Ortega Premium Cigars – Ortega M3
The last few weeks have been crazy busy with family visiting from Texas, my wife’s 30th birthday, and heading out early this morning to Wisconsin to see friends who I haven’t see in nearly five years. But, when Tony and Jeff decided to slack it this week, in spite of my busyness, I stepped in to the save the day. So up for review is the Ortega M3 by Ortega Premium Cigars.
Released in the summer of 2016, the Ortega M3 is value-priced cigar available in two wrapper options. Both the Maduro and Habano come available in three vitolas according Ortega Cigars website: Robusto (5 by 50), Toro (6 by 52), and Gordo (6 by 60). The M3 comes with a wallet-friendly price ranging from $4.60 for the Robusto to $5.40 for the Gordo.
While only three sizes are noted on Ortega’s site, Cigars International offers the M3 in a 54 ring gauge Fat Robusto and Fat Toro.
Purchased from Atlantic Cigar Co.
Size: 6 by 52
The medium brown Habano wrapper with a red hue on the Ortega M3 is crazy oily and bumpy. There are tons of small and medium veins crisscrossing all over the place.
An aroma of dirt, grease, a sweetness and a faint pungency come across as I bring the cigar to my nose. The foot aroma is very pleasant with some chocolate and woodsy notes. Upon clipping the cap, an open draw reveals mild flavors with some richness, woody notes, and cinnamon.
Eddie Ortega’s M3 comes out of the gate with a ton of spice, a bit more than I was expecting. Behind the heavy dose of spice, there is a generic woodsy flavor, natural tobacco sweetness, and an acidic quality. The sweetness may be better described as caramel-like. Starting off with a wavy burn, the M3 mostly corrected itself within an inch. Tons of oils are lifting up from the wrapper near the burn as an ugly dark ash is being formed with some black splotches. The first ash held to an inch and half.
The spice heat calms as I enter the second third, but the pepper flavor itself has picked up. The flavors are much fuller than earlier with a thick caramel sweetness and woodsy flavor pairing well, and in the background there is some leather. The finish that was short in the first third sits much longer on the palate with a sweet cocoa. After one burn correction in the second third, the M3 is burning along perfectly. The Ortega M3 has really founds its identity. The flavors are borderline full with a medium strength profile.
A combination of a bread and, now, maple sweetness makes me think of a maple glazed doughnut. The maple is more artificial tasting than natural, but still works well. The smallest draw brings forth a mouth full of smoke. The smoke is creamy in the mouth and the spice has come back in force, especially on the retro-hale.
I was caught off guard by the spice up front, but, as the Ortega M3 progressed, it was really the evolution in the sweetness department that stole the show. From a natural tobacco sweetness to cocoa, from caramel to maple, the sweetness was all over the place. Along with the woodsy notes and spice, the M3 Habano is a solid, wallet-friendly cigar. I am definitely looking forward to taking the Maddie version for a spin to see if it bring a little more depth of flavors to the table.