Ortega Serie D
So I’ve seen Eddie Ortega all over the internet in the last couple of months. He literally advertises on every cigar website that I come across. He’s definitely got his name out there. So when I went to my local B&M to see what they had picked up and brought back from the big show a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t surprised when I saw a nice line of Ortega cigars. Previously they had not carried Eddie’s cigars. I’m not exactly sure why. The store manager was incredibly happy to be carrying them though. He kept telling me I’ve gotta try them so I picked a couple up just to get him to leave me alone in the humidor, just kidding (but not really).
I remember hearing news of a recent Ortega Serie D release but the the manager assured me these weren’t knew. When I got home I checked it out and it was indeed a new release but with a Natural wrapper. I picked up the Maduro wrapper. So in the end we were both right, and that made my ego feel better. So boo ya!
After an incredibly exhausting weekend this was my victory cigar. I moved in to my fiance’s house this weekend which is awesome, but man, I freaking hate moving. The only thing I could think of when moving my washer and dryer down two flights of stairs is… “I can’t wait to have a victory cigar!” By the time I got done moving stuff Saturday I was too tired to eat… ok that’s a lie I ate a ton of food that night. But I was too tired to smoke a cigar. So I decided to wait until the next evening. Now that you read the preface to this review and you’re completely bored lets get into the review and wake you back up!
From first glance the Ortega Serie D looks a bit rustic. The wrapper is nice and dark, but its not smooth like you would find on a Connecticut broadleaf. It is rugged and somewhat veiny. I’m not turned off by it whatsoever. It adds character to the cigar for me. Its almost saying, hey man I’ve been through some stuff and came out on the other side, now freaking smoke me! I imagine the cigar talks with a nice Clint Eastwood scratchy voice, and I listen when that guy talks.
The band on this cigar looks great. I’m actually a big fan of it despite the font used in the brand name Ortega. It’s a very similar font that is used with the Aging Room cigar. I already went off on my rant on that post so I’ll spare you this time. The red and green colors work really well on this band. My initial instinct is Christmas! Yay Christmas in August with new cigars to smoke. After some pondering I’m assuming it’s some sort of homage to Mexico because this cigar does come in a Mexican Maduro wrapper. It actually makes me think of this movie that’s always playing on TBS, “The Red, the White, and the Green” am I the only one that’s seen this movie? Probably. Maybe I’m wrong here, maybe Eddie Ortega just likes Green and Red? Just my guess, either way it’s a great looking band!
The foot of the Ortega Serie D is a little peculiar. It looks like the wrapper was left to show just a bit of the binder. It’s interesting because I’ve seen this done before and I can’t remember what cigar it was. I had a conversation with the manufacturer though and they said they do it on purpose to make it stand out a bit. Or at least that’s what I remember him saying. At first it’s a little offsetting I was like did they mess up making this stick? Then I took a look at a couple of the other ones and realized that 1) they are supposed to look like this or 2) someone messed up a whole box of cigars and is now unemployed. I’m gonna vote for #1!
With the rustic look of this cigar, I can only hope it smokes well. I think that would really tie it together well and hopefully make for an overall great cigar. I took out my trusty V cutter and removed a chunk from the head. The cold draw on this Ortega Serie D is fantastic. Very easy to draw with zero resistance. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great smoke. I checked the barrel up and down to make sure there weren’t any soft spots on the barrel. (I probably should have done that before the cold draw, but oh well I did it now)
While smoking this cigar I convinced my fiance to take a drag without the cigar being lit. She’s never smoked before so I’m slowly introducing her to the idea. I think she kinda liked it. Or she could have just been trying to convince me she liked it. Either way it worked. I was explaining to her all the different parts of the cigar and why I do the cold draw and everything. She knows I write this blog and she totally supports me which is nice, so I figured I’d try and introduce her to a couple of ideas and what it is exactly that I do out there smoking cigars.
I go to light up the Ortega Serie D and while I’m toasting the foot I explain to her the importance of it. She’s just rushing me to try and finish lighting it so she can borrow my Xikar lighter to light the citronella candle … Women… Don’t worry she probably stopped reading after the first paragraph. The foot took a little longer than usual to get toasted and burning. Maybe I was talking too much and not getting the flame close enough, either way. I got it lit and got the cigar to smoking which is a fairly essential part of the process if you ask me.
I know I’ve referenced it before, but every time I start writing this section I always think of the movie “Dances with Wolves” and the line “How does it smoke?”… I always chuckle to myself a little and people look at me funny, but it’s ok because I think it’s pretty damn funny. Anywho, the Ortega Serie D, smokes real good! Seriously, the draw on this cigar is perfect and it allows you to take in a nice drag and really roll the smoke around on the inside of your mouth.
The first third I had a little bit of an issue with the an uneven burn. After my careful explanation and toasting of the foot to my fiance I told her it was essential to help keep the cigar from burning unevenly. Like I said, apparently I didn’t do a very good job. I only touched up the burn once though. So Nothing to be alarmed about.
The smoke that comes off the Ortega Serie D is incredible. It’s a thick grayish smoke. I let it roll out of my mouth very slowly and I could barely see in front of me. I felt pretty cool, I asked my fiance if I looked cool and she didn’t respond so I can only imagine how awesome I looked.
I was actually surprised at how quickly this cigar smoked. I felt like I was only smoking for an hour or so but I burned this thing down to the nub pretty quickly. The longest ash that it held was around 1 inch. Then I was trying to take a picture to prove to you all and I lost the ash. Oh well, let me tell you what, the fiance didn’t approve of that. I had to make quick work of the ash on the porch before she started yelling. I smoked this thing down the nub without any other problems. The construction on this stick was incredible and it make for a great celebratory burn after a long weekend of moving.
Smooth and balanced, thats what this cigar tasted like. To me it was hard to pick out distinct flavors from the Ortega Serie D. I can tell you it was smooth, incredibly smooth. It began with a creamy texture that finished with a little backend pop of spice to excite your tastebuds. Nothing incredibly overwhelming, all the flavors just kinda melded together into a great tasting cigar.
On the cold draw I was able to pick up slight sweetness to the leaf, something similar to molasses with a bit of chocolate. A semi-strong spice on the aroma that tickled my nasal cavity as well. Once the cigar was lit it took a turn towards creamy and smooth. Not quite like those commercials of Twix candy bars, but something close to that. I loved the blend on this it was very well done and stayed consistent all the way through.
The final third I feel like it really hits its stride. The cigar didn’t become bitter and I think the flavor actually improved on the Ortega Serie D. I’m used to cigars becoming worse towards the end, but I was left wanting more at the end of the cigar which to me is always a good thing!
Would I Buy It Again?
Without a doubt, it’s very hard to beat this price point on a great cigar. Hopefully you’re local B&M got ahold of some of these at the show.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
I think it could be, it’s a very medium-full bodied cigar that doesn’t put a hurting on you and is incredibly easy to smoke.
Would I Buy a Box?
If I had room in my humidor I think I might. Especially at this price point it would be hard to turn it down.
The Ortega Serie D is a great medium-full bodied cigar. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this cigar was. I think Eddie has a huge hit on his hands. Hopefully more B&M’s can get ahold of these sticks. I know once the word gets out on the them they won’t stay on the shelves for very long. At this price point it compares very favorably to other cigars in the $10+ range. So if you can find some make sure to go pick up a couple I know you won’t be disappointed!