Matilde Oscura marks the second release by newcomer Matilde Cigar Co., a brand that has held the attention of media and consumers alike since its introduction in late 2013. This is due, in large part, to the roster of Matilde, which was the creation of industry veteran José Seijas—a man responsible for creating some of the most recognizable blends in the world. José and his son Ricardo have revived an old Dominican brand (La Matilde) for this venture—using Seijas’ 40+ years of industry experience to bring this worn Dominican name to the modern smoker.
In 2014, Matilde introduced the Renacer, their first release; one year later, they’ve followed up Renacer with Oscura, a dark, Mexican-wrapped oscuro. As with their first release, the cigars are crafted (for now) at Matilde’s own Tabacalera la Matilde factory in the Dominican Republic. Matilde has opted for a broad, multi-national blend, spanning 5 countries for this release. This includes the use of Pennsylvanian tobacco in the filler, something that hasn’t been incorporated very often in Dominican blends.
Before we continue, we have to be upfront—this cigar was named our #8 cigar of the year for 2015. It’s safe to say most members of the Cigar Dojo staff enjoyed Oscura.
SEE ALSO: Matilde Renacer Corona cigar review
Matilde Oscura Breakdown
- Wrapper: San Andrés Mexican
- Binder: Sumatra
- Filler: Dominican Republic | Nicaragua | USA
- Factory: Tabacalera la Matilde (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular release
- Vitola: 5¼” x 50 Robusto
- Price: $7.50
The new Oscura very closely resembles the brand’s first release—using the same, understated, wooden boxes—this time painted green (as opposed to the original’s natural wood) to match the cigar’s band. The band bares the same “S” logo (Seijas), taking the shape of leaves draped around the shape of a woman. The look really catches your eye, as the logo is highlighted with gold, contrasting against the primarily-matte-finished green band. There is also a sub-band with the same design, displaying the “Oscura” name. The sizes closely resemble the Renacer’s vitolas, with slight ring gauge tweaks and skipping the 6×60 Grande size (at least for now).
The cigar’s wrapper is dark with a muted sheen, which looks great with the matte band and golden highlights. There are no blemishes and the seams are practically invisible, looking like a solid chunk of tobacco! The roll feels about medium packed, with some give, but feels sturdy overall. On the nose there is notes of pepper and leather. And with a very clean cut, there is a pleasant aged tobacco profile.
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Right away, this smoke will hit you with a heavy body and flavor. Pepper is the first thing I noticed, with a sharp zest in the nostrils. The palate is somewhat dry in texture, feeling (and tasting) like cocoa powder on the tongue. It’s a decadent profile, I almost felt like I should be pairing it with a cold glass of milk!
The draw is near-perfect, feeling about a dead-medium—which produces slightly less than a desirable smoke output—but it certainly doesn’t effect the flavors. While the profile doesn’t change in any big way, there are added notes of molasses, caramelized brown sugar, and raw fennel root (in the retrohale) weaved throughout the second-third.
One of the most noticeably favorable aspects of the Oscura is its balance—there’s never too much of a certain flavor, or any harsh or unwanted qualities. In the last portion of the smoke, the full flavors are met with an increasing strength/body, which are around medium-full. Notes of oak, cinnamon, acidic coffee, and chicory balance out the end out the smoke, helping to keep things interesting from start to finish. This was a very interesting profile, offering a great balance of decadent, heavy chocolate sweetness against sharper notes of organic elements, with lots of oaks and root-like aspects—a great change of pace from today’s average maduro.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
No doubt about it. As I mentioned, the cigar ranked in our 2015 year-end list, and I’ll tell you—I smoked my fair share of these bad boys for testing. And I’ll tell you another thing—I’ll continue to smoke these as long as they’re in my possession!
- Fantastic construction (no touchups)
- Decadent flavors with slow & steady progression
- Tremendous price value
- Could use a bigger smoke output