Back in July of this year, we published the press release of the Ohana Cigars Pulse. Having smoked and reviewed the Ohana “Friends and Family” and the “First Generation” cigars I have been waiting since July to get my fingers on the Pulse! The press release noted that they were to be available in August but finding them was not an easy task , but here they are, and today, Christmas Day, I would like to review the Ohana Pulse for you.
Ohana is about family and friends and Pulse carries on with this belief. With every heartbeat, every pulse, our family and friends are the lifeblood of our existence. We are deeply humbled and honored by the support we have received in these first two years and now we honor you with Pulse.
Before I get into the review, let me say this, “Make room in the Stogie Press 2016 Top 25 Boutique Cigars list for this amazing cigar!” We have announced 20 of the 25 contenders, and now the pulse shows up, and throws a wrench into the rankings. Well somebody may be moving down a notch, even to an honorable mention. We shall see, when the final rankings come out on New Years Eve.
So lets talk about the Pulse cigar now.
The Ohana Pulse is a cigar that is rolled at Noel Rojas’ Tobacalera NOA in Esteli, Nicaragua. The same factory that produces the Jas Sum Kral, Que Vida , and of course Noel’s Guayacan brand. It is the latest creation by Ryan Frank Rodriguez, whose Ohana line is continuing to expand, even under the pressure of the new FDA regulations. Yes, you can win in the Cigar business if you have a great product. As you will read, the Pulse is just that, a great cigar from a passionate boutique cigar brand owner. You can read more about Ryan’s passion on his Facebook page.
Ryan describes the Pulse blend as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habana
- Binder/Filler – Condeja, Jalapa and Ometepe.
The “Pulse” is available in 2 vitolas with its first production limited to only 5,000 cigars:
- Robusto (5 x 50) MSRP $8.50
- Toro (6 x 50 ) MSRP $9.50
The company is also releasing the Ohana Pulse Maduro, which is the same blend, but with a true Mexican San Andres Maduro, Natural wrapper.
For this review I sampled the Ohana Pulse Toro
Cigar Review Notes
- Medium brown and marbled wrapper with minor veins – fairly smooth to the touch
- Finished with a closed foot and beautiful pig tail cap
- Sweet and spicy aromas along the barrel but hard to pick up any notes off the closed foot – perhaps a faint chocolate or vanilla bean
- I bit the tail off on this one and the cold draw was open with little restriction offering notes of pepper and earth
- First puffs smack me with pepper on the nose – ouch!
- A light grey to almost white ash develops
- Dang, I am already developing a case of the “Nicups” – It has been a while since that happened.
- Slowly working through the early pepper
- After a half inch of burn, the pepper recedes just enough to detect a coffee note developing (I am getting the cinnamon earlier now in the ’22 version)
- The wrapper is quickly developing oils off the medium char line
- Pepper is still present on the nose and a little on the throat
- Sweet aroma developing in the ’22 version
- Smoke is full and thick
- Fruit enters behind the coffee
- An exotic spice enters that eventually shows itself as cinnamon
- Excellent burn so far!
- Natural Sweetness pulls it all together into a balanced smooth tasty smoke (’22)
- Toasty nut finds its way in at the end of the first third (Spot on in ’22)
- Some dry leather starts of second third not in the ’22
- ’22 can be described as an elegant array of flavors and aromas
- Strength is solid medium at this point and showing signs of moving up
- It’s raising the Pulse rate for sure
- ’22 has some cream notes adding to the earlier coffee
- Perfect burn cone after the two inch ash fell
- Coffee shifts to an espresso bean and cedar mixes in the fold
- The nut aroma continues
- An interesting herbal note appears in the final third
- Red pepper enters in the final third – Damn, I am getting beads of sweat at this point on my brow!
- A buttery cocoa hides behind the pepper
- This is a slow smoke for sure. Any faster puffing and you may pass out. – this is not, I repeat NOT a morning cigar!
- It does burn a little hot to the touch near the nub – but hey its the nub.
- Finishes with spice and pepper in case you did not have enough.
- Total smoking time was 90 minutes
Overall, the Ohana Pulse was not an amateur smoking experience. This is a cigar that will certainly raise your pulse rate with its ever present pepper and increasing strength. It is a Medium-Plus strength on my scale, which means full strength to a novice. I have the Robusto and think this may pair really well with a bold Islay Scotch.