of roasted coffee and just bit of sweetness which carries on the finish.  There is also an occasional nuttiness which carries through to the retro hale. The body is a very solid medium reaching in to full.

Smoking through the final third the nuttiness has disappeared and the pepper note takes the lead with the aforementioned flavors in the background.  The flavor really seems to lose a bit of its definition in the last third as they seem to blend together and lose their distinctiveness.  Through the final  third the nicotine has picked up and moved the San Lotano Oval Maduro into the realm of full bodied.

Overall: (2.5)  As I said in the opening I love the Oval in the natural wrapper, and had high expectations for the maduro as they are usually my wrapper of choice.  Unfortunately, the San Lotano Oval Maduro lacked the delicate nuance and complexity of it’s older sister.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad smoke, it just has a lot to live up to and for me it’s not quite there yet.  It seemed as if the Oval Maduro was a bit young and would certainly benefit from a little more rest.  I’m left wondering if moree rest will enable the flavors to meld a bit better and achieve more nuance.  I also wonder if the age, particularly of the wrapper, had anything to do with the burn issue.  I suspect the answer to both questions is likely to be yes.  Did I enjoy it, most certainly, yes.  Was I hoping for more, again, yes.  Will I be revisiting the San Lotano Oval again over the next few months, absolutely!

Total: 8.4

@WillyStyl