Cigar Review: Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro – Rated 96

Black Label Trading Co (BLTC) introduced what they describe as their boldest blend to date at this year’s Premium Cigar Association (PCA) trade show. The new Limited Release, ORTHODOX, hand crafted at Fabrica Oveja Negra in Esteli, Nicaragua has started to ship to retailers this week and it is one you want to get your hands on especially if you like wicked strong cigars.

Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro

James Brown, creator of Black Label Trading Co./Black Works Studio and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra states:

“Orthodox is really about Black Label getting back to its roots. We’ve done a lot over the last 10 years but at our core we are about highlighting the strength & intensity of Nicaraguan tobacco. That’s what I went for with the Orthodox. It’s extremely bold with spice throughout the palate and nose. Its intensity is balanced by flavors of dark fruits, cherries, raisins and finishes with star anise. This cigar is bold but very balanced and extremely complex.”

The Black Label Trading Co Orthodox has a blend described as:

  • Wrapper: Mexico San Andrés
  • Binder: Ecuador Habano
  • Filler: Nicaraguan

The Orthodox is expressed in 3 different vitolas, each packaged in 20-count boxes:

  • Toro (5.75 x 50) – MSRP $13.00
  • Corona Gorda (5 x 46) – MSRP $12.50
  • Short Robusto (4.5 x 52) – MSRP $12.50

For this review, I sampled three of the Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toros which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.

Pre-Light Examination

A toothy dark brown wrapper, that is all but veinless, cloaks the binder and fillers of this beautifully constructed specimen of a cigar. With a fine oily sheen, the cigar is nicely packed and firmly rolled. An expertly applied fuse tip/quad cap finishes the awesome construction.

Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro

A single black, gold and white band adorns the cigar. It displays a skull with a cross on its head in the center with golden rays shooting off it. The golden word ORTHODOX is printed on the bottom. Black Label Trading Co is printed in white on the right side of the band.

Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro

Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up natural sweetness and barnyard notes along the barrel while the foot exuded sweet and pungent notes with a hint of spice.

Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the expertly applied cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that I found to be spot on with restriction while offering fine black pepper and slightly pungent notes.

My Xikar fan flame torch did the trick to warm the foot to an even orange glow as I drew in the first introductory puffs of heavy black pepper, especially on the retro-hale. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.

Cigar Review Notes

Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro
  • Initial black pepper stings the nose hard with the retro-hale
  • A well-formed light grey ash forms above a thin char line
  • As the early pepper recedes it gives way for an evolving fruit note
  • Thick chewy smoke fills the palate on every puff
  • Sweet graham cracker aromas waft off the foot
  • Caramel notes add to the pleasure
  • Fruit intensifies deep in the first third
  • Slight wave in the burn develops
  • Dark chocolate nuance with continued fruit and spice
  • Aroma morphs into a sweet maple syrup
  • Savory spices join the mix
  • Strength ratchets up just before midway
  • Sweet licorice notes increase the pleasure of the profile
  • Ash fell in a huge solid chunk revealing a well-formed burn cone
  • Strength has reached full near the end of the second third woah!
  • The core of fruit and spice has maintained throughout the burn
  • Caramel adds back in in the final
  • Solidly Full Strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes

Final Analysis

The Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox journey starts with an initial sensation of black pepper that aggressively opens the nasals during the retro-hale. As the sharpness of the early pepper subsides, it yields to a blossoming fruit essence, evolving with each draw. Each puff fills the palate with dense, chewy smoke, while sweet hints of graham crackers fill the air. Caramel undertones contribute to the overall delight. Through the first third, the fruit notes deepen in intensity as a dark chocolate nuance emerges alongside the persistent fruit and spice flavors. Gradually, the aroma transforms into a luscious sweet maple syrup, mingling with savory spices. Just before the midpoint, the strength of the experience escalates. Pleasure amplifies with the addition of sweet licorice undertones to the profile. By the end of the second third, the strength reaches its zenith, while the flavor maintains the core essence of fruit and spice throughout. Finally, caramel resurfaces in the closing moments, adding a final touch of sweetness to the experience. If you like cigars with high nicotine strength the ORTHODOX is certainly a cigar for you. I highly recommend smoking this after a big meal. This is a box buy, so get them before they are gone. I rate this a solid 96.

Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Wave in burn

Bonus Points: (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Pleasurable and Consistent across multiple samples; (+1) Extreme Ash

Black Label Trading Co. Orthodox Toro

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