I haven’t posted a review in a couple of weeks so I decided to do one on a cigar that I’ve been looking forward to for a while: the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean this is going to be a great cigar, it might, but it’s just one of those that has piqued my interest mainly because my favorite cigar is a LGD 2012 Chisel. I know it has a different flavor profile than the normal LGD cigars, I smoked one prior to this review, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
This cigar is seven inches long, which is a bit longer than I normally smoke, but that’s fine. Very dark wrapper but still brown. More of a chocolate brown really and, if I were to break out the thesaurus, Roget could probably come up with a better description. Rough texture to the wrapper with a good amount of oils and not many veins. There is a small tear at the foot, which may have been my fault, but there are also three small slits about two inches from from the cap; hopefully this won’t cause any problems.
Vitola: Double Corona
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $1,500.00/Box of 105 | $17.35/Single
Evidently, this cigar is no longer being made, which may or may not be a shame for reasons that you will come to understand after reading this review or for reasons you have already formulated after smoking one or more of these yourself.
The most obvious thing is that this is a big, shaped cigar. Nothing along the lines of what a cigar maestro can do here but it does have a certain rustic look to it that I like. A couple of pronounced veins, a torn bit and, perhaps unforgivably, I think this cigar’s wrapper may have been dyed. Let me stop you there.
I have never accused a cigar company, especially one I respect as much as Padilla, of doing this. And I’m not unequivocally doing so now either. All I can tell you is that I first realized something was amiss when I noticed that both the head and the foot regions of the wrapper were a perceptibly lighter shade than the body. The next, and more damning, piece of evidence was that I noticed that my fingertips had these dark smudges on them after handling the cigar.
Thinking – hoping – that these smudges were caused by something else I licked one of my clean fingertips, ran it across the wrapper lightly and came up with a newly smudged fingertip. Uh-oh. And I’m not going to speculate why they would – if they did actually do this – do something like this.
Does this alter my view of this cigar? Yes. Even though I’m not absolutely convinced that the wrapper has been dyed my suspicions do affect how I think of this cigar. Bear that in mind.
Ring Gauge: ~54
Wrapper: Nicaragua? Oscuro
Breaking In Flame!
Since the last verified sighting of these cigars I can find was from February of last year it’s safe to say that this cigar has been aging in one of my humidors for at least a year; probably closer to two years at this point. I smoked a number of these about a year ago and I absolutely loved them.
This one is starting off decently but I can’t get over this salty flavor that pollutes with every puff. I can still pick out the creamy chocolate and strong coffee notes but the salt is a bad ingredient in this stew.
Around the transition point from the first to the second third the salty flavor takes on a meaty quality as well, which is a good thing. Meat, chocolate and coffee work well for me in a cigar. And this is one of the reasons why I’m such a big salomon fan. Due to their size there is a lot more time for evolutions in the flavor profile to take place. Shorter cigars have to be pretty much spot on from the get go if they are to be good. That’s not necessarily the case with bigger cigars.
Then again, having too much time can also be a bad thing. This cigar has been maddening for me since it is intermittently very good and bad. Like a particularly troublesome disease this salty taste just won’t go away. This never happened in any of the others that I tried and it is a perplexing development. Usually, cigars get better with age but that is definitely not the case here.
Even though the first two thirds were maddeningly inconsistent altars to disappointment I have high hopes that the final third will recapture some of that magic I experienced with all the previous examples of this cigar that I have smoked. And this final third does start out well with chocolate, coffee and earth. The salt and meat are still there but they have faded into the background and play a very minor supportive role in the flavor profile, which is a definite plus.
And then, like Michael Myers coming back from certain death to kill Jamie Lee Curtis, the salt comes back and at this point I am done with hoping for this cigar to redeem itself. It’s a damn shame too because, as I have noted before, every other example of this cigar that I have tried was excellent. This one was not and since it appears that this cigar is no longer in production I have no qualms giving it a poor score.
Oh, right, I almost forgot to touch on the all important smoking characteristics of this cigar. While the draw was excellent throughout the burn did necessitate some help along the way. And this was a medium bodied cigar. When everything was going right this cigar reminded me of its greatness. Unfortunately, those times were too few to make me like this cigar again.
Wrapper: Nicaragua | Binder: Nicaragua | Filler: Nicaragua | Box of 25: $158.00 | Single: $7.50 | Lonsdale | 6 ¼″ x 44
0/3: This one is known as the f9 Finesse, which can lead to some lame joke making like “this cigar looks like it was made with a lot of finesse” or “there’s a real finesse to these flavors.” But you’ll get none of that here!
The cigar looks adroitly made by someone with a skillful hand. It’s oily, dark brown wrapper conceals filler and binder tobacco that is less densely packed than most cigars. A webwork of veins crisscrosses the wrapper.
And a big thanks to JJ for gifting me this cigar.
1/3: Yes, there is a reason why most other cigar smokers like these cigars. Salty leather, cherry and graham cracker. It’s a medium-full bodied cigar with very forceful flavors.
2/3: With flavors much like the first half the second half is continuing on in its goodness.
