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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Oscar Valladares Wild Hunter Natural
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Chuck (Cfickter)
91
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by one of our members Kid Montana (Dan).  The cigar provided for this round is the Oscar Valladares Wild Hunter Natural.

The Hype: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. added a new line that addressed one of the situations for which a cigar seemingly hadn’t yet been created: hunting. Named the Wild Hunter, it is a Honduran puro with two variations, a Natural version and a Maduro (Oscuro) version, with the wrappers for each cigar coming from the Copan region of Honduras. The binder and filler draw on tobacco grown on Valladares’ farm, La Estrada a Copan, giving the smoker a full experience of Honduran flavor, according to the company. We will be reviewing the Natural version.


Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
52
Country Manufactured:
Honduras
Filler:
Honduras
Binder:
Honduras
Wrapper:
Honduras
Color:
Naturale
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with Bourbon - Basil Hayden

Pre-Light: 9 Points of 10 Possible

The aroma was slightly nutty, some wheat and a very light spice.  The wrapper looked almost dry with a matte finish.  A good number of veins, most all of them smaller.  The feel was firm but not overly.  The cap cut (Xikar XO) cleanly and left now frayed edges.  The draw was exceptionally easy, almost made you wonder if it might be under packed if it we not for the firmness of the body.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

Lighting had one minor flaw as one small, pie shaped, area didn’t catch as quickly as the rest of the foot.  This lead to an uneven burn for most of the smoke, despite trying several of the tricks to straighten.  It was never bad enough for a touch up, never got worse and finally in the last half of the last third straightened out.   Smoke volume was great, white and very thick early in the smoke.  The ash was very flaky but seemed to hold up well.  No issues with tunneling or canoeing, no relights.  I like to do a burn rest test to see that a cigar can stay lit.  I let it sit for 2 minutes untouched and 5 minutes.  In both cases the cigar remained lit and picked up right where it left off.

Construction: 29 Points of 30 Possible

Like most everything rolled at Oscar’s factory in Danli, Honduras, the cigar was very well constructed.  The cap was firm and held its shape thru the entire smoke.  Never had any issues with the wrapper.  No splits, tears or unraveling.  The draw remained open thru the entire smoke.

Flavor: 40 Points of 45 Possible

First 1/3
The initial draw after lighting was right in-line with the pre-draw, almost a mild-medium strength but then almost immediately a very strong black pepper hit and was even more pronounced in the retro-hale. Even a burning sensation in the throat.  Working our way thru the back half of the 1/3 you could see the pepper disappearing and a return to the more woody and nutty tones first experienced.

Second 1/3
In the retro-hale less pepper but still the predominate flavor.  We are full swing into a more mellow, slightly creamy, light spice, woody, earthy flavor, but nothing dominates.  Little changes for the rest of this 1/3.

Last 1/3
this last third continues with the profile coming out of the second 1/3.  Perhaps less woody and more nutty.  Pepper has but disappeared.  Slight burn on the tip of the tongue.  Really settled in to a medium strength.  Not late heat or burning as I got close to finishing this.

Summary

I am a big fan of Oscar’s stuff, including what he rolls for Jim Robinson and the Smoke & Guns B&M.  This one did not disappoint.  Like almost every cigar I smoked of Oscar’s the quality of the roll has always been excellent.  One thing I did notice about this cigar is it would be easy to smoke too fast and over heat the tobacco.  Not overly complex in the that flavors kept pretty much with in a fixed envelope but did come and go in strength.  A nice balance.  Price point at MSRP of $9.50 might be high for some but box prices get it down to $8.50. Smoking time 1:35 minutes.



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