|Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch IV Oscuro|
Last year around Christmas time I was up in Bethesda, Maryland at W. Curtis Draper, and I cam across the Small Batch IV. I immediately picked up three sticks and smoked through them rather quickly. I found the smoke to be amazing, and since then have picked up as many as possible from retailers to smoke and some to age. I gave the cigar a 95 in my rating, and to this day it is still in the running for my Top 25 of 2012. With that being said, in the early summer of 2012 La Flor Dominicana announced that they would be releasing the Small Batch IV Oscuro. The cigar would be similar in many ways to its counterpart but have an Oscuro wrapper. The cigar would be limited to 100 cases, and each case would have 105 cigars.
I feel that I need to explain what Oscuro is, so I am going to get technical now. While Maduro is well known, Oscuro is not as well known. Wrappers that are Oscuro are composed of leaves that were harvested when harvesting the tobacco plant, and were leaves at the top of the plant. The leaves undergo a longer curing process, and aged longer as well. Oscuro can be translated as dark, while Maduro is translated as ripe. I am not the biggest Maduro fan, but I am huge Oscuro fan. I typically love the flavor profile of cigars that are Oscuro.
Like the Small Batch IV, the Oscuro is a Dominican puro, and it is also a vintage cigar. The tobacco all comes from Litto's farm in La Canela, and the tobacco was all harvested in 2006. The cigar bares the same monstrosity size as its counterpart, and measures 7" with a 52 ring gauge. It is very firm in hand, and the wrapper is dark, but not as dark as some Oscuro wrappers I have had. There is a nice bit of tooth to the cigar, and it is showcasing some veins present as well. I would say the coloring is falling in between the Colorado Maduro and Maduro coloring side of things, and I have even seen some more in the Maduro side. The cigar has a nice woody aroma around the wrapper with some sweetness present, and at the foot I am picking up some warm spices, fruit notes, baked dough and even some light cocoa notes.
|Small Batch IV Oscuro|
When I get into the second third of the cigar the flavors have increased some, and I am beginning to pick up some fruity notes. It is not the berry and cherry flavor profile that I get with some cigars, but there is more of an apple flavor profile like I got with the aroma. There is still a little bit of spices present with the cigar, and it is showing those cinnamon and nutmeg notes, but there is very little pepper notes. Those wood flavors are still present as well with the cigar, and it is very balanced and enjoyable. The strength level is really rocking at that medium full level, and I could smoke this later morning through. The ash is keeping that flaky gray color, and the burn line is still very solid as well. The ash is holding on the cigar very well, and it is smoking cool and producing tons of smoke.
|La Canela 2006 Oscuro|
I enjoyed this cigar, and I found it to be more enjoyable on a daily basis than the Small Batch IV “Natural.” I felt the cigar still had tons of flavors, but it was a little bit mellower than its predecessors. Taking into account that this cigar is a Litto Gomez Diez smoke, it is going to have strength, but a little bit less. The flavors were really wonderful from beginning to end, and there was a nice increase in flavor profile as the cigar progressed. The strength really remained the same from beginning to end, and it smoked wonderfully as well. The cigar produced a nice ash as well from beginning to end, and while it was a little flaky it held on to the cigar well. If you were to ask me if I prefer the Natural to the Oscuro version more, I would have to go with Natural version, but I would say the Oscuro version is a cigar I could smoke more often because it was a little bit sweeter and mellower. This is definitely a cigar I am going to hold on to and collect, and also a cigar I will smoke while still available. I give this cigar a solid 92, and as to be expected it is another great release in the Small Batch line, and a great release under the Litto Gomez Diez Series.
|Small Batch IV Oscuro|