Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Da Byrdman Boys Club

The Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Da Byrdman Boys Club is the eleventh and penultimate installment in a monthly series of cigars 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 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. As with the whole Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series,  I have found that each of these cigars has their own unique identity – and Da Byrdman fits the bill as this brings its own story to life and delivers a very nice cigar experience. 

While some of the Ortega Wild Bunch character’s origins have not been disclosed, Da Byrdman has been. The cigar is named after cigar enthusiast Ashley Byrd who is based in the Washington DC area and co-founder of the B&B cigar club. The inner box cover has been used on this series to describe the character in each installment of the Ortega Wild Bunch.  Here is a description of  Da Byrdman:

“Visit the Washington DC Maryland area and everyone knows Byrdman and his crew, the B & B Cigar Club.

“You’ll never come across a nicer group of guys who enjoy hanging together at their favorite local shops smoking cigars and talking about gold old times. When hanging with this crew he’s quick to announce ‘we all we got!'”

Being the eleventh release, this was the November installment of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series. For completeness we list the twelve blends:

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 “Eight Ball”
September: Gearhead Gary “Crankshaft”
October: Warrior Joe “Bushmaster”
November: Da Byrdman “Boys Club”
December: Crazy Jack “Psycho”
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Da Byrdman:
Blend Profile

Da Byrdman is the second cigar in the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series to use a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  The other installment to use this wrapper is Dandy McCoy.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder/Filler: Nicaragua Esteli/Jalapa

Vitolas Available

The official name of the vitola is “Boys Club”.  This cigar is a 6 x 54 Toro.   As with each installment of the Wild Bunch 2013, it was released in a single size for the blend.  It is also packaged 20 per box.

The Da Byrdman Boys Club has a coffee bean colored wrapper. Upon close examination of the wrapper, some darker marbling can be seen. There is some very light oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some visible veins as well as visible wrapper seams.

As with the other installments of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013, the band of the Da Byrdman is highlighted by an illustration of the “Da Byrdman” 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 11 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 “DA BYRDMAN” in a white modern font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up Da Byrdman, I went with my usual selection of a straight cut.  After successfully clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  The cold draw provided a mix of floral spice and coffee.  The spice definitely picked up a bit as a progressed on the cold draw. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to Da Byrdman to be satisfactory.  At this point, I was ready to light up Da Byrdman and see what this cigar would deliver.

Flavor Profile

Da Byrdman kicked off with some floral spice.  There was also an interesting salty note that I picked up at the beginning. Some cocoa and coffee notes surfaced in the forefront, pretty much on par with the floral spice notes. The retro-hale also provided some spice notes, but it seemed to be more of an herbal spice.

In the middle of the first third, some earth notes entered the equation. There was now combination of earth, floral spice, and cocoa/coffee flavor throughout the first half of Da Byrdman. Of the all notes, as the cigar moved through the first half, the cocoa/coffee notes were the least prominent of the three.

In the second half, the combination of earth and floral spice continued.  The cocoa/coffee combination had pretty much dissipated.  The earth notes now had more of an tea-flavor to them. The earth/tea notes combined with floral spice until the end. Da Byrdman was also flavorful right until the final puffs. The close to Da Byrdman was also not harsh. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

The Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 series has shown to deliver a well-constructed cigar with each release of the series.  This has also reflected in the burn and draw of each release. Da Byrdman follows suit as it scored very well with these attributes.  The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups along the way.  The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color to it – and was firm throughout the smoking experience.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Da Byrdman Boys Club

I found the draw to Da Byrdman to be solid.  This cigar had an effortless draw without being too loose.  It made puffing on this cigar low maintenance from start to finish.

Strength and Body

From a nicotine standpoint, Da Byrdman is not going to overpower you, yet it is going to be a cigar that provides “just enough kick”.  In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with a medium to full strength cigar – and that is exactly what Da Byrdman will deliver.  In terms of the flavors, there is some nice depth to them. There is definitely a little weight on the pallet, but like the strength, it won’t overpower. I assessed Da Byrdman to be medium to full-bodied.  Overall, there was excellent balance between the strength and body with neither attribute overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

Throughout going through this Wild Bunch 2013 series, two things have continued to amaze me.  The first is the challenge of the Wild Bunch series.  Bringing twelve different blends to market on a monthly basis from blending, production, and distribution standpoints is a feat on itself.  Yet, Ortega Premium Cigars has done a great job – and the series overall has been a good thing for cigar enthusiasts.  The second thing is that the cigars have all had their own unique qualities.  Da Byrdman delivered some notes I wouldn’t expect from a Connecticut Broadleaf cigar – such as some of the tea flavors I picked up.  

As I mentioned, the Dandy McCoy was the other Connecticut Broadleaf cigar in the Wild Bunch 2013 series.  I’ve found that six months after getting released, the Dandy McCoy is a cigar that has gotten better with age.  I wouldn’t say that Da Byrdman is a young cigar, but I do think there is some aging potential that is still to be realized with this cigar.  Right now, it’s a solid cigar, but not up there with Dandy McCoy or the 601 Blue Label (a cigar Ortega released when he was at EO Brands).  It’s a cigar I’d recommend more for a seasoned cigar enthusiast.  It’s still a cigar I recommend trying one – and it is one I will smoke again.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 2.5 – Try one
Score: 88 


Price: $8.60
Source: Samples provided by Manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a

* Some cigars for this assessment was provided by a representative of Ortega Premium Cigars. The samples were received in order to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.