I always hate that I rarely get home in time to watch Cigar Chat, but when I do, it always seems like I get excited for a new cigar, and the Cult Ometepe was one of those blends that intrigued me after catching Chris the owner on Cigar Chat. It seems like the medium blends coming out of Nicaragua that excite me either have Corojo or Ometepe involved in the blends, and lately I have freaked out over several blends that employ the volcanic tobacco. So as the show progressed, I was freaking out about the Ometepe blend from Cult Cigars and one of the FedHeds, Harley Holmes, saw my posts and decided to tip me an Ometepe during a gig at a local brewery. I have talked to several blenders about Ometepe, and it seems like most feel that is a hard tobacco to blend with, but once you get the balance down with it, it adds an unmistakable flavor. Many seem akin to comparisons with Cuban tobacco, so it makes sense I am attracted to the flavors of Ometepe. However, I feel that Ometepe is significantly different and unique in it's own right and can compete with Habanos when blended right. I do not know if the binder and filler are all Ometepe, but I am intrigued to say the least as I have not had a cigar that employed it as the binder. So to say I was excited to get to this cigar is an understatement, as I jump at the chance to try new cigars with this tobacco.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Dry Draw: tea, cinnamon
First Third: Ometepe, I love you… No seriously, from first puff, I love you like a high school kid getting his first taste of honey. Plenty of peanuts hit me right off the bat with a rich medium profile. The finish was very light with no pepper or cedar. The Ometepe reminded me of a candy bar at times, but with the sugar. Hints of milk chocolate or cocoa powder added to the mix as I neared the second third. The finish in the back of my mouth developed the tea note long after the peanut and cocoa notes on the draw.
Second Third: The draw was still rich with flavor, and the combination of nuts and cocoa remind me of a Snickers. The retrohale had a wonder bite that was not overpowering, but strong enough to grab my attention and complimented the peanut notes. The finish was very long at this point, and the peanut note lasted for an eternity. As I neared the middle, I really felt like it had moved to a toffee flavor, with the milk chocolate flavors big as well. As I neared the end, an uneven burn had begun to mar the flavors a bit.
Final Third: I had been getting some tar flavors for a bit, and it finally took over the cigar at this point. The Ometepe had started burning uneven on one side about an inch in. The burn could not correct itself, and after several relights, I had to put it down as the rich profile was gone.
Construction: Well, I did get a bum stick, but the first two thirds were excellent, and I know it happens from time to time. Given the excellence in blending, I would not hesitate to buy a fiver.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed the cigar, even though it had construction issues. The profile was good enough that I will be buying a fiver and possibly a box in the future. I am very impressed with the balance and blend itself, so I see no reason to let a dud prevent me from buying again. I would recommend this to anyone interested in trying the Ometepe tobacco, as it seems to me they tend to have a real nutty and rich profile. It is a must try for the medium bodied fan, and I think most Habanos fans will like it as well, although I think I would prefer a smaller ring gauge, which they do not offer unfortunately. Full bodied enthusiasts may not find the spice and cedar they are accustomed to, but the full flavor will catch everyone's attention. Thanks to Harley for the cigar, I cannot wait to try the rest of the line now after this.