Cigar Snapshot Podcast Episode 26 Ortega Cigars Serie D No. 7 Size: 5 x 46 Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa) About: Eddie Ortega first became known in the cigar industry as part of Epinosa & Ortega Cigar Company. The company quickly set itself apart with the introduction of such popular brands as 601, Murciélago, and Cubao. Now on his own with the newly formed Ortega Cigar Company, Eddie Ortega has once again set his sights on the industry, and has hit the ground running with his first release, and Ortega Serie D. Eddie had this to say about his company on the Ortega Cigars website: “At Ortega Cigar Co., we’ve made an uncompromising commitment to the quality and integrity of all our premium cigars; it is our guiding principle to all our valued customers. We use only the finest raw materials grown in south and Central America, particularly Nicaragua, and all cigars are masterfully blended and manufactured by experienced rollers in Estelí, Nicaragua. Each and every cigar has been slowly cured and aged to perfection, so you can expect some “characteristic personality” in each cigar you smoke, this is all part of the beauty and charm of all Ortega Premium had made cigars.” Pre-light: The San Andreas wrapper is a deep and dark brown, and has a little toothy texture. The construction of this box-pressed cigar seemed to be spot on. Upon close examination of the cigar, I found two defects worth noting. First, there was a slight tear in the wrapper on the seam near the foot. It wasn’t major, but nonetheless significant enough to warrant a mention. Second, the application of the cap to the cigar seemed to be a little haphazardly attached. It seemed like only half of the cap was glued down, and the other half sat loose over the head – it looked kind of like a baseball cap sitting on someone’s head that was a few sizes too big. I was able to work around this easily, and cut the cap without any ill effects. AROMA: The prelight aroma was very unassuming. There was a slight hint of bitter chocolate along with some straight tobacco notes. At the foot of the cigar, there was a slight perfumy and floral combination. TASTE: The prelight taste was very interesting. I got some very distinct black tea flavors, along with some heavier top soil earthiness. 1/3: The heavy earthy flavors from the prelight carried right over to the initial flavors that hit me right when I lit the cigar. There was a slight green-grass like edge to the profile, along with some distinct pistachio nut flavors. The draw was just a touch tight for my personal preference, but still well within the tolerances of what would be considered a normal and acceptable draw. The ash was light gray in color with a darker gray core, and was moderately flaky. 2/3: The deep earthy flavors continued, with the addition of some smooth leather flavors, and there were also some coffee notes at the front of my mouth. I was still able to detect a hint of the grassy edge in the flavor profile, and it was a little bit more noticeable in the retrohale. The draw opened up a touch, and the smoke production increased a fair amount as well, and that is saying a lot because this cigar produced a decent amount of smoke at the beginning. 3/3: In the final third, the earthy flavors mellowed out a touch, and I was left with a tasty mix of bitter chocolate, coffee, and leather. There was also the addition of a very slight spicy note on my lips. This was not an overwhelming spiciness at all, it was actually just the right amount to provide an interesting counterbalance to the flavor profile. As the final third came to an end, the flavors did intensify a bit, though not nearly as much as I would have expected. Overall: This is a fine first offering from Ortega Cigars. The cigar was full-flavored and medium-bodied, with some deep character. If you enjoy cigars that have more of an “in your face” type of profile, you should like these. The hearty earthy character that stuck with this cigar really gave it a solid baseline, and it was never lacking in neither flavor nor body. .