Late last year I had the pleasure of attending the Cigar heritage festival in Ybor city Florida. The festival as always celebrated the history of Ybor city and brought out both large and small brand owners. I always like going to festivals like this and getting to meet new brands and get reacquainted with old brands . This past year I had the pleasure of meeting Osvaldo Morales, Jr. a Miami native of Cuban heritage who was raised in Union City, New Jersey. Osvaldo is the owner of OM Cigars and during my visit he gifted me one of his latest blends the OM Cigars Essential Blend No. 4.
This is officially the fourth in a series of “Essential Blends” each expressed in a different blend. The company plans on at least 5 blends so there will be one more coming soon.
To learn some more about the man behind the cigar his company’s website notes:
“Steeped in the culture of Cuba, a young Osvaldo Morales experienced cigars as a staple akin to rice and black beans.
As he tasted fine cigars, he learned that they speak to the soul, as well as, the body. The peace a fine cigar brings is the ultimate goal of Osvaldo Morales Cigars. Smoking is a burnt offering of sweet nostalgia, history playing out in wafts of pungent smoke before your eyes, the wrapper’s marbled brindle complexion between your fingers.”
I met Osvaldo again at TPE and he gave me another sample which is the subject of today’s review. It has been resting in my humidor now for 5 months and was screaming to be smoked.
I asked Osvaldo about his journey into cigar and picking Tabacalera El Artista as the factory of choice and he provided me the following response:
The OM Cigars Essential Blend No. 4 is expressed in a single (5 x 50) oval box pressed vitola and has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – San Andres
- Binder – Piloto Cubano
- Filler – Esteli Nicaragua, Pennsylvania, Piloto Cubano, & T13
The T13 is a special El Artista Hybrid leaf.
The company also notes:
“These leaves were purposefully double fermented for a longer amount of time than the industry standard, and the experiment paid off with an absolutely unique flavor unlike any other cigar on the market.”
They come packaged in 25-count boxes and carry a MSRP of $12.00/cigar. Though the Essential Blend No. 4 was originally produced in a 5 x 50 box pressed vitola, Osvaldo stated he will be featuring a new (6 x 54) toro at this years PCA which will retail for $13.00/cigar.
The OM Cigars Essential Blend No. 4 is draped in a smooth medium to dark brown wrapper that has just a slight bit of toothiness. The leaf has a decent amount of marbling and slight oily sheen. Unlike many box pressed cigars, this one is pressed into and oval shape and is firm to the touch with no discernible soft spots. There are minimal veins and it is finished with a simple cap.
Two bands adorn the cigar. They both use an electric blue, copper, an black motif. The primary band displays the company’s logo in the center along with the phrase “HAND MADE” on the left and “LONG FILLER” on the right. The top of the band states this is the “ESSENTIAL BLEND and on the bottom it displays “MMXVIIII” which is the year the company was founded (2019). The secondary thinner band is placed just below the primary and declarers this as the Essential Blend and includes “OM Cigar Co.” in the center. Both sides of the band also includes the date.
I ran the barrel under my nose and detected a mild tobacco sweetness while the foot exuded notes of light fruit and baking spice reflecting the aged leaf in the blend.
Once I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder, I gave it a few cold draw puffs that I found to be spot with restriction and offering notes of mild black pepper and cedar.
I used my single flame torch to warm the foot and bring it to an even orange glow as drew in the first puffs of smooth pepper and floral laden smoke. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offers a beautifully smooth pepper and floral note
- Full volume of smoke
- White ash forms on top of a thin char line
- Sweet floral aromas waft off the foot
- Slight wave in the burn
- Cream notes balance out the profile
- Ash fell in a decent chunk revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Cedar fills in the depth moving through the second third
- An added leathery component appears midway
- Aroma shifts to a toasted cracker note
- Spice enters deep in the second third
- Continued floral background
- Burn evens out
- Touch of cream enters to balance the spice
- Caramel notes enter with the cream to give me the sensation of Goetze Old-Fashioned Caramel Creams
- Touch of earth adds down into the final
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 25 minutes
I found the Osvaldo Morales Essential Blend No. 4 to be terrific blend that pleased the palate from foot to nub. Starting with a rather Cubanesque floral with a smooth peppery background the cigar continued to evolve through its almost 90 minute journey offering pleasurable flavor nuances and aromas. I especially enjoyed the cream and caramel notes that joined together in deep in the second third not to mention the underlying sweet tobacco notes. This medium strength cigar is one that experienced palates will enjoy. Even new enthusiasts who want to expand their palate should take note of this blend. This is a box worthy cigar and based on my experience it will age well. I rate this a 94
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy burn through midway; (-1) Flat but Centered burn cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Complex yet Balanced