Recently I was turned on to a newer brand, looking to make a splash in 2015 with two releases out of Nicaragua known as Ohana. Ohana is the brand, Ryan Rodriguez is the owner, and the cigars are being made at Plasencia with some seriously aged tobaccos. Rodriguez has two blends he is releasing March 21st at UG Fest, the first annual cigar festival put on by Underground Cigar Shop and Lounge in Fort Worth, Texas. The Friends and Family blend was the first cigar I chose to review, simply because I tend to gravitate to lighter wrapped cigars, and Rodriguez had described it as mild to medium in body.This blend is a Nicaraguan Puro, all tobacco aged 7-10 years, with a Habana Rosado wrapper. Four sizes will be available, with 3,000 of the toro, and 4,000 more of the perfecto, short robusto, and corona gorda, as the limited tobacco supply could only produce approximately 8,000 cigars. Once these releases are gone, Rodriguez said he will not be making them again, due to the lack of tobacco. Pricing for the cigars are said to be in the $10-12 range depending on size. I will detail blend info of the Sun Grown Criollo in my next review, known as the First Generation.
Wrapper: Habana Rosado Nicaragua
Dry Draw: smooth, fruit, nuts
First Third: I felt like I was sitting in Angel’s Stadium, waiting for Trout to come to the plate, and some vendor just smashed my face with a bag of roasted peanuts. Baseball and peanuts go hand in hand, and the Ohana Habana Rosada was a roasted peanut bomb. The draw, nose, and finish all rounded out nicely with the peanut notes coating the tongue, with a distinct aroma in the nose. The fruit notes I detected on the dry draw were huge, creating another distinct note. My notepad was trying to decide if the Ohana was a fruit bomb, or a peanut bomb, as both flavors were going to war a la Ali versus Frazier on my palate. The nuts calmed down a bit, and my tongue became coated with fruity sweetness, and cherry notes.
Second Third: The fruit bomb continued to take over, as the peanuts took a backseat, much like Ali did after the first three rounds of their legendary fight. Burnt toffee arrived, an evolution of the initial nutty flavor combining with the sweetness. By the midpoint, the Ohana was less rich, with more spice settling in, cinnamon specifically. I swear at times the Friends and Family reminded me of my breakfast cereal, this oat graham nut berry healthy crap I eat with almond milk daily.
Final Third: The spice was creeping up the tongue, but not back of mouth or on the retrohale. I felt some ligero kicking in really, and a creamy clove flavor hit the palate. The fruit notes were still there, suggesting fruit Frazier was going the distance against peanut Ali. The Friends and Family was well balanced by now, with a bouquet of complexity, including the fruit notes, clove, peanuts, with no palate burn whatsoever. The Ohana is obviously blended with excellent tobacco. The creamy clove flavor continued as the main flavor shift, and kicked some spice on the lips right at the nub.
Construction: Nothing major to report
Final Thoughts: Box Purchase– 94. The Ohana Friends and Family blend will most definitely be in my top ten cigars for 2015. Even though we are young in the year, I cannot imagine many cigars will surpass this blend. I feel like the Friends and Family will appeal to many palates, specifically Habanos smokers and medium smokers like myself. However, there was enough body and spice at the end, I would not be surprised if fans of fuller bodied cigars are attracted to the Ohana blend. The balance and finish are undeniable really, and the mark of excellent tobacco. I love it when a cigar can deliver clean spice notes that do not cause palate burn, or leave a nasty taste in the back of my mouth. This is a box buy easy, if not boxes of multiple sizes if they are ten count really. The Ohana represents the evolution of Nicaraguan blending, from overpowering palates for the sake of power, to delivering full flavor, body, and balance with unique tobacco flavors akin to Nicaragua and a fantastic finish. Hats off to Rodriguez and crew for putting out such a fantastic first blend.