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Cigar Review: The Oscar Habano

Oscar Valladares Tobacco
The Oscar Habano

Another “Oscar” from Leaf by Oscar’s Oscar Valladares.

This time, it’s The Oscar Habano addition to the Leaf by Oscar line. The Oscar will be available in three sizes.

  • Robusto  5×50
  • Toro  6×52
  • Gordo  6×60
The Oscar Box

Photo Credit: Oscar Valladares Tobacco Co.

Unlike the Leaf by Oscar bundles, The Oscar Habano will be available in boxes of eleven cigars. The boxes are uniquely designed to look like a cigar mold (no, not the dreaded mold but a cigar-pressing mold). Each cigar will be individually wrapped in a candela tobacco leaf.
The Oscar Habano wrapped

Habano wrappers tend to be darker and spicier than, say, a Connecticut wrapper. It is grown from Cuban seed, primarily in Nicaragua, and more recently in Ecuador. It is one of the most common wrappers in the industry and is both shade and sun grown. There are now many hybrids of the Habano wrapper resulting in crosses of Habano and Criollo, Habano and Rosado, and Habano and Corojo. The wrapper on The Oscar Habano is a true Habano grown in Ecuador and, based on appearance, sun grown.
The Oscar Habano unwrapped

APPEARANCE

The Oscar Habano is covered in a candela tobacco leaf, which covers up most of the band. Upon removal of the organic “cello”, The Oscar Habano has a rustic Habano wrapper with some prominent veins. The color of the wrapper is coffee brown with variations in shade as I roll the cigar around. A pleasant earthiness is evident on the foot and dry draw is grassy with some subtle sweetness.
The Oscar Habano 2

FIRST LIGHT

Black pepper, cocoa, leather and hay are immediately hitting me along with a deep, rich smoke and a lingering milk chocolate feel in the mouth. The Nicaraguan tobacco blended in the filler truly separates The Oscar Habano from its predecessor, the Leaf by Oscar all Honduran filler. The other big difference is in the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, whereas Leaf by Oscar comes in a Connecticut, Maduro, Sumatra, or Corojo wrapper.

CRUISE CONTROL BURN

The draw is excellent and The Oscar Habano is still nice and firm after warming up. The burn line is a bit wavy, but is evening out as I get deeper into the cigar.
The Oscar Habano First Third

There is a richening of the smoke with a rapid transition from cocoa to milk chocolate along with a drastic falloff of pepper to just a hint. Although the first third is good, the second third is where things really start to pick up. It is an explosive, abrupt transition. The Oscar Habano just mellows and expands and deepens in flavor profile. The feel in the mouth is that rich, thick, almost chewy smoke that is so enjoyable. There is a perfect blending of the chocolate with leather, a molasses sweetness and, by midway into the cigar, nutmeg. The black pepper is also creeping back into the picture.

FINAL THIRD

The milk chocolate is deepening to a dark chocolate while maintaining a balance of sweetness with the molasses. Charred wood is developing, along with the continuing leather and nutmeg. The black pepper has stepped back up a notch to a noticeable level. There is still that thick mouth-feel to the smoke and a malty finish. Pure cigar magic at this stage.
The Oscar Habano final third

CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH

The Oscar Habano is a perfectly rolled cigar with a matching draw. After a wavy burn line start, it developed into a fairly straight line all on its own. Strength is a transitioning lower-medium to medium matched with full flavors.

NOTABLE FLAVORS

  • Cocoa to Milk Chocolate to Dark Chocolate
  • Black Pepper (heavier on first light)
  • Leather
  • Charred Wood (final third)
  • Molasses
  • Nutmeg (halfway)

CONCLUSION

The Oscar Habano is another winner. Do not judge The Oscar Habano before you are almost finished with the first third, because that is where the magic really starts to happen.

The ride on this cigar is a roller coaster of changes, transitions, and development. This is not a linear cigar. The black pepper comes in, drops out, and then comes back with a mini-vengeance. The not-so-sweet cocoa sweetens to a milk chocolate, then the nutmeg shows up, then the dark chocolate transition, and finally the addition of charred wood. My favorite part of The Oscar Habano is the final third. I know, that’s crazy.
The Oscar Habano finish

Cigars Smoked for review: 2 (Robusto & Toro)

Cigar Smoke Rating: 91

Size:            Robusto  5×50 & Toro  6×52

Strength:   Lower side of Medium to Medium

Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano
Binder:      Honduran
Filler:         Honduran & Nicaraguan
Country of Origin:   Oscar Valladares Tobacco in Danlí, Honduras

MSRP:      Robusto $11, Toro $12

One Response to “Cigar Review: The Oscar Habano”

  • Bob Langmaid:

    Another great review! I really love the Leaf by Oscar offerings and this cigar sounds like one i need as well! The packaging and band are also exquisite!

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