Logan made sure to take me over and introduce me to Eddie Ortega last year at IPCPR, and I must say, he was one of the more interesting cats I met at the show. We had a very candid discussion one morning, and Eddie handed me a few mini’s and a Cubao. Recently I realized I had never reviewed any of his sticks, other than the mini’s, so I took advantage of a CFed sale with my buddy Harley and grabbed some of the Ortega Serie D No. 7 from him when he scored a box. Personally, I love 46 ring gauge, and I remembered a conversation I had with him during a Cigar Chat once where he mentioned he did as well. So it makes sense to me to always grab the ring gauge the blender likes, especially if I love it as well.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Esteli, Nicaragua
Filler: Esteli & Jalapa, Viso & Ligero
Dry Draw: subtle hints of raisins, spice
First Third: The Ortega D maduro did not come out of the gates with a bang; rather, slowly pulled me into the profile like with a tractor beam of depth. The finish was definitely on the dry side, and a pair may make it shine. Espresso was the main ingredient as the D got moving, with spices and cedar lingering in the background. I would say I experienced some chocolate undertones as well, along with creamyness on the draw, and maybe the raisin note I detected in the dry draw.
Second Third: The California raisins showed up to do a jig on my palate. The raisin note finally kicked in with the espresso. The raisin note was not so much the burst you get when biting into one, more the aftertaste left in your mouth when you eat them. The profile overall mellows, and the raisin not began to bang on the retro. The finish had dramatically improved from good, to James Brown Super Bad.
Final Third: The retro has moved to mostly spice, which was very mild really. The draw picked up a sugary quality that was reminding me of cookies. The cocoa and espresso were gone at this point, with the sugar, spice, and raisin bringing the funk jams to die for.
Final Thoughts: This is an awesome cigar, and really is a box buy. I rarely smoke maduro, as some of you know, so when I do, I am a bit picky and I grab Padron Anniversary. The Ortega D Maduro is something I think with age will smoke as good as all the crazy expensive maddy’s I have. It makes sense the lancero has made so many lists, and why this brand has received so much acclaim from reviewers. The first third was a little dry and full for me, but it was never harsh, and I know with a little rest, will settle right where I like it. Once the changes started taking place, it was divine. When you consider the price, this is a no brainer recommendation to all smokers, and is something I would carry if I owned a shop. Shoutout to Harley, since I still owe him a few cigars since we did the trade. I cannot wait to get more in different sizes before I buy a box to enjoy for a long time.