El Tiante Habano Oscuro – Cigar Review
El Tiante is a new rising cigar brand from the Tiant Cigar Group. It was founded by Daniel Tiant & Mike Bellody and is based off Dan’s father’s taste. Dan’s father is Luis Tiant, the Legendary “El Tiante” MLB pro pitcher who played for the Red Sox and then the Yankees. The blends were designed by Don Pepin & Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars, taking into account the Cuban heritage and taste of Luis Tiant. They currently offer two lines the Habano Rosado, which I reviewed here, and the Habano Oscuro which I am reviewing today. You can check out their website here, and follow Mike Bellody on twitter (@TiantCigar_Mike), Daniel Tiant (@TiantCigar_Dan), plus the company’s twitter is (@TiantCigarGroup). If all of that isn’t enough check out their Facebook page.
Size: 6 x 50 (toro)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The El Tiante Habano Oscuro has a dark brown wrapper which is slightly toothy. It is rolled using the booking method and ends with a generous triple cap. The band on the Habano Oscuro is identical to that of the Rosado except for the fact that it is blue rather than red. The band features a back fade of the Cuban nation behind the company logo, and looks pretty neat.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Habano Oscuro carries a deep pepper scent with notes of spice and hay. The foot also has the notes of hay, spice, and pepper joined with an earthy note. After V – Cutting the Habano Oscuro I take a cold draw which produces a deep spice flavor already loaded with pepper and a bit of earth.
Smoking Experience: The Habano Oscuro lights up with the “Pepin” pepper blast that I am so familiar with. The initial flavors include lots of spices, pepper, and a toasted note. During the first third the draw and burn are both excellent, the Habano Oscuro holds a good ash with ease. This cigar seems to be more about the effect on the palate rather than the flavors. While smoking the entire mouth warms slightly, and the peppery flavors leave a tingle on your lips, tongue, and the roof of the mouth. The flavors in the third remain consistent with the initial flavors from the first few draws.
In the second third a nice woody flavor, not quite oak, but definitely not cedar, develops within the flavor profile. The notes of pepper, spice, and toast all hold out. During this third the peppery tingle fades a bit on the back of the palate, yet remains on the lips and tongue. The smoke still has a nice warming effect on the entire palate. The body is full and the strength sits at just below full. I should note there was a slight burn issue during this third, the draw however remained ideal.
During the final third the spice notes really kick up a notch. The notes of pepper, wood, and toast remain and are joined with a nice earth spice. The spice really plays on your palate between draws, warming it slightly, and causing tingles pretty much everywhere. The draw remains excellent to the finish, with no additional burn corrections.
Conclusion: As mentioned during the smoking experience portion I think this cigar is more about its effects on the palate rather than flavor. While the flavor is balanced, it is neither complex, nor very intense. The flavor also is not one that I seek, but I could certainly see some favoring it. The way it plays with your palate, however, is very interesting, and that alone I believe makes the cigar worth taking a look at. The warming effect it generates, along with the pleasant tingle is something I know several smokers enjoy, and if you fall into that category this is one you should check out.