|Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 – Tony the Boss|
The Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Tony the Boss Enforcer marks the fourth installment in a monthly series of cigars being developed by Ortega Premium Cigars. The Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series is a unique limited production cigar concept that was introduced by Ortega Premium Cigars. The concept behind the Ortega Wild Bunch is to dedicate a cigar to various cigar enthusiasts whom company president Eddie Ortega has personally met during his time in the cigar industry. During 2013, each month a different cigar – in a different size and blend will be released as a tribute to these various people. The Tony the Boss Enforcer marks the April 2013 release. One thing that has been a consistent in the Ortega Wild Bunch series is that each cigar has been different from one another and brings a unique flavor. While Tony the Boss also brings its own unique spin and is a quality smoke, it has some big shoes to fill when standing up against the first three releases of the series.
At press time, the following are the names confirmed for the first nine months of the Ortega Wild Bunch series. Currently the series looks as follows:
January: Big Bad John “Jackhammer”
February: Iron Mike “I Beam”
March: Island Jim “WaHoo”
April: Tony “The Boss”
May: Dandy McCoy “Empire State”
June: Honest Abe “Ringmaster”
July: Wild Bill
August Fast Eddie
September: Gearhead Gary
The inner part of the box that houses this cigar eads as follows to describe the character of “Tony the Boss”:
He is not called the “Boss” for nothing. Tony grew up in the mean streets of New Jersey, Newark to be exact. Tony is a low key guy, he keeps to himself but enjoys hanging with the boys at the neighborhood club.
Tony is a ladies man, when not hanging with the boys you can find him smoking his favorite cigar and sipping his favorite whisky Johnnie on the rocks.
Let’s take a closer look at the Tony the Boss Enforcer and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Like the other installments of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013, the Tony the Boss Enforcer is made by the Garcia Family at the My Father Cigars’ factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. This uses an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper – which also was the wrapper of choice for the Island Jim WaHoo (Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 March installment).
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Rosado
As mentioned above, each monthly release of the Wild Bunch is a unique blend in a different vitola. There is one vitola per blend. The official name for the vitola of the Tony the Boss is called “Enforcer”. The cigar itself is a churchill measuring 7 1/2 x 49. Of the four Ortega Wild Bunch releases at press time (January – April 2013), the Tony the Boss Enforcer was the longest in length (7 1/2) and thinnest in ring gauge (49).
The cigars are packaged 20 per box. The plan is for 500 boxes of Tony the Boss Enforcer to be produced – consistent with the other blends in the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013.
While both the Tony the Boss and Island Jim installments of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series both use The Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper, they look very different. This is because tobacco wrappers can vary despite being from a similar seed. In this case, the Tony the Boss Enforcer had more of a medium brown color as opposed to the Island Jim’s milk chocolate look. The wrapper to the Tony the Boss had some oil on it. It had several visible wrapper seams and visible veins – giving the wrapper a somewhat rustic look. I’d also categorize the wrapper of Tony the Boss being slightly bumpy as well. Overall the rustic and bumpy look gave the cigar some charm. There was a nice farmyard aroma coming from the wrapper. On a couple of the samples there were some soft spots by the footer, but this played no adverse effect on the cigar experience.
As with the other installments of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013, the band of the Tony the Boss is highlighted by an illustration of the “Tony the Boss” character done by Neal Wollenberg. Wollenberg also did the art work for the boxes.
The rest of the band is similar to the layout of the other bands in the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series. To the left of the illustration is the text “TABACOS ORTEGA, HECHO A MANO” in white font on gold background. Below that is the text “Premium Ortega Cigars” in white font on a red background. On a third row is the text “GRUPO SALAJE – THE WILD BUNCH” – also in white font on a gold background. To the right of the illiustration is the text 4 of 12″ in white font on a gold background. Below that is a white “12” that is circled in white on a (darker) red background. Toward the bottom of the band it says “Tony the Boss” in white font on a black background. Finally, the band is surrounded by black trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my cigar experience of the Tony the Boss Enforcer, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap was successfully clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw flavors yielded a combination of natural tobacco, pepper, and a sweetness that I could not really draw an analogy for. Overall, I considered the pre-light experience to be satisfactory for this cigar. At this point, I was ready to light up the Tony the Boss and see what the smoking experience to bring to table.
The start to the Tony the Boss Enforcer yielded a combination of pepper and natural tobacco flavors. The pepper notes quickly morphed to more of a baker’s spice where it remained this way for the remainder of the cigar experience. A raisin flavored sweetness soon surfaced and joined the baker’s spice in the forefront. The raisin and natural tobacco notes transitioned multiple times between being primary and secondary flavors. The baker’s spice remained a primary flavor. As for the retro-hale, there was some spice that I detected, but it also had a bit of a mesquite/smoky quality to it.
In the second third, the flavor profile above continued with some changes. First up a unique flavor that seemed to be a combination between a milky and chalky note surfaced in the background. There also were some hints of chocolate in the second third – also more of a secondary note.
The last third of the Tony the Boss saw the raisin sweetness and baker’s spice as the primary flavors. The milk/chalky flavor and natural tobacco notes receded to background flavors. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The end of the cigar was flavorful and was not harsh. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, the Tony the Boss Enforcer scored well. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish and didn’t require any major touch-ups. The cigar itself did produce a lot of smoke along the way. The resulting ash was firm and had a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Tony the Boss was outstanding. It had a touch of resistance to it – and that is something I like in a draw. This made the Tony the Boss a very easy cigar to smoke.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I would not categorize the Tony the Boss Enforcer as a nicotine bomb. I assessed the this cigar to be a medium strength cigar. As for the depth of the flavors, Tony the Boss starts out as medium to full-bodied. It remains like that for the first half before picking up just enough depth to qualify for full-bodied in the second half.
One point that I have not made since starting to review the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series is what an enormous undertaking Ortega Premium Cigars has done with this series. This series has involved building 12 blends and bringing them to market. Not to mention, distributing a new release on a monthly basis cannot be easy – especially for a small company like Ortega. After smoking the first three installments, these cigars were all excellent cigars – and it helped underscore what an amazing effort this series has been. That being said, with a series of 12 distinct cigar releases, some are going to be better than the others for anyone smoking them. From my perspective, the Tony the Boss does fall short compared to the first three releases. It is not a bad cigar, but from my point of view did not mesh well with my flavor pallet. Still it’s a cigar worth trying and making your own opinion on it. From my perspective, it’s still a cigar worth revisiting in the future.
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: See What You Think
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from both Smoke Inn Cigars in Boynton Beach, Florida and Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.