I’ve been looking forward to trying a few sticks of this cigar ever since Eddie Ortega announced that he was releasing it sometime around mid-February or early March. As many of you who know of Eddie Ortega (the man behind EO Brands, makers of 601, Murcielago, Cubao and Mi Barrio together with Erik Espinosa), it’s not surprising that his cigars were highly sought after despite having only a limited number of resellers. Thankfully I got my hands on a few sticks and had the pleasure of enjoying one yesterday. Here’s my review.
- Cigar size: 5 x 50
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Price: $6.55 online
A rich, dark chocolate-colored wrapper envelops the cigar’s body and gives it an impressively rustic look. It’s so dark that it basically can be called an oscuro. The wrapper has minimal veining, and despite its lack of toothiness, there’s something interesting about its oily sheen; it’s as if it’s coated with a very thin layer of silk-like coating that glistens in direct sunlight. I didn’t even notice it until I held the cigar under sunlight while enjoying Portland’s 60-degree Spring weather.
The Serie D is also a box-pressed cigar. However, its body doesn’t have that soft spongy feel typical with box-pressed vitolas. In fact, it’s actually quite solid. I was worried that this might affect the cigar’s draw but surprisingly, its draw was just a tad tighter than expected.
Roasted nuts and a sweet chocolate note comes off the cigar’s foot while a scent of fermented tobacco comes off its body. The same notes of roasted nuts also come through the cold draw, but there’s a distinct combination of meaty flavors as well.
Coffee and pepper essentially dominate the cigar’s flavor profile during the first few minutes of the smoking experience. The combination seems a bit untamed, but it eventually settles down and reveals an interesting added combination of leather and very faint cherry flavors in a long finish. Chocolate and nutty flavors also join the mix around the last part of the first third.
The same combination of coffee, dark chocolate, leather and nuts basically carry through the second third of the cigar. Spicy flavors are still also quite prominent particularly during the finish. Not much else remains of the cherry flavor that I detected during the first part of the stick.
A heavier version of the same flavors are also present in the last third. However, there’s also a meaty component that gets tossed in the flavor profile. At this point I’m starting to feel a slight nicotine kick; definitely a medium to full cigar in terms of strength and body. The spice is now more nuanced, but it still makes its presence known.
The Ortega Serie D No. 8 starts off with a beautiful burn line that continued on until the end of the cigar. While it was a bit janky from time to time, it easily corrected itself and didn’t present any problems. Its white ash was also pretty good, falling well within the second third of the stick. It could have held on longer if it weren’t for the wind knocking it off, but it proves its firmness nonetheless. Its smoke profile was also quite pleasurable and very billowy all the way until the end.
Eddie Ortega’s Serie D No. 8 is such a delightful cigar to smoke that I can easily see myself enjoying one on a near-daily basis, or at least have it be part of my usual rotation of favorite cigars. There’s enough complexity and sophistication in its flavors to please most smokers, and there’s a lot to appreciate as far as its overall burn profile is concerned. Add to the fact that this is quite an affordable stick and we got ourselves a top-shelf cigar.