3/3: More of the same during this third. The only difference is a faint sweetness on the retrohale but it isn’t much.
4/3: I liked this cigar because of the leather and graham cracker flavors. The burn was pretty even but the draw at times just disappeared because it was too loose. That probably hurt this cigar more than I realized at the time. When it was going well it is definitely a very good cigar.
I sit here wearing my CAO La Traviata Maduro hat given to me by Keith from Tiki Bar Online. Even though you might not think that is pertinent information I recall some English teacher I once had preaching about the importance of setting the scene. So there; the scene is set.
This is a perfect looking cigar. Black-brown wrapper with two very minor veins visible. Oily feel to the wrapper, it’s also slightly fuzzy. The cigar feels well packed, hard even. Can’t wait to smoke this cigar after resting it in my humidor for many months.
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Price: $115.00/Box of 24
Canton Tower Flame!
If you are wondering whether or not I have smoked the CAO La Traviata with the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper you can take a look at this. If you don’t want to go through the bother of clicking on another link and reading another review then you should know that I liked that cigar, giving it 91 points. Leather, oak and spice were some of the flavors that I noticed and it was pleasantly full bodied.
The CAO La Traviata Maduro starts out with a dark and powerful flavor profile. Beef jerky is the center of the flavor profile surrounded by mahogany, salt and bitter chocolate. While the draw is a little tight in the early goings of this cigar it has not become much of a problem.
Smokiness along with dark flavors are pervasive coming into the second third. Beef jerky and smoky mesquite are the big flavors that I’m picking up now. It’s fine.
The somewhat tight draw becomes somewhat bothersome in the final third, but not in terms of flavor. That jerky flavor has receded into the background while the smoky mesquite has gotten stronger. Heavy cigar.
Without the tight draw, which I got over and over again with each of these cigars that I tried, this would be a 90+ point cigar in my estimation. Even with the tight draw it was an enjoyable cigar but, I have to say, the original La Traviata is my favorite. Medium bodied with a burn that does require some touch ups along the way, this is a cigar that maduro fans might want to give a try.
Very good looking cigar. The mottled near-black finish of the wrapper has veins running every which way but not in enough quantity to scare me. Oily? Yes, but not very. Consistently packed from cap to foot with enough tobacco to give just the slightest amount when I check for soft spots.
I forgot to mention a medium sized, oblong hole that appears three inches from the foot of the cigar. It runs 1/8th of an inch long by 1/16th of an inch wide at its widest point. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem as far as the flavor is concerned but I am keeping it in mind for the overall score (in other words, not a huge deal). Actually, now that I think of it, I cannot remember seeing a hole in any other of the Oliva Serie V wrappers that I have had.
The pre-light draw is reminiscent of the last Serie V I had. This one has a better draw and the mix of spice and chocolate is inverted with spice being a much more prominent factor in the flavor profile. It has been at least two minutes since I took the pre-light draw and I can still feel the spiciness on my tongue. My anticipation grows.
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua – Habano Sun Grown
Filler: Nicaragua – Jalapa Valley Ligero
Price: $8.50/Single | $175.00/Box of 24
Bar Rescue Torch!
Bitter chocolate and a certain amount of earthiness greet my palate first. Then comes a bitter spiciness, which is something that is good in an interesting sort of way. It’s an interesting flavor combination but I am going to withhold judgment for now. Shortly after the first rush of bitterness it gracefully fades into the background leaving a mixture of spice and earthiness to take the lead.
The aroma for this vitola is identical to the previous one; rich chocolate cake. The pre-light draw was not a misnomer because the draw is just as good now as it was before the cigar took the flame.
Strength is something that I am acutely aware of early on in the cigar’s progression. Unlike with some of the smaller vitolas in the V line the strength apparent here is much more serious. I am less than a half inch into the cigar and if it progresses much further in the strength category I may go into convulsions and start talking in tongues! That, of course, is pure hyperbole – I love the strength of this cigar – the more the better!
Before getting into the second third of this cigar the flavor profile has imperceptibly shifted away from that chocolate flavor. Spice and a grassy earthiness have now completely taken over. The spice is more temperate now – the strength has undergone no such change. All of this has taken place over the first third of the stick.
Walking away from a cigar for more than a couple of minutes usually leads to it dying – not so in this case. Doing so has given my palate some time to normalize and refresh itself and the cigar has ever so slightly changed. Now, at the halfway point, it is spice, grass and a hint of chocolate. All three work together in harmony. The spice is, and has been, a warm spice of varying strengths; each version a joy.
Time is not something I really think of in terms of cigars. But this one is an extremely slow burning cigar. It’s been over an hour since I first lit it and I am only halfway through it now. I have been sipping it, enjoying all its nuances, which is why it is taking so long. There really is no other way to go at this cigar though. If you don’t have the time to truly enjoy this cigar then you are better off leaving it in its humidified lair until a large enough chunk of time produces itself.
The remainder of the cigar is consistently great. Breaking into the final third is a saltiness accompanied by a decent helping of meat. A hint of leather creeps its way into the final bits. The burn is also good; it has been fairly even throughout. Give yourself up to three hours to smoke it, though. You will not be disappointed.