Cigar Reviews

Ortega – Wild Bunch Set #4 – Warrior Joe, Da Byrdman, Crazy Jack

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Well here we are again with the final set of 3 in Ortega Cigar Company’s Wild Bunch Series. It seem like it was just yesterday that Eddie and I were talking about how big the undertaking of making 12 different blends in one year would be.

Ortega Wild Bunch

This will be the final set of 3 cigars in the Wild Bunch series containing the Warrior Joe Bushmaster, Da Byrdman Boys Club, and the Crazy Jack Psycho. If you missed any of the other 3 sets you can skip back and review the first set here, the second set here, and the third set here. By now, I am sure all of you are familiar with the Wild Brunch project, but for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last year here is what Eddie had to say about it:

“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.”

Warrior Joe

Ortega Wild Bunch Warrior Joe

Size: 6.5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Dark Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Body: Medium
Strength: Medium
Production: 500 boxes of 20

Prelight: The Warrior Joe sports a crazy dark wrapper, darker than most maduros that I have laying around in my humidor. Why that is important is strictly due to the fact that I have never seen Sumatra leaf so dark in my life. This will certain be an interesting smoke. The wrapper is so incredibly thick, and toothy with a whole ton of oils. The Warrior Joe is polished off with a round double cap and the standard Wild Bunch design on the band. This cigar is very firm, and very heavy.

Flavors: Normally, I would expect a lot of sweetness from a wrapper of this color, but instead I received a really mellow, smooth, and creamy mixture of flavors. Not a lot of sweetness, some soft black pepper, lots of spice and leather with a really nice cashew flavor. As I smoked on the pepper fade and a bit of cedar moved in. The finish was just as smooth and creamy as the start with lots of cedar and earthy flavors, but not much else.

Burn/Draw: The burn on the Warrior Joe was razor sharp from the start to the finish leaving behind a really nice, bright white, tightly compacted ash. I never had to relight or touch up the cigar. The draw was a bit tight, but nothing unmanageable.

Thoughts: I was expecting so much more flavor from this cigar off the looks alone. This goes to show that you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover. While I wish there was more flavor what I did get was a very consistent, very smooth, very creamy experience that would go perfect in the morning or early afternoon with a nice cup of coffee.

Da Byrdman

Ortega Wild Bunch Da Byrdman

Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Body: Medium/Full
Strength: Medium
Price: $9
Production: 500 Boxes of 20

Prelight: This cigar actually resembled Da Byrdman quite nicely as it’s tall, dark, and handsome. I’m just glad that it wasn’t loaded with his beard hair. That being said the Byrdman sports a beautifully dark, rustic, dark and medium brown wrapper. The wrapper is a bit toothy, and has a bit of oils with some large, webby veins. This is another tough wrapper and the cigar is packed incredibly tight resulting in a cigar that I could crack a hole in the wall with. The Byrdman is finished off with a round double cap, and the standard Wild Bunch band design.

Flavors: Right off the bat the Byrdman greeted me with some strong sweetness, brown sugar, and black pepper. The pepper faded rather quickly as more sweetness and even some molasses started to roll in. At around the mid-way point there was a bunch of extra spice thrown into the mix before finishing off clean and bold with strong sweetness, spice, cedar, and espresso.

Burn/Draw: The burn on the Byrdman was actually rather wide, but it was consistent the entire smoke leaving behind a semi-compacted medium gray ash. I had to touch up the cigar a bit near the end, but it never played an inconvenience to the experience. Despite feeling tightly compacted the Byrdman smoked like a dream kicking out a ton of thick smoke with every puff.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this cigar. I think I a bit biased since my flavor profile seems to really lean towards Connecticut Broadleaf/Nicaraguan cigars. I really enjoyed the sweetness, depth, and bolder flavors. I like Byrdman too, he’s a good guy. Eddie on the other hand…

Crazy Jack

Ortega Wild Bunch Crazy Jack

Size: 7 x 58
Wrapper: Esteli Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Body: Full
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $9
Production: 500 boxes of 20

Prelight: The Crazy Jack starts out with a medium brown wrapper with lots of lighter/darker spots throughout the leaf and a much darker area around the foot of the cigar. It’s natural, but looks pretty interesting. There isn’t a lot of tooth, or oil on the cigar but it is very, very smooth and somewhat delicate and thin. The cigar is very light, and I am almost scared to handle it roughly as the wrapper feels incredibly thin. The Crazy Jack is finished off with a round double cap, and the standard Wild Bunch designed band.

Flavors: The Crazy Jack starts out with a massive pepper blast. In fact, the pepper lasted well into the cigar. Under the pepper was a bit of sweetness, lots of earthiness and spice, mixed with a bit of a creamed coffee flavor. Around the end of the first third the pepper finally started to subside and I started to pick up a nice mossy flavor added to the mix that the pepper must have been holding back. Toward the end of the smoke the pepper made a reappearance while the sweetness and coffee dropped off. The cigar finished pretty bold, but there was no harshness at all.

Burn/Draw: The Crazy Jack burned razor sharp and absolutely flawless the entire time. I never had to reach for my lighter touch up or relight this guy. The ash left behind was pretty flaky, and a dark and medium gray. The draw was spot on and every single, little puff kicked out a ton of thick smoke.

Thoughts: Don’t be fooled by the the Crazy Jack, this cigar packs a punch. While it didn’t leave me on my ass, I could definitely feel the nicotine from this bad boy. The pepper was almost too involved in the flavor profile, but I did really enjoy the flavors and balance underneath.

Also, please keep in mind that we are currently giving away a full box of Romeo y Julietta’s “RyJ”! The contest ends this week so click here and get yourself entered.

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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