Short Churchill...ish, 4.5" x 48 ring gauge / $6.50, MSRP
A little over a month ago Eddie Ortega (@eddieor) announced that he had formed his own company called Ortega Premium Cigars and that their first release was going to be called the Serie D. This cigar is made in the My Father factory and is comprised of fillers of viso and ligero from Esteli and Jalapa, a binder from Esteli and a San Andres maduro wrapper. They come in 5 sizes, the No.6 (4.5" x 48), the No.7 (5" ×46), the No.8 (5.5" ×50), the No. 10 (6" ×52 belicoso), and the No. 12 (5"×52) in 10 or 20 count boxes. I was really looking forward to giving this cigar a try since Eddie said it would be right up my alley. Eddie was kind enough to send me a sampler box with one of each size in it. I smoked 3 of them prior to the one I smoked for review (the last one I sent to Dave to try but unfortunately USPS destroyed it in transit).
The wrapper on this cigar was a deep, almost black, brown. There were some light flecks covering most of the wrapper. There were some medium veins along with some roughness, which is fairly typical of a Mexican wrapper. I did see a good amount of oils to it as well even though the cigars aren't packed in cellophane. The box press on the cigar wasn't as sharp as I've seen on other cigars, almost reminded me of the Oval. Ok, this is just a personal preference, but I'm just not feeling the Christmas colored band. To me it kind of clashes with the wrapper underneath. One more thing about the band is something I don't think I've seen before, the size and a barcode is printed on the end that shows since the cigars don't come in cello. Putting my nose to the wrapper I get a hint of cedar, with a slight amount of barnyard coming from the foot. When I gave the cigar a squeeze I got a slight amount of give but no soft spots. After clipping it and taking a cold draw on it I get notes of bitter cocoa with an ok draw.
Once I light the cigar up I get hit with a strong taste chocolate with a good amount of red pepper spice. After a few more puffs the spice starts building a bit especially on the retrohale. A little further in I started getting flavors of leather, earth with a slight amount of anise thrown in. The whitish ash held on for about a half an inch before needing to be tapped off. The draw was quite good and it produced a large volume of smoke. The burn line was pretty good too. I would classify this cigar at the upper end of medium at this point.
As I moved into the second third the spice started to die down in intensity to a point where it was subtly there. The flavors were pretty much the same as the first third, chocolate, leather, earth and a hint of anise and cinnamon. That isn't so say I wasn't enjoying it because I was, and it was helping me forget about the bank robbery and helos hovering down the street that I posted about on Twitter.
Once I moved into the final third the spice started ramping up a bit but wasn't overpowering. The flavors did change a bit I got some bbq meat along with the chocolate, leather and earth. The draw continued to be great, and the burn was slightly wavy but that was probably due to the wind gusting. I would classify this cigar at the upper end of medium.
Overall I really enjoyed this cigar. I know I'm not the first one to have this observation, but this cigar reminded me a lot of a Padron 1964 maduro with some Pepin spice thrown in. With the price of this cigar being about half the price of a Padron I will definitely be picking up more of them. On sort of a side note, I did enjoy the No. 8 and No 12 more than this size, but as always it is a preference thing. I highly recommend that if you can find this cigar pick up at least the sampler, you won't be disappointed.