I’m sure you’re growing tired of me mentioning the Oja cigars, after the contest in which Lloyd won a whole box of them this month, and my occasional mentions of this fairly new brand. I’ve been smoking a bunch of them lately and haven’t really talked about them with any specificity. Oja Cigars are the brainchild of Luis Garcia, an immigration lawyer in Miami, and a very cool guy. The regular line comes in three wrappers, an Ecuador Connecticut, a Habana 2000, or Mestizo, and an Oscuro (Brazilian Arapiraca). They also come in three sizes, a Destacado (6×52 Toro) a Distinguido (6×54 Torpedo) and the Artefacto (a 6×60 Corona Grande). These are made by Kiki Berger at his factory, Tabacalera Esteli, in Esteli, Nicaragua, which is where I first met Luis and Don Kiki while we were visiting Cigar Safari. Luis was staying at the Safari, the poor guy had run out of toothpaste, fortunately I had some to spare and took care of him.
I admit to having gotten off to a rocky start with these, as the first samples that I smoked were right out of the container from Nicaragua and, in my haste, I dove in too soon. However, after some resting time in the humidor, I’ve really grown fond of these cigars. I smoked a Connecticut Destacado in the pool last week, 102 degrees and humid, a cold Reed’s Ginger Brew and my wife floating around on a raft made for a very relaxing experience. Not your usual mild Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar, this one has some oomph to it (my son smoked one last night and commented that he wasn’t expecting such power based on it’s appearance).
Friday night I decided to smoke one of the big Mestizo Artefactos. I find a sweetness in these that I really like, but am not really used to in a Habano wrapped cigar. This is the only size in this wrapper that I’ve smoked but, for some reason, I’m happy with the large size in this blend. It’s good for an hour and a half or so of catching up with the podcasts I’ve been getting behind on listening to. I’m looking forward to hearing what Lloyd thinks of these when he digs into that massive box. Hopefully he’ll send me some pictures (hint, hint).
Last night I figured I’d grab an Oscuro for my walk. The first one of these I smoked just about knocked me on my tuckus, but, once again, this was right off the boat, and I was inpatient. A couple of weeks rest has made this into a very nice cigar that won’t make the room spin! Powerful? Yes. Flavorful? Also yes, but not what I generally associate with the maduro or oscuro wrapper. It is delicious, but without the heavy coffee/chocolate flavors, but more of an unsweetened, bakers chocolate kind of taste, if that makes any sense. Still a really good smoke which burned well, as have all of the Oja Cigars I’ve smoked (barring the first Connecticut torpedo I referenced earlier, which nearly exploded upon lighting, my fault for jumping the gun!, not the fault of the cigar).
While at the IPCPR show I was fortunate enough to sample the newest cigar from Oja, the Anniversary. This cigar is wrapped in a Brazilian Samba wrapper and is an extremely smooth and satisfying smoke. It’s box pressed and also comes in three sizes, including a beautiful 6 x 58 perfecto. This celebrates their first anniversary, and is a dynamite smoke. I’m looking forward to smoking more of these in the future.
That’s about all the rambling on I can manage today. I think Luis did pretty well at the show, so keep an eye open for these at your local shops for these, I know that at least one of the shops in my general vicinity will be carrying these in the near future.
I’ve got a short video for you today of Luis Garcia talking about his Oja Cigars.
Until the next time,