Yes, I’m breaking a rule – two posts in one day. So sue me, I just wanted to write this while everything was still fresh in my mind.
So yesterday my local tobacconist had a cut-and-light event with Ohana Cigars based out of Ft. Worth, Texas and they brought along their Pulse line of cigars which they were doing specials on as well as some Flor de Cana 4 Year Gold Label to pair with them. I got to meet and visit with the director of sales and the master blender who were both very helpful and genuinely nice people who have a passion for cigars. Needless to say it was a fun-filled event and I was able to try a couple of really awesome cigars.
They had three sizes in each of the Pulse blends (Robusto, Toro and Gordo), but I went with the Toro in both (6″ x 52RG) as it’s my overall favorite size so I use it as a baseline. Both blends feature the same Nicaraguan binder and long filler, with the exception of the Maduro Gordo which features more ligero leaf for a bigger strength kick (no offense to Ohana, I’m a lightweight and I just can’t handle that much strength so that one wasn’t going to be for me). The Natural is a non-box pressed vitola featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a pigtail cap. The Maduro is a box-pressed vitola featuring a Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper and a closed foot.
Both cigars featured excellent construction, a perfect draw, plumes of creamy textured smoke and a good burn requiring no corrections or touchups. Burn time was slightly on the fast side for each, yielding about an hour of smoke time to the band point where I typically end my cigars but that might have been due to the relatively hot atmospheric conditions. Both also featured about a mild/medium strength, which is perfect for my taste.
Concerning flavor profiles, both cigars were fairly consistent start to finish but were completely different. The Natural featured a natural sweetness mixing with a medium/full creamy, nutty body and a sweet nasal spice (read: cinnamon/nutmeg) and a subtle cedar on the retrohale. The maduro was slightly milder in body teetering somewhere between a medium and medium/full** and was a total chocolate bomb featuring a naturally sweet rich, creamy milk chocolate on the draw accompanied by a hint of coffee and smooth, earthy/leathery retrohale with that same little bit of sweet nasal spice the natural had. Both went absolutely beautifully with the rum – a nice mellow rum featuring notes of caramel, brown sugar and coconut with absolutely no after burn. It was a great pairing for sure and neither one overwhelmed the other.
If you held a gun to my head and forced me to pick one, I’d say I liked the Maduro ever so slightly better but I’m a chocoholic so that comes with the territory but I absolutely loved the Natural too. Needless to say these will definitely be going into my regular rotation.
**I found with the Maduro the flavor intensity is greatly enhanced by the retrohale as opposed to it just adding more nuances. I retrohale a lot so I perceived it as more medium/full but “mouth breathers” will probably just perceive it to be a medium.