Don't ask me why I've been sitting on this review - I've smoked and enjoyed quite a number of these over the past year. I've shared my smoking sessions with this stick on Twitter and Facebook, and posted a few pics on Instagram as well. In fact, one of my pics was included in an Ortega Cigars full-page advertisement in the April issue of Cigar Snob magazine. Founder Eddie Ortega is a passionate aficionado and an avid social media enthusiast who stays in close personal touch with his followers - he's literally just one of the guys! And it just occurred to me that I never shared my review of my favorite Serie D vitola - the No. 10 Maduro Belicoso, which has been one of my favorite "commute cigars" that I enjoy in the morning on the way to the office with a good cup of coffee or on the way home in the evenings - so I dug into my notes to give you the rundown...
This belicoso is a box-pressed beauty with a mottled dark chocolate brown wrapper with relatively small veins. The wrapper is smooth to the touch and has a slightly oily sheen. Pre-light, the cigar is quite aromatic - the wrapper is rather musty and the foot smells of sweet tobacco. After application of a guillotine cut, the cold draw provided some flavor hints of sweet cocoa. The wrapper leaves a tinge of spice on the tip of the tongue. The cigar lights very easily with minimal draws. The cigar generally produces nice tight ashes and pretty even burns - touch-ups are a very rare occasion with these sticks.
The Serie D No. 10 Maduro Belicoso is a full strength smoke with medium-to-full body. The smoke commences with sharp flavors of bittersweet cocoa with a slight earthy mustiness and some spiciness that lingers on the palate throughout the smoke. During the first third, there are heavy blasts of pepper on retrohale, but mellows to a nice spiciness thereafter. Although robust, the flavors become less sharp and much smoother during the second third and through the finish with the introduction of some leathery notes coupled with the more dominant cocoa flavor. Periodically through each smoke, I pick up some subtle elements of nuttiness, reminiscent of roasted almonds. This stick provides an abundance of thick sweetly aromatic smoke with just the slightest draw. Burn time averages about 1 hour - just perfect for my commute!
The Ortega Serie D No. 10 Maduro Belicoso is a truly enjoyable cigar. The great draw and even burn is exactly what you would expect from this box-pressed stick. This is a great looking cigar with superb construction.
Now do yourself a favor and follow our BOTL Eddie Ortega on Twitter and Instagram (@eddieor) - you can also check out the Ortega Premium Cigars website at www.ortegacigars.com and follow the company on Twitter (@ortegacigars).