San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo – Cigar Review
The San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo is the newest extension to the San Latano Oval Maduro line. The Oval Maduro line was released in the spring of 2012, and this newest size just started shipping recently. I was a bit surprised that this vitola was not in the original release since the Gordo size of the Natural Oval is one of the best selling sizes in the line. Like the Natural Gordo this cigar should be a big hit in the American market where larger ring gauge cigars are very popular.
Size: 6 1/2 x 60
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and A.J.’s Secret Blend
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo features two bands, the top one is the typical Oval band which is also found on the Natural version of this cigar. The band features gold trim, gold letters on a black background, and a bit of red and orange. In the middle it says San Lotano Oval and below that By A.J Fernandez on a orange and red ribbon. The second band has the same gold and black theme and simply specifies this cigar as a Maduro.
The wrapper of the San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo is a dark brown, with almost a coffee bean sort of reddish hue to it. The wrapper has some fairly apparent veins to it, but also a nice oil, and nearly seamless construction. The cap looks well applied, and is a bit generous. The San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo has a nice feel in hand despite the fact that I normally find 60 gauge cigars a bit awkward. This is due to the box pressed shape, which gives the cigar a more natural feel when held.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the San Lotano Oval Gordo Maduro has notes of earth, coffee, cocoa, and pepper. The foot has a scent of caramel, coffee, cocoa, earth, and a bit of cedar. To prepare smoking the San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo I use a straight cut, and on the cold draw there are flavors of strong spices, pepper, coffee, chocolate, and earth.
Smoking Characteristics: The San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo kicks off with a blast of flavor and strength. The first few puffs offer a rich mix of spice, pepper, earth, cocoa, coffee, and cedar which delight the palate. For me, the initial blast of pepper is almost a bit too much, but thankfully it calms down quickly. About a quarter inch in, the pepper now simply lingers on the palate and is not so noticeable in the actual flavor profile. The spice remains very pleasant and is the dominant flavor along with the notes of coffee and cocoa. There are still undertones of earth and cedar, but they are playing minor roles. The strength is what I would consider to be full, with a strong buzz setting in early on.
Into the second third of the San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo, most of the pepper has faded from the profile. It now lingers on the palate only intermittently between draws. The spice has now become quite faint, with the chocolate and coffee dominating the flavor profile. There are still undertones of earth, cedar, and now a little grass as well. The strength remains full, but is not quite as strong as it started off. The ash holds firmly, well past the inch point, and the burn is very sharp. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of cool, rich, smooth, creamy smoke.
In the final third of the San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo, the woody cedar becomes quite dominant, and the spice becomes a little more present in the profile. The coffee and cocoa have faded a little, and the earth remains an undertone. The strength remains full, but like the last third isn’t quite as full throttle as the blend started off. The pepper has completely faded from the profile at this point, no longer playing out on the palate at all. The San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo smokes cool to the nub without pulling any heat.
Conclusion: While I generally tend to smoke smaller ring gauge cigars, I’ve always found a box pressed cigar to make the 60 gauge much more manageable. This is certainly the case with the San Lotano Oval Maduro Gordo. I could hardly tell that the gauge was so large due to the shape. I can also not overstate how much I love the shape, it really is just amazing. The flavor is rich, full, and robust, but lacks a little complexity. The lack of complexity is certainly made up in the truly delicious flavors of this cigar. I still wonder why this size has not been introduced until now. The construction is beyond amazing, not once did I need to touch up the burn, and the draw is simply amazing. I remember when I first smoked the Oval Maduro, it left a little something to be desired, I think that something has been found here.