Casa Magna Oscuro
With Daniel slacking it out of town, I know we are running thin on reviews this week. And the fact that I have been dealing with a bit of family things as well as a heavy work load doesn’t help. Luckily, a good friend and great BOTL Adam who owns my favorite local shop, Tobacco Rd. in El Paso, Texas pushed me back into shape by offering me this Casa Magna Oscuro for review. I have had the Casa Magna Colorado many times, but I have yet to smoke this Oscuro.
The Good Stuff: The Casa Magna line is the product of two major hitters in the cigar industry putting their heads together to produce a quality line of value priced cigars. Back in 2008, Nestor Plascencia and Manuel Quesada teamed up and produced the shocking sleeper “Casa Magna Colorado” cigar that took top honors as Cigar Aficionado’s cigar of the year. The Colorado version was a Nicaraguan Puro, where as the Oscuro is all Nicaraguan minus the wrapper which is grown in Honduras. Distributed by SAG imports, the robusto I am smoking retails between $5.75 and $7 a stick.
Size: 5 x 52 – Wrapper: Honduran Oscuro – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: full
Prelight: The Casa Magna Oscuro is a tremendously dark wrapped robusto sized cigar. The wrapper is very dark, and consistent dark chocolate brown topped off with a rounded double cap. The construction is immaculate. I really had to strain to find the very small veins hidden, and embedded in the body of the cigar. There is only one soft spot located in the dead center of the cigar’s body. The band on the Casa Magna Oscuro is identical to the Casa Magna Colorado with the only differences being the silver color vs. gold, and the word “Oscuro” inlayed on a red ribbon across the bottom. The wrapper of this Casa Magna Oscuro gives off a very strong, and pungent tobacco aroma with an almost floral finish. The foot of the cigar gives off very sweet tobacco notes with earthy hints and spice. The cigar cut off very easily and clean using my Cuban Crafters double bladed perfecto cutter. The cold draw produced some unexpected sweet organic tobacco flavors along with grass and grain.
First Smoke: The Casa Magna Oscuro didn’t start off with the initial burst of pepper I figured it would. Instead it lead me in with a very light and smooth organic tobacco and chocolate flavor backed by a nutty taste mixed with spice and just a splash of pepper on the finish. The draw is slightly tight, but still manageable producing a very nice, thick cloud of brown woodsy smelling smoke. The burnline is sharp as hell and very even with only very subtle waves. The Casa Magna Oscuro does leave behind a nice, hefty trail of spicy tobacco smelling stationary smoke so it may not be the best cigar to fire up around anyone who dislikes smoke. One note is the wrapper is starting to give off a very bitter taste on my lips. I really hope this fizzles out cause its pretty bad. The cigar is burned extremely slow, producing a nice looking medium grey ash with a few slight flakes which held on for about an inch and a half before giving way.
Halfway There: As I had hoped the bitter taste only lasted a few draws and then crawled back into it’s dark little hole where I hope it stays for the remainder of the experience. The second third of this Casa Magna Oscuro had quite a few interesting change ups in it’s flavor profile. The chocolate and cocoa flavors are now the big contenders backed by nut, spice, and a very woodsy taste. The retrohale is very smooth producing a nice woodsy prime. I am not feeling much of a nicotine kick, if any from this cigar so far, smooth all the way. The burnline is still dead even and extremely thin, my only worry now is the harsh build up that may effect the last third of this cigar. I am having slight trouble keeping this cigar going so I am taking hits more often than usual. Hopefully this won’t complicate things further down the road.
Finish: The Casa Magna Oscuro is really starting to ramp up in body now. I am definitely feeling the nicotine at this point. The flavors seem to have outgrown the cigar at this point and have become a bit dull and bready. You can still taste the wood and the chocolate but that’s about it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it lead to a much smoother finish than I had expected with very little harshness into the final inch. The burnline stayed sharp and even the entire smoke, and the only real annoyance was the cigar’s tendency to want to go out on me. It never fully did, but there was a few close calls. All in all it took about 1.75 hours to take down the slow burning little robusto.
Overview: This is a great balanced cigar and an excellent catch at it’s low price. This is no beginner’s cigar. The last third really proved to be a powerhouse that I think would stretch the limitations of the novice cigar smoker. This is one of those everyday rotation cigars you have mixed in when you want that extra stout/full bodied smoke. I would recommend it in singles and for the fair price, even a box pickup.
Pairing: I paired this Casa Magna Oscuro with another favorite of mine, Chimay’s Tripel or White Label. This is a hefty little triple weighing in at 8% alcohol and a whole lot of goodness. This light profile beer contains a perfect mixture of both fruity sweetness and zest making for a great balanced beer. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the best pairing for this cigar as the abundant chocolate and stout profile wasn’t an even mashup for the beer. This beer would pair much kinder with a light Connecticut or even Cameroon wrapped mild cigar. The Casa Magna Oscuro would be perfect with some Dr. Pepper, iced tea, or coffee.