La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte (Blind Review)
So Tony is still off prancing around somewhere South of all of us in the Dominican Republic (Actually, he’s travelling back today but that’s not the point). He was updating the Casas Fumando Facebook Page with lots of interesting info so make sure you check it out to see what he’s been up to. He also mentioned to me that the Winter Giveaway winner is going to be announced VERY soon. So if you haven’t entered yet, be sure to head over to this link and follow the instructions!
With Tony away this week I wanted to fill the week with at least two reviews. Seems that time was not on my side though as a co-worker has also been off all week and his workload got dumped on me. Yeay! But have no fear, I did some digging and found this blind review that I never had the chance to post. I think you all know how much I enjoy doing these blind reviews so I’m not sure how this one slipped through the cracks.
As a caution, this was done many moons ago so the pictures admittedly suck and I’m glad to see how much I’ve improved over time! lol. (I can’t believe I used to use the flash, I’m sorry about that! haha) So bear with me on that, I promise some better pictures next week! I’m not sure on the exact date that I wrote this but I believe it was at least a year and a half ago, somewhere in early 2010 or possibly even late 2009. I happened to find it on one of my hard-drives from a crashed laptop. Glad I’m a pack-rat when it comes to electronic junk!
The cigar ended up being a La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte which is one of the growing number of exclusive cigars from Cigars International. It is also another blend from the great AJ Fernandez who has turned out some excellent cigars lately such as the recently reviewed San Lotano Oval and the Man O’ War Armada. Both of which received excellent reviews from us. The cigar being reviewed today is a much older blend and packed with some Ligero long-filler. It’s currently offered in 4 vitolas at very fair prices. Let’s see how it faired in my blind impressions.
Cigar: La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte
Drink: Mill Street Brewery Coffee Porter
Vitola: Robusto (5.5 x 54)
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Price: MSRP $4.20
Burn Time: A little under 1.5 hours
• The cigar is wrapped in a very dark chocolate brown wrapper
• Lots of veins but none of them very large and don’t look to pose any potential problems
• Foot is soft and springy but head is fairly firm when squeezed lightly
• No oiliness on this wrapper, it actually appears a bit dry
• Clean triple cap to finish off the top of the cigar
• Foot looks graciously packed and full
• Cutting the cigar with my double bladed guillotine was a little messy, but nothing major
• Draw is good right off the start, I like that!
• Toasting was mostly even although there was one dark spot in the center that just wouldn’t catch
• As we progress, the burn has been dead on and razor sharp through the first-half
• Just past half-way got a slight wave in the burn that ended up correcting itself
• Had another peninsula form past the halfway mark that seems to be correcting itself slowly
• The last half of the cigar needed a few more draws to keep lit although the first half was burning nicely
• Burn took a turn for the worst near the last 3rd, hard to keep lit and very wavy
Smoke & Ash:
• Giving off a big mouthful of smoke from each draw
• Resting smoke is almost non-existent and a very light burning tobacco aroma
• Ash is light grey in color with the occasional darker streaks
• The ash is tightly packed and appears strong so far
• Each ash lasted a little short of 1 inch and made an explosion when they hit the ashtray, not sure why but it was definitely messy
• Wrapper has aromas of cocoa and a barnyard/hay type of scent
• Foot aroma is of cocoa and a touch of spice on the nose, almost a mild pepper
• Pre-light draw is mostly the barnyard/hay type of flavor and a bit of the spice
• Initial draws are nutty, earthy and a touch of spice, it’s also very dry on the back of my throat
• Getting a toasted wood flavor about an inch in
• Retrohale is medium bodied with a barnyard flavor and a very mild kick
• The body has been medium right from the start
• Flavors haven’t changed much up to the half-way mark and its still very dry
• Passing the halfway mark, the only flavor left is burning wood and getting a bitterness here too
• The bland flavor and bitterness stuck through to the end, disappointing considering the first half was very good
• The bitterness got too powerful in the last 1.5 inches, had to put it down…
• I’m pretty sure the poor burn factored into the harsh flavors here since the good burning start had much more enjoyable flavors
I think you can tell from my notes that I wasn’t too impressed by this cigar. It started off pretty decent but unfortunately the flavors didn’t change much and only dwindled away as the cigar progressed. The extreme bitterness at the end was also a big disappointment. I’m not sure if it was just a bad stick from the batch since I haven’t had this cigar before. That’s probably one of the main downsides of a blind review, a single bad stick could ruin your impressions on that cigar for the future. Even with it’s incredibly cheap price I think I’ll be avoiding this cigar in the future unless I get some glowing recommendations from a lot of people.
The brew I chose to pair today is from the local Toronto based brewery called Mill Street. This is their Coffee Porter which as the name implies, is a Coffee flavored Porter (Complicated, right? ;)). I’m a big fan of this brew to pair with cigars, it’s got a full feel to it and the coffee notes pair excellently with cigars. I wrote up a full review on the brew if you are interested, you can find it here. It’s also made locally and I love supporting local business whenever possible. This was probably the highlight of the review for me and I really enjoyed the brew. As I mentioned, it pairs excellently with a variety of cigars including full and mild. It paired well with the La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte and complimented the initial good notes I got from the cigar. I would definitely suggest a strong pairing with this cigar to combat the harshness I got on the end, something like a Porto, Stout of strong coffee would go well.