While Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. has had a handful of eye-raising, interestingly named cigars—including lines like SuperFly, McFly, and the recently released Raw Dog—it also has a cigar that draws on modern art.
That cigar is the Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition, named for Honduran artist Elmer Ciserón Bautista, who has been described as both Post-Cubist Subrealist and Post-Cubist Minimalist. He’s shown his works in numerous countries since his debut in 1991 and was awarded the Julio Visquerra Regional Painting Prize, as well as several other honors from the Honduran government.
Valladares selected five pieces of art from Ciserón that appear on the lid of the boxes, with 500 boxes of each design produced, each containing 20 cigars.
Beyond the art, the cigar itself is notable for being the first one to be produced by Oscar Valladares that didn’t use Honduran tobacco as part of its blend. Rather, the cigar gets an Ecuadorian wrapper, while the binder and fillers come from Nicaragua. Regardless of which piece of art appears on the lid, the blend of the cigars inside the box is the exact same.
Here’s what I said about the Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition when I reviewed it in February 2018:
The Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition presents a unique challenge of trying to get a score to match up with what the cigar offers, and here’s why: on its own, each cigar is good and plenty enjoyable, and while it avoids any low points, it seems to eschew any high points as well. The middle third is good if remarkably forgettable, simply because it is familiar and palatable, to the point where it loses my attention. The first and final thirds are much better and carry much of the flavor, strength and aroma, and in turn rack up much of the points for the cigar. Yet after smoking three, I have nothing but good things to say about it. Each one is clean, balanced, burns incredibly well, and left me with a positive impression, so much so that I’d easily smoke more. Prior to this being published, I don’t know what the score will be, though I know it’s likely not the accurate representation of this cigar that I want it to be.
- Cigar Reviewed: Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $9.50 (Box of 20, $190)
- Release Date: Jan. 25, 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
This Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition is one of those cigars I know has been in my redux humidor for several years, though I’m a bit surprised to find it’s taken five years before I finally decide to pull it out. There was no particular reason that it was in there for that long, other than that for one reason or another, it just never made as much sense to revisit as another cigar did. The inch or so of tobacco I can see above the large band is a bit lighter than medium brown and has a dry, matte finish to it. The rest of the wrapper looks more or less the same once I slide the large band off, with a few veins that stand out visually for their size and that they are a couple of shades lighter than the rest of the leaf. The wrapper doesn’t have much in the way of visual oiliness, though when I slide my fingers along the cylinder, I pick up just a touch of it amidst the texture of the leaf. The cigar is firmly rolled but with some give and consistent density from head to foot. The foot has an aroma that starts with dry, baked, unsalted pretzels. It’s a surprisingly vibrant start given the age of the cigar, and behind that are touches of vanilla and an underlying softness that reminds me of very doughy white bread with a touch of thick creaminess. In terms of airflow, the cold draw is near perfect as draws move smoothly and without undue restriction. The flavor is much mellower and moves wheat bread into the forefront, though there doesn’t seem to be much behind it.
Given how bread played a prominent role in the cold draw and pre-light aroma, I’m not surprised to find that the Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition starts with a toasty flavor, backed by just a touch of black pepper that provides a different tingle on my taste buds. Given that I’m smoking this cigar fairly early in the morning, it’s a very approachable profile, stimulating but not overpowering for the hour and how I feel. A pronounced dairy creaminess comes in next, and I’m quite pleased by what the first inch of the cigar has to offer. After that first inch, the creaminess begins to give way to a drier, more mouth-tingling profile that has a bit of light earthiness, a more pronounced toast note, and a sprinkling of pepper. The cigar delivers a heartier, more robust puff, but the finish is surprisingly light, and while it mixes in a touch of chalk at times, it almost reminds me of powdered milk. A bit of smoked graham cracker comes along next, and the cigar further impresses me both with how approachable the profile remains in the first half as well as that it is fairly dynamic with its flavor changes. The graham cracker turns to slightly damp firewood, a change that gives the cigar just a touch of an edge as it approaches the midway point. As it does that, I notice that the smoking time is a bit longer than I was anticipating, though I think that is largely due to a profile that feels like it should be smoked at a leisurely pace. A softer, creamier profile returns to carry the cigar into its second half, though there is a touch of pepper on the finish that keeps the cigar front-and-center on my palate. Flavor intensity in the first half is medium on the whole, though it ranges from mild-plus to medium-plus. Body is medium to medium-plus, while strength is mild.
The second half of the Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition starts with a touch more smokiness than before, making me think of a campfire due to how the flavor has changed. While there is still a touch of creaminess in the profile, it is largely affecting the texture of the smoke rather than the flavor, which is increasingly picking up a charred, ashy undertone. Retrohales mirror this change but offer a more pronounced black pepper and thus a touch more oomph to the overall experience. It’s not long into the second half that I realize that the cigar is on a fairly different trajectory than where it appeared to be headed in the first half, and I’m not sure I’m quite as thrilled about it. By the time the final third gets underway, the cigar is much earthier, and while the pepper hasn’t increased in intensity, it is playing a more pronounced role in the profile. Smokey wood joins the profile, a change that increases the flavor intensity of the cigar and has me thinking about putting it in the ashtray with just about an inch to go. This is both because I’m becoming less of a fan of where the profile is at and also because I want to hold onto some memory of the very good first half of the cigar without it being blemished by the final two inches. Flavor finishes medium-full, body is medium, and strength has ticked up to medium. Construction is fantastic with plenty of smoke production, a consistency even burn line, and no issues keeping the cigar lit. Final smoking time is two hours and 10 minutes.
First and foremost, I'm impressed to find that the Oscar Valladares Ciseron Edition has so much life and vibrance to it after more than five years of resting in my humidor. Outside of what my original review suggested about the cigar, I can't say I had a vivid image of what the cigar was like when new, so it was interesting to see just what the blend would offer. The first third is stellar, especially for a morning cigar when my palate seems most receptive to a milder profile that still has some flavor to it. After establishing itself quite well, the profile goes through a number of changes, and as noted above, finishes at a point that is quite different from where it began. I'd gladly swap out the changes for more of the first third, as that is where the blend shines brightest on my palate. All that said, the cigar is still quite enjoyable from start to finish, and when combined with the work of a noted artist, makes for a very likable project that is certainly worth smoking.