|El Tiante Habano Oscuro|
Last week, we assessed a cigar from El Tiante Cigars called the El Tiante Habano Rosado. If the name “Tiante” rings a bell, it is because of the connection with former major league pitcher Luis Tiant – best known for his years with the Boston Red Sox. A few years ago, Tiant and his son Daniel launched a cigar company called El Tiante Cigars. As a result of some changes, the original company was replaced by a new company, Tiant Cigar Group LLC. As a part of the new company, new blends were launched as well – including the El Tiante Habano Rosado. In this assessment, we will look at the other new blend released – the El Tiante Habano Oscuro. In my opinion, this is an outstanding cigar – and one that can be the anchor blend for the new-look El Tiante Cigars.
In a recent article in Cigar Aficionado, much of the reason for the changes with the cigars made by the Tiants was to give the company a more serious focus around cigars. As we mentioned in the review of the El Tiante Habano Rosado, the Tiants decided to team up with Don Pepin Garcia and the My Father Cigars’ factory.in order to make these new blends.
The El Tiante Habano Oscuro is a hidden gem that has originated from the Garcia family. Let’s take a closer look at this cigar.
Ecuadorian Seed Habano wrappers are a staple of the My Father lines. This tradition carries over into El Tiante cigars.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian-seed Habano Oscuro
The El Tiante Habano Oscuro is available in the same vitolas as the Habano Rosado.. They will be sold in boxes of 20.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Pyramid: 6 x 52
Toro Gordo: 6 x 60
For my cigar experience, I opted to go with the El Tiante Habano Oscuro Robusto – the same vitola that I assessed the Habano Rosado on it. The wrapper of the Habano Oscuro is a medium coffee bean colored wrapper. There are some darker spots on it. The wrapper is not too oily and has a bit of a rugged (bumpy feel to it). It also has some visible veins and wrapper seams. Overall, I’d say the wrapper has a toothy look. I always find a cigar with a more rugged look has a certain charm to it.
The banding for the El Tiante Habano Oscuro is very similar to the El Tiante Habano Rosado – except for the fact that the Habano Oscuro has a blue background. On the blue background there is an image of Cuba on it. The name “El Tiante” is front and center on the band in gold font. Under that name is “Habano Oscuro” in smaller font. There is more gold trim and design on the band as well. Toward the top is the number 229 (representing Tiant’s total Major League wins) in gold font. To the left and right of the center of the band are the numbers 23 and 75 respectively. Number 23 is represents Tiant’s old Red Sox number while number 75 represents the year the Red Sox went to the World Series. To the far right are the Cuban and American flags in a small circle with a gold T over it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Consistent with about 90 percent of the cigars I smoke, I opted for a straight cut through the cap of the El Tiante Habano Oscuro. Once I commenced with the pre-light draw, I was treated to a combination of mild chocolate and leather notes. Overall, I considered the flavors from the dry draw to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to fire this cigar up and see what the smoking experience would have in-store.
In terms of flavor transitions, I actually found the El Tiante Habano Oscuro had less than its Habano Rosado sibling. While I think the Habano Rosado produced very good flavor, the Habano Oscuro takes it to the next level.
The flavors from the initial draws of the El Tiante Habano Oscuro provided me with notes of leather, pepper, and oak. While I still got a decent amount of pepper at the start with this cigar, I got a much stronger “Garcia pepper blast” on the Habano Rosado. Still the pepper was present in this early stage of the cigar experience.
Around the ten percent mark, the leather notes morphed to more of a rich chocolate flavor. The pepper notes were still present, but played more of a secondary role. In fact, the pepper spice seemed to be prominent on the after-draw.
As the Habano Oscuro moved into the second half, the pepper spice moved more to a baker’s spice. It eclipsed the chocolate as the primary flavor note. The spice and chocolate flavors held until the end. The finish was spicy, but not harsh. The cigar provided an outstanding nub – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
El Tiante cigars are showing themselves to be of very high quality. Like the Habano Rosado, the Habano Oscuro gets very high marks. The burn was outstanding on this cigar. It burned sharp from start to finish with minimal touch-ups. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. The draw was equally outstanding. The Habano Oscuro was a cigar you can really enjoy puffing on because it had such a good draw.
Strength and Body
I found the Habano Oscuro to have just the right amount of power from a nicotine standpoint. Overall, I assessed this cigar to be on the higher end of medium strength. I found the flavor notes had some nice depth to them. I felt the flavors were in the medium to full-bodied range – falling just a little short of full-bodied. The strength and body attributes seemed to complement each other very nicely.
I can’t help but use a baseball analogy here to sum up this cigar – “home run” (I know Tiant was an American League pitcher a good chunk of his career). I said in my assessment of the El Tiante Habano Rosado that the Tiants deserve an enormous amount of credit in terms of the re-launching of the blends in their line. There is no doubt this has paid off. The El Tiante Habano Oscuro is an outstanding cigar. I’d recommend this to a novice enthusiast looking for something that is medium to full-bodied. Experienced smokers wanting a cigar with some nice robust flavors, but not overpowering will enjoy it. As for myself, this cigar is worthy of a box purchase.
Body: Medium to Full
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Cigar 1 Lounge just outside of Miami Florida.