Cigar Reviews

Ortega – Wild Bunch Set #3 – Wild Bill, Fast Eddie, Gearhead Gary

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Set #3! That’s right kids, we’ve made it past the halfway point in Eddie’s Wild Bunch Series. For those of you who have been living under a rock Eddie Ortega over at Ortega Cigars decided to show off a bit this year and pump out 12 different blends, one per each month of the year. It’s a big undertaking, but Eddie is the man to do it.

Ortega Wild Bunch Set 3

You can read my reviews of the first set of 3 cigars here, and the second set of 3 cigars here. Here is what Eddie has to say about the project:

“During my time in the cigar industry, I’ve come to know lots of great interesting characters in the industry. I’ve found certain characters so interesting, that I decided to create a series called “Wild Bunch”. This series will consist of 12 characters, each of them with a unique flavor and size profile, no two will be alike.

The series will consist of a limited number of boxes 500-1000, the number of boxes produced will be based on the blend selected for the character, I want to use out of the ordinary material, specially wrappers, and I know that some of the selected wrappers I have chosen are in very limited supply.

The Series will start January 2013 and will continue through December 2013 with one character being released every month of the year, on December 2013 a final release of the completed set made up of either 12 cigars; 1 of each character or 24 cigars; 2 of each character.”

There you have it. Now let’s dive in.

 

Wild Bill

Ortega Wild Bunch Wild Bill

Size: 6 x 46
Wrapper:  Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa / Esteli
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa / Esteli
Body:  Medium
Strength: Medium
Price: $7.95
Production: 500 boxes of 20

Prelight: First of all, I love the size and the cap. The cigar is a slender, crazy toothy, extremely consistent medium brown with a cute little tail on the cap. The wrapper sports only one or two smaller veins along with a ton of oils. The big story here is how incredibly seamless the wrapper leaf is. The cigar gives off only a bit of natural and tobacco aroma before it meets my flame.

Flavors: The Wild Bill greeted me with an unexpected smack in the face of black pepper and spice. The cold draw and prelight aromas were so subtle I wasn’t expecting this cigar to lead off so powerful. Once the pepper faded I was left with a sweet tobacco mixed with some black cherry and cocoa. As I smoked on a crazy spearmint kept poking through every so often. Maybe I am just going crazy. The cigar finished with lots of cedar and sweetness but a bit of harshness creeped its way into the final inch.

Burn/Draw: While the draw was perfect, and the burn was spot on (in fact, the ash was incredibly thick, white, and beautiful) there was one complaint. Maybe it was the air, the dryness of the desert, or just me in general but this cigar felt really chalky. And as I smoked on the chalkiness began to really dry out my mouth, tongue, and parts of my throat. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.

Thoughts:  Outside of the dryness, which I will excuse since it could be a number of factors I thought this was a decent cigar. Decent, but not great. It could use a bit more complexity. That being said, it would be a great cigar for a morning smoke. Pair it with some coffee and you’re set.

 

Fast Eddie

Ortega Wild Bunch Fast Eddie

Size:  6.5 x 38
Wrapper:  Ecuadorian  Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa / Esteli
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa / Esteli
Body:  Medium/Full
Strength: Medium
Price: $7.95
Production: 500 boxes of 20

Prelight: The Fast Eddie comes in another brilliant format, the Lancero. It’s not often that we see a Lancero or Panatela with a wrapper this dark. Seriously, its so dark brown it’s almost black. The wrapper feels incredibly thick, and hard and carries almost no visible oil. This cigar is finished off with an awesome tail on the cap as well. The Fast Eddie gives off lots of sweet tobacco and musky aromas.

Flavors: Wow, this cigar leads off with soo much sweetness. Along with the sweetness the Fast Eddie offers lots of syrupy, rich, brown sugar flavors over soft spice and a bit of natural tobacco. Shortly into the second third a very strong floral/musky/leather mixture started to form. And the more I smoked this cigar, the stronger it got. By the time I finished this cigar tasted like a boot. Not that it’s a bad thing, but the leather and musk had completely taken over the experience.

Burn/Draw: The Fast Eddie burned razor sharp, and dead even the entire experience. I had a bit of a rough patch at the beginning of the experience where the draw was a bit tight but as I continued to smoke it began to open up. By the second third it was spot-on pumping out puff after puff of thick, white smoke.

Thoughts: This blend just didn’t do it for me. It’s a good blend though. I know a lot of people out there totally dig the leather/musky flavor profiles, but it was just too much for me. Had it been a bit lighter and the sweetness and syrup been able to shine through I think this cigar would have been dynamite.

 

Gearhead Gary

ortega_wild_bunch_gearhead_gary

Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa / Esteli
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa / Esteli
Body:  Full
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $8.75
Production: 500 boxes of 20

Prelight: The Gearhead Gary starts out with this silky smooth, medium brown wrapper. The wrapper carries a few small veins and lots of tooth. The wrapper is very fragile though and I can feel it start to give as I check for soft spots so I decided to baby it a bit. The Gearhead Gary is polished off with a large, tapered, torpedo style cap. This cigar gives off a hell of a lot of tobacco and sweetness on the prelight aroma. One note, during this review I had no idea this cigar was a maduro wrap. Could have fooled me with the color, but the flavor did match. Eddie informed me that it is in fact and Maduro wrapper.

Flavors: The Gearhead Gary starts out with a long of up front spice which quickly fades after the first few draws. What I was left with is this incredible, super sweet tobacco with dark cocoa notes as well as Black Cherry and Raspberry. This cigar really packs some flavors. As I get past the second third some soft cedar starts to appear. As I get into the final third the spice began to come back as the cherry/berry flavors ramped up for an incredible finish.

Burn/Draw:  The burnline on this cigar was a bit wavy, but I only had to touch it up once or twice the entire experience with no re-lights needed. The draw was a bit open at first but it balanced out as I continued smoking. The Gearhead Gary kicked out massive amounts of smoke with every little puff. In fact, this cigar pumped out tons of stationary smoke as well.

Thoughts: Holy crap. Really, I was caught off guard with just how much I enjoyed this cigar. I thought that Dandy McCoy kicked ass but it’s not even in the same ballpark as the Gearhead Gary. Crazy amounts of flavors, and some of the best flavors I have tasted in any of my recent cigar experiences. I really can’t wait to get my hands on a few more of these bad boys.

 

 

 

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

1 Comment

  1. jjo

    September 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Too bad the first two didn’t quite do it for you, since those sizes fall right into my wheelhouse, but the third one sounds like a real winner. When do these ship?

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