|Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero|
Back in Februrary, we reported that a lancero vitola was being released around the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro blend. The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero made available as an event-only cigar for the 2013 DC Cigar Tweet-Up that was held this past March. Given that the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro line and that lancero vitolas both have a very loyal following, it was no surprise that this was a cigar that was going to be sought out by fans of both. I recently have had an opportunity to smoke the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero. Overall, I would agree that this is a cigar that will keep the loyal Ortega Serie D Maduro and Lancero factions happy.
The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro line was launched early in 2012 by was the first cigar for Eddie Ortega’s new Ortega Premium Cigars company. Many know Ortega from his days at EO Brands. Last year, Ortega left EO Brands to form his own company. The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro is a core line, regular production offering from Ortega’s company.
As mentioned above, the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero was only available at the DC Cigar Tweet-up. A ten cigar bundle was included with the purchase of the event package. Otherwise, there was no other way to purchase this cigar. There were 75 event packages made available online, so we know there was a minimum of 750 cigars produced for the event. At this time, there is no information available on whether the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero will be available again the future.
Let’s take a closer look at the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The following is the blend composition for the Serie “D” Maduro line. The assumption here is that Serie “D” Maduro Lancero is consistent with this blend. The cigar is blended by the Garcia family at the My Father Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: San Andres Mexican Maduro
Binder: Esteli, Nicaraguan
Filler Esteli/Jalapa Nicaraguan (Viso and Ligero)
The Lancero becomes the sixth frontmark that has been released in the line. The specific dimensions of the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero have not been disclosed. When we did some unofficial measurements of the length from beginning of the pig-tail cap to the footer, it appeared that the Ortega Serie “D” is slightly shorter than a traditional 7″ vitola.
|Length of the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro –
a little less than 7″?
Lancero: Not disclosed
No. 6: 4 1/2 x 48
No. 7: 5 x 46
No. 12: 5 x 52
No. 8: 5 1/2 x 50
No. 10: 6 x 52
No. 20: 6 x 60
The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero also is the first vitola in the Serie “D” Maduro line to not have a box-press shape.
The San Andres wrapper to the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero has a dark roasted coffee bean color. I would say this wrapper is much more oily than on the other vitolas in the core line. The surface of the cigar is slightly bumpy. The wrapper’s dark color does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. There are some visible veins on the wrapper. The cap has a slight pig-tail.
The band for the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero is the same as for the rest of the line. It features a combination of green, red, gold, and white coloring. The top part of the band has a red background, while the bottom half has a green background. The name “Ortega” is in white cursive-like font on a red background. In smaller white font and also on the red background is the text “Serie “D”. There is also gold trimming around the band.
Back when we assessed the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro, we discussed how this was one of the first cigars to feature a UPC code right on the back of the band. The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero does not have a UPC code, but this is because most likely because this cigar that was not intended to be sold at a retailer.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoking experience of the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero, I opted for a straight cut instead of removing the pig-tail directly. This is consistent to what I do with all cigars that have a pig-tail cap. Once the cap was clipped, it was time to begin the pre-light draw. The cold draw yielded notes of leather, roasted coffee, and a mild floral spice. Overall, I considered the pre-light draw to be satisfactory on the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero. At this time, I was ready to light up the cigar and see what the overall smoking experience would deliver.
While there were some parallels between the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero and the rest of the Serie “D” Maduro line, I did find the Lancero delivered its own smoking experience.
The start to the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero treated me to a pepper blast that is common with many of the cigars made by the Garcia family. As the pepper subsided, some roasted coffee notes emerged. These coffee notes eventually became the primary flavor. The pepper was a close second. I also detected some cream notes in the background.
In the second third, leather flavors took over as the primary note. The roasted coffee notes receded into the background with the pepper notes. I also detected a natural maduro sweetness in the background. This sweetness was different than the berry-like sweetness I got from the rest of the Serie “D” Maduro line.
Along the way, I did get a pungent spice on the finish of the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero. This didn’t surprise me as typically with San Andres wrappers, this can happen. Given the wrapper is playing a bigger role with the tobacco proportions in the lancero, I also was not surprised to get this flavor. The way the flavors hit my tongue, the pungent spice did get somewhat overwhelming at the expense of many of the other flavors.
The leather notes continued to be primary with the coffee, pepper, and natural maduro sweetness as secondary notes right until the end. The pungent spice also remained on the finish. There was some harshness toward the end of the cigar. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero is a well-constructed cigar. This is reflected in the burn and draw as both attributes scored very well. The burn line to the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero was straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight with a nice white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro Lancero|
The draw was excellent as well. It was not too loose, yet not too tight. This made the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero a very low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
The Ortega Serie “D” Maduro line is not one that is going to overpower you from a nicotine profile. I’ve found the Ortega Serie “D” Maduro line to fall into the medium range in terms of strength – and that is exactly where the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero falls. As for the depth of the flavors, this is a different story. I found the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero definitely has the most depth and body of any of the Ortega Serie “D” Maduros. I assessed the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero to be a full-bodied smoke.
When it comes to a balance between the strength and body attributes, I definitely give the edge to the body for this cigar. One can argue this cigar could have benefited from a slight boost of strength.
Everyone’s flavor palate is different and when the tobaccos touch your tongue, everyone is going to have a different sensation on what the end result is. The Serie “D” Maduro line has not been a line that has wow’d me from a flavor perspective. One reason I have been critical of San Andres wrappers is that there are times (not always) that it can overwhelm a blend. In the case of the Serie “D” Maduro Lancero I think the pungent spice came at the expense of the other flavors.
At the start of this assessment, I mentioned “this is a cigar that will keep the loyal Ortega Serie D Maduro and Lancero factions happy.” I stand behind that statement. This means if you fall into both of these categories, this will definitely be a cigar you seek out and smoke.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigar for this assessment was gifted to me by a friend – thanks JP.