Captain’s Log: Thursday. 26. March. 2015 –
“I was graced with a warm, sun-filled day, unusual for the early spring weather of Colorado, an unpredictable climate at best. Naturally, I ventured outdoors, in hopes of securing a brief smoke. It was my luck that I happened upon a mythical creature, one that had eluded me foregoing. I’ve heard tales of water spirits, ocean nymphs, temptresses of the sea, and mermaids, though she called herself La Sirena.”
La Sirena introduced their newest cigar blend in mid 2014, amidst a string of changeups in the brand, including a departure from the My Father Cigars factory to Espinosa’s La Zona factory. Oceano, though, has been blended at Quesada’s MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic. For this, the first La Sirena cigar made at the Quesada factory, the brand aimed to make a truly strong smoking experience. Appropriately, La Sirena has released the Oceano in 5 vitolas – one for each ocean, with names to match.
La Sirena Oceano Breakdown
- Wrapper: Dominican Habano Vuelta Arriba
- Binder: Dominican Criollo
- Filler: Dominican Criollo Visos and Ligeros and Nicaraguan Viso
- Factory: MATASA (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular release
- Vitola: 5.5″ x 50 Indian (robusto)
- Price: $9.50
The La Sirena Oceano Indian is a slightly long robusto (5.5″). The cigar itself look nice – there is the classic, Cuban triple cap, light veins, easily visible seems (we’ll let that one slide), and a muted, oily sheen on the Habano wrapper. It is well-packed and feels solid and sturdy in the hand, in addition, giving the cigar a draw on tighter side. And while I’m not the biggest fan of its band (it could use some gold foil embossing to make it pop a little better), the cigar itself appears up to snuff.
My first few draws, getting the cigar lit, are a bit harsh and bitter. Though, once the cigar gets going, this is sharply contrasted by a blast of sweetness. There is black pepper and a dryness, similar to the start but without the harsh notes – like the smell of burning herbs. Every few puffs, there is that sweetness, it’s great, like heavily sweetened coffee. In profile, I’d peg this as slightly less than medium in flavor – medium-plus in strength – and a dead medium in body, here at the 20 minute mark.
This is where I needed my first touchup, which has me (again) examining the cigar. The ash has a pastry-like flakiness, it’s light gray with hints of dark grays. The draw is bearable, but almost too tight – almost. We’re now losing most of that sweetness, replaced by the beefier black pepper notes. The whole profile feels dark, like heavily peppered and heavily toasted bread, with an added double shot of nicotine!
Yes, the cigar is beginning to show its true colors – it’s strong, very strong. But the odd thing is that, as strong as it turns out to be (still surprises me every time), it always pulls you back in with an underlying sweetness. It’s very interesting, on the one side, this is one of the strongest cigars I’ve had in recent memory – on the other, it’s incredibly sweet and I enjoyed that back-and-forth battle throughout.
Rounding out the smoke, the profile is of grass, hay, black pepper, and nicotine (yes I’m counting that as a flavor) for the strong side. On the sweet side, we have caramel, chocolate, anise, and sweet cream. Towards the end, you’ll actually notice more of the sweet flavors than before – yes, it’s still strong, but sweet.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
I’m going to go with a maybe here. If I was in the mood to get smacked around a little, I’d like to pair this with a barrel proof bourbon and let the 2 go at it for awhile, see who comes out on top.
- Nice balance of strength/sweetness
- slow burner
- Multiple touchups & relights
- Slightly tight draw