Ryan Frank Rodriguez, owner of Ohana Cigars and Left Handed Cigars recently made a move to a new factory – Tabacalera Pages Raffo in Nicaragua. As part of that move, he has been able to procure higher grade leaf for his line of cigars. One of those that has been recently revamped is the Pulse Cigar that was originally released in 2016 and reviewed on Stogie Press that year.
I recently met up with Ryan and his wife Holly at the Underground Cigar Lounge in Fort Worth Texas and he gave me some samples of his upgraded line to review. One of those was the Pulse that now has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Genuine Mexican
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua
The Pulse is expressed in two vitolas:
- Toro – MSRP $12.00
- Robusto – MSRP $10.00
The first thing you notice about the Ohana Pulse is the excellent construction of the cigar, with its well applied pig tail cap and closed foot. The cigar has a dark brown wrapper that exhibits a decent oily sheen and a slight grittiness to the touch. The wrapper has some noticeable veins running through it and there is a bit of marbling. It feels solid in the hand with no soft spots detected.
Two bands adorn the cigar. The bands are pretty much the same as the originals, each using a red, white, and gold motif. If you look closely at the new version more carefully, you will note that the two scripted R’s on the bottom of the primary band do not have the dark shadow in the font. Of course the Mexican wrapper is also darker than the original.
As I ran the the Ohana Pulse across the nose, I noted it had a pungent fermented leaf note along with a touch of chicory along the barrel. The foot exuded notes of nut and cocoa.
I used my CigarMedics Baller cutter to neatly open the cap and gave it some cold draw puffs. With the closed foot I could not measure the restriction but the notes continued to be enticing with natural sweetness and gentle pepper and a hint of nut. Yea, I cold puffed this a bit more to enjoyed the pre-light flavors warming up my palate for what was about to come.
Using my single flame torch, I hit the closed foot with the heat of the flame which ignited immediately and drew in the first puffs of pepper and sweetness to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First puffs smack me with pepper on the nose but with a mild natural sweetness in the background
- Excellent full volume of smoke
- Pepper is hitting the nose off the aroma
- A white ash develops on top of thin char line
- Chicory and cinnamon notes begin to evolve along with a growing sweetness
- The sweetness moves into the aroma also
- Fruit joins the mix along with a roasted nut that finds its way in at the end of the first third
- Coffee notes add to the pleasure
- This has an elegant array of flavors and aromas so far
- Strength is solid medium at this point and showing signs of moving up
- Cream notes adding to the earlier coffee
- Ash falls after a good two inches of burn revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Strength is moving up to solidly full
- Spice adds in the final third
- The nut aroma continues
- A buttery cocoa hides behind the pepper
- Like the original, this is a slow smoke for sure. Any faster puffing and you may pass out. – this is not, I repeat NOT a morning cigar!
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes
As much as I like the original I have to give the edge to the revamped Pulse with its super tasty Mexican wrapper. The journey was abs pleasant from foot to nub and before lighting it up my palate was intrigued by the pre-light aromas and taste. Once lit I really enjoyed the natural sweetness that grew in the background along with the chicory, cinnamon, and roasted nut notes. The varying degrees of nuances kept the palate intrigued. The cigar had a decent burn with just a mild wave and carried a long ash before dropping. This is most certainly worth buying a box, especially if you are an experienced cigar enthusiast considering its full strength, moderate complexity, and full body. I rate this a solid 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Wave; (-1) Flat but centered burn cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Long Ash