Cigar Reviews

Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox

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Super stoked to give this one a go as I have been a big fan of Black Label Trading Co.’s cigars, especially the earlier releases. This week I get to take a look at their newest offering, the Orthodox.

The Good Stuff:

Black Label Trading Co. showcased its newest blend, the limited edition Orthodox at this year’s PCA Convention and Trade Show. James Brown, the creator of Black Label Trading Co., created the blend as an homage to the company’s original blend which put more focus on the strength and intensity of Nicaraguan tobacco. Manufactured at the company’s Fábrica Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua, the Orthodox features a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over Ecuadorian Habano binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. The cigar is offered in three sizes: Toro (5 3/4 x 40), Corona Gorda (5 x 46), and the Short Robusto (4 1/2 x 52). Each box is packed with 20 cigars with only 900 cigars of each being released. Big thanks to the Black Label Trading Co. for sending a few of these my way to review.

  • Size: 5 3/4 x 50
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Body: Full
  • Strength: Full
  • Price: $13


The Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox starts out with a perfectly consistent dark brown wrapper. The color is just incredibly cohesive from cap to foot. The wrapper on the cigar is laid seamlessly over itself while containing almost no veining, and a good natural webbing in the leaf. The wrapper’s texture is extremely toothy and gritty with a pretty damn heavy amount of oils coating git. The cigar as a whole is very firm to the touch and heavy. The Orthodox’s long body leads up to its stubby little pigtail cap. The cigar is polished off with, what we have come to expect from all Black Label’s releases, a badass band. The band is black in color with an awesome illustration of a skull with a cross on it accompanied by some gold accents and the “Orthodox” crest printed across the front.

The Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox gives off an insane amount of pre-light aroma. The wrapper releases have notes of sweetness, chocolate and oak while the foot of the cigar is much more earthy and spicy. The cap cut clean and surprisingly easy using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces notes of sweet raisin, spice, and earthiness.

First Third:

The Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox starts off with a quick black pepper blast which was surprisingly tame and faded very quickly. Once the pepper dropped out the cigar showcased some great dark chocolate and raisin flavors over an awesome oaky musk flavor with some lightly notes of herbal black tea and an overall earthy finish. The draw is perfect as each puff kicks out huge clouds of thick, white smoke that take forever to dissipate while the cigar itself releases a hella lot of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is as even and sharp as you can get leaving behind a very tightly compacted trail of white ash which fell into my ashtray at about the 1 inch mark.

Second Third:

Into the second third of the Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox and that raisin flavor is just dominating and I am totally ok with that. There is also this awesome little spiced rum flavor that has crept into the mix alongside the dark chocolate, oak, and spice that have been pretty consistent. The cold draw really brings the spice to the front of the profile. The cigar is burning flawlessly, and quite quicker than I expected it to. While I do feel a decent little nicotine kick at this point, it’s worth mentioning that it’s comfortable, and not too overpowering.


Into the final third of the Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox and the sweetness has all but dropped out which wasn’t something I expected. This allows the more earthy flavors to come to the forefront of the profile which is now lead by oak, musk, spice, and earthiness with a good, dry, dark chocolate aftertaste. It took me only a little over an hour to smoke this cigar down to the nub. It’s surprising how quickly this thing burns. I never experienced any harshness, no extended heat, and the cigar burned as perfectly as it could from start to finish. I close out with a pretty good nicotine kick.


James Brown mentioned that the Orthodox was more representative of the earlier cigars Black Label Trading Co. produced and I think that about sums it up. The flavor profile was complex, intense, and extremely enjoyable, however it never got too over the top one way or the other. It was just right. The same with the strength. It’s a stronger cigar for sure, but it didn’t really kick my ass like I expected it too which is a huge plus there. This is one of the better cigars I smoked recently and you better believe I will be picking more up before they disappear forever.

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.

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