The 2012 by Oscar line has become one of the more popular lines in Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company’s portfolio. It’s a line best known to consumers as the company’s box-pressed line. It was in early 2017 when the 2012 by Oscar line was put into widespread distribution. At the time, the company was commemorating five years in business, and the 2012 by Oscar line was paying homage to that. It also paid homage to the first cigar that Valladares released, the original 2012 by Oscar. Not much has been known or said about that original 2012 by Oscar. Late last year, the company announced it was releasing a small batch of those original 2012 by Oscars to Serious Cigars in Houston. The cigar has now been branded the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original. Today we take a closer look at that cigar.
While 2012 by Oscar has four blends (Connecticut, Corojo, Maduro, and a limited edition Barber Pole), the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original has one blend – a Honduran puro. The other difference is the Reserva Original is a parejo while the current production 2012 by Oscar is a box-pressed cigar.
Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company is based in Honduras and the year 2012 has an additional significance. On the Mayan calendar (the Mayans were based in Honduras), it was predicted to be the year of the apocalypse. The idea was to smoke that cigar on December 21, 2012 – the day the cataclysmic apocalypse was going to occur. The idea is that would be the last cigar one would smoke.
Without further ado, let’s break down the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As mentioned the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original consists of all Honduran tobaccos. Production is handled at the company’s Danlí, Honduras factory.
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco
The 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original is available in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. The cigars are packaged in five-count bundles and sold exclusively at Serious Cigars.
The Honduran wrapper had what I would term a cafe rosado colored wrapper. The wrapper itself had a light coating of oil on it. There was a slight amount of bumpiness on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper had some visible veins and there were also some visible wrapper seams on the surface.
The primary band is similar to what is seen on the 2012 by Oscar line. This features the text “2012” in a large black font on a red background. Below that is the text “HONDURAN COROJO” in black font on a yellow field. The remainder of the front of the band features gold and black adornments on it. On the far right is a gold oval surrounded by a red ring surrounded by black and gold adornments. On the ring, it says “HAND MADE” and “LIMITED EDITION” in black font.
The cigar experience of the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original commenced with a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, it was time to progress to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of earth, cream, and bittersweet natural tobacco. This cigar had enough going on with the pre-light draw to be satisfying. At this point it was time to light up the foot of the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original started out with a mix of cream, earth, wood, and black pepper. As the cigar moved through the first half, the cream and earth notes had a nice fusion to them and moved into the forefront. These notes were joined by the wood notes. During the first third, the creamy earth and wood notes alternated in intensity. Meanwhile, the black pepper settled into the background. As for the retro-hale, there was a combination of black and red pepper.
By the midway point, the cream notes diminished leaving the earth and wood notes in the forefront. As the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original burned through the early portion second half, the pepper notes started to build up in intensity.
As the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original reached the final third, the earth notes diminished leaving the woody notes in the forefront. The increase in pepper leveled off. The earthy notes settled into the background where it remained for the final stages of this cigar. As the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original came to a close, the resulting nub was soft to the touch and slightly lukewarm.
The 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. Occasionally there was a little bit of jaggedness on the burn, but in the end, the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original still maintained a relatively straight burn line. The resulting ash was mostly light gray and was on the firm side. The burn rate was ideal. Except for when the cigar got a little lukewarm toward the very end, the burn temperature was ideal.
Assessing the draw, I found the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original to have a draw that was a little more open than I prefer. The cigar was a low maintenance one to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I found the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original started out medium. Both attributes slowly built up in intensity. By the 60% point, I found both attributes crossed the threshold into medium to full territory. During the last third, the increase in intensity leveled off.
When it came to strength versus body with the 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original, I found both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
The 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original is a good cigar. I think in the nearly seven years Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Company has been in business, the work has been consistently trending up, so when you compared this cigar against some of the more frequent work, it does fall a little short. At the same time, it’s still very much a cigar I’d smoke again and recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. While this would be a cigar I normally would recommend a “buy one” on, because this is sold in five-packs you may want to try one first before making the $40.00 investment.
Key Flavors: Earth, Wood, Cream, Black Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Medium (1st 3/5), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium (3/5), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop