Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Wild Bill “Cheroot”

The Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Wild Bill “Cheroot” is the July 2013 installment (and seventh release) in a monthly series of cigars developed by Ortega Premium Cigars.   Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series is a unique limited production cigar concept that was introduced by Ortega Premium Cigars.  The idea 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. Wild Bill was released following the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show.  It was released at a time when many new releases were already being released.  In some ways, this has resulted in Wild Bill falling under the radar a bit.  However, this might be one of the hidden gems of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Series as this one is a very good cigar in what has proven to be a solid series.

At press time, the following are the names confirmed for the Ortega Wild Bunch series.  Future names and releases have been subject to change throughout the year, but this is how the series currently stands.  Currently the series looks as follows:

January: Big Bad John “Jackhammer”
February: Iron Mike “I Beam”
March: Island Jim “WaHoo”
April: Tony The Boss “Enforcer”
May: Dandy McCoy “Empire State”
June: Honest Abe “Ringmaster”
July: Wild Bill “Cheroot”
August Fast Eddie
September: Gearhead Gary
October: Warrior Joe
November: The Byrdman
December: Crazy Jack

Each Ortega Wild Bunch character is described in the inner box cover.  The following is the description for Wild Bill.  The Wild Bill character has a motorcycle theme and is tied to Sturgis, South Dakota:

They call him “Free Spirited” which suits him just fine.  This Wild Buncher spends much of his time on his customized chopper hitting every bar and bike rally from New York to Los Angeles.  As you may have guessed, his all-time favorite hangout would have to be the Sturgis Bike Rally in Deadwood, South Dakota where he meets up with old friends at Deadwood Tobacco Shop, the best tobacco shop in town.

Let’s take a closer look at the Ortega Wild Buch 2013 Wild Bill “Cheroot” and see what this cigar is all about.

Blend Profile

The Wild Bill utilizes a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.  The binder and filler have not been officially disclosed at this time:

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed

Vitolas Available

The “Cheroot” refers to the name of the frontmark.  In this case the frontmark is actually a 6 x 46 Corona Gorda shape.  This is the first Corona Gorda released in the series to date.  The cigars are packaged 20 per box.


The Wild Bill “Cheroot” has a coffee bean brown color with almost a dark oak look to it.  There is some darker marbling that can be seen on the wrapper.  There is a slight amount of oil on the surface.  At the same time, the cigar has almost a bit of a rugged look.  This can be seen on the visible veins and visible wrapper seams.  This rugged look gives the cigar a charm.   Finally, the cap has a small pig-tail on it.

As with the other installments of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013, the band of the Wild Bill is highlighted by an illustration of the “Wild Bill”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 7 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 “Wild Bill” in white modem font with a spade in pink… Skulls surround bottom in white on black.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my Wild Bill “Cheroot”, I went with a straight cut as opposed to pulling the small pig-tail off the cap. After clipping the cap, it was time for the pre-light draw.  The dry draw provided a mix of leather, cocoa, and some light floral notes.  Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the cigar to be satisfactory.  At this point I was ready to light up my Wild Bill and see what the overall cigar experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

The Wild Bill provided some pepper at the start. Once the pepper receded, notes of natural tobacco, earth, and chocolate surfaced. In the very early stages there wasn’t’ a dominant flavor. As the cigar started to move through the first third, the chocolate notes moved to the forefront. The natural tobacco and earth notes were a close second while the pepper spice moved into secondary role. There also was a touch of citrus sweetness that could be detected.

As Wild Bill entered the second half, there was an increase in the spice.  The spice now had more of a baker’s spice quality and joined the chocolate notes as primary flavor.  Meanwhile the natural tobacco, earth, and citrus notes played a secondary role.  Overall, the flavors were not only solid, but they really seemed to work together well.

The Wild Bill kept its flavors right until the close of the cigar experience.  There was some spice at the end, but it never got harsh.  The resulting nub was a little lukewarm, but it was still on the firm side.

Burn and Draw

The Wild Bill “Cheroot” scores very nicely when it comes to both the burn and draw.  The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring very little in the way of touch-ups.  The resulting ash remained on the firm side.  There were a few occasions where some minor flaking occurred, but nothing to really impact the overall experience.  The ash had a salt and pepper color.  The burn rate was ideal.  While the resulting nub was a little warm at the end, the burn temperature was ideal until the late stages of the smoke.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I did not find the Wild Bill “Cheroot” to be a nicotine bomb.  At the same time, this is one of those cigars that provided just the right amount of kick during the smoking experience.  I assessed the Wild Bill “Cheroot” to have just enough strength to be a medium to full strength cigar.  From a flavor perspective, the Wild Bill “Cheroot” delivers some robust flavors.  I assessed this cigar as having enough depth in its flavors to be a full-bodied smoke.  When looking at strength versus body, I give the body an edge here.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned at the start of this assessment, it is very easy for the Wild Bill “Cheroot” to get a little lost.  There are a lot of new releases and even now with the current releases of the Wild Bunch, it is up against six other blends.  With the blend of the Wild Bill, this seems to be what I term the “perfect storm” when it comes to blend and vitola as the Corona Gorda size seems to work perfectly with the mix of tobaccos here.  As I mentioned in other Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 releases, the Wild Bunch has to be an enormous undertaking.  Delivering 12 different blends to market on a monthly basis cannot be easy.  It’s nice to see that seven releases into this series, Ortega is still running strong here.  I would recommend this to even a novice cigar enthusiast who wants to graduate to something medium to full.  Experienced cigar enthusiasts who like deep flavors should like Wild Bill.  As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely reach for and smoke again.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: Memorable 
Score: 92
Source: Cigars for this assessment were purchased from both Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, Tennessee and The Maduro Room in Lexington, South Carolina.