Last year Eddie Ortega released a seventh size to his popular Serie D Maduro line – a lancero. If you’ve been a reader here at halfwheel for more than a month, you know that we generally are a fan of lanceros, and personally I’m a fan of the Serie D Maduro line. I was both happy and sad for this release, because initially it was an event only cigar and the only samples I thought I would get my hands on were the ones I smoked for the review.

Just before we published the original review however, the news came out that this was going to be added to the regular production lineup. The cigar wasn’t just a hit with me, as it went on to be part of our 2013 Awards: halfwheel 25 lineup.

Here’s what I originally had to say about the cigar:

I’ve been vocal about my ring gauge preference on halfwheel before, and while I love the lancero size it doesn’t always mean the cigar is better than its larger counterparts. Sometimes they fall short for various reasons, either the blend doesn’t translate as well or the construction is poor, easily being overfilled or under filled as they are more difficult to roll. However, the Serie D Maduro Lancero could not have hit the nail on the head any better. With perfect construction lending to a perfect draw and an absolutely enjoyable flavor profile that developed into a sublime final third, it would easily be one of the cigars I review that quickly get purchased afterwards. Unfortunately, these aren’t available to purchase right now, but fortunately for me and Lancero fans everywhere these will be available very soon.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Ortega Serie D Maduro #9
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars, S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $8.25 (Boxes of 10, $82.50)
  • Date Released: March 15, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

The dark brown wrapper has a rich, inviting look to it though it is just a little rough around the edges. It’s a little rough to the touch too, with a slight oily feel to it – all fairly par for the course for a Mexican San Andrés wrapper. I was a bit surprised that the pigtail cap was still intact after a year and a half of being moved around my humidor. The wrapper still has the sweet barnyard aroma sprinkled with hints of cocoa and spice, while the cold draw still produces strong cocoa and sweet barnyard notes.

Starting into the first third there’s still that meaty pepper I remember, however it’s a much more subdued pepper that doesn’t hit the middle of my tongue nearly as hard. The cocoa has faded a bit, though the profile is still quite earthy from the start. As the first third develops it gets a little sweeter and creamier, the pepper fading a little and the cocoa getting a little stronger. The second third sees the sweet, creamy profile continuing with a new bold coffee note adding itself to the mix and continuing with the earthy themed profile. Towards the end of the second third, the earth fades a little which bring the cocoa and bold dark coffee notes to the forefront. In the final third there’s still a hint of the earth from before, though the meaty pepper has disappeared completely. The remaining profile is smooth, sweet profile filled with cocoa, coffee and the slightest bit of earth.

Ortega Serie D Maduro  9

The draw on the Serie D #9 is right in the middle of ideal, allowing me to draw slowly and smoothly so the cigar doesn’t get too hot. For a lancero the ash holds on surprisingly well, with it reaching easily over an inch before I roll it off. Smoke production is great, with plenty on each draw and not an overwhelming amount off the foot in between draws. I was able to smoke the entire cigar without having to do a single touch up, which is always a pleasant experience in my opinion.

90 Overall Score

This sample was from the original release, so I’m not sure how current production is smoking. With a year and a half of rest though, it seems that the profile has lost just the slightest bit of complexity that I enjoyed originally. Having said that, the construction was absolutely on par and the flavor profile was still quite enjoyable. This is an easy choice for lancero lovers, though I might try to smoke through the box of 10 quicker and not let them sit as long.

Original Score (April 2013)
Redux Score (October 2014)
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Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.