San Lotano Oval Maduro – Cigar Review
Recently, I was given a San Lotano Oval Maduro by A.J. Fernandez. San Lotano cigars are handmade at the Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, which produces nine million cigars annually. You can check out our review of the Oval here. Our review of the Maduro can be seen here. The San Lotano Oval is a very popular cigar, but isn’t exactly the type of flavor profile I prefer, where as the San Lotano Maduro is the type of cigar where when I smoke one in the morning I find myself craving another one later that day. As such, I was interested in seeing if the combination of these two would result in something that would become a new favorite for me.
Size: 5.5 x 54 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Filler: Dominican Rep., Nicaragua & Honduras
Strength: Medium+ to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The new Oval Maduro robusto is the box pressed style as the regular Oval. The cigar is very well packed, with no soft spots or visible flaws. The color of the wrapper is a dark chocolate, with light veins, and has a generous triple cap.
Flavor and Notes: The scent of the wrapper was very crisp and clean, with a light sweetness to it which is very enticing. The notes off the foot are from an entirely different world with very deep spices and pepper which causes my nose to tingle slightly. The cold draw has the rich spice and pepper flavors creating a light tingle on the palate and a light sweetness.
Smoking Characteristics: The first draw is full of rich spices, pepper, and white pepper. The smoke causes the entire palate to tingle slightly. The first third continues mostly with this flavor profile, but towards the end of the third a light sweetness starts to blend into the flavor. Towards the very end of the first third this flavor can be identified as a rich cocoa flavor. Both the draw and burn on the San Lotano Oval Maduro are excellent. Each puff provides a full body of rich, dry slightly sweet smoke. The burn line is also dead even with a tight white ash.
During the second third the sweet cocoa flavor really develops. The spice and notes of pepper still remain very strong. When the smoke hits the tongue it is very sweet, but a light tingle develops afterwards. The flavor is a bit muddled at this point, the sweetness of the cocoa and the pepper spice become intermingled and confusing.
Into the final third the cocoa flavors develop and take the main stage of the flavor profile. The pepper spice remains as a well blended undertone and offers a pleasing contrast. The flavor is well developed and blends nicely at this point. The draw and burn are both excellent and no corrections were required at any point.
Conclusion: I feel like this cigar needs a bit more time to develop fully. If it sits for a month or two the second third of the cigar would likely work much better. That being said, the first and final thirds of this stick were really well blended and with some more time will likely improve. The strength on this cigar seems a hair higher than the original Oval release. Overall, this smoke was enjoyable and a nice buzz started to set in around the first third. Keep an eye out for this stick at your local shop. If you like the San Lotano Cigars, you will enjoy this new twist on the Oval line.
Rating: 88 (with time I feel it could be a 90 or better)