If you aren’t aware of Oscar Valladares, there’s little doubt you have seen his cigars; most likely, you have smoked one as well. Oscar had a humble beginning in the cigar industry, driving the Rocky Patel tour bus in Honduras. But with Oscar’s current-day massive factory and wealth of cigars he is producing, not only for his own company (Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.), but for third parties as well, these humble roots seem like a distant memory. Of course, this connection is made infinitely clear upon speaking with Oscar, witnessing his passion for tobacco and the love and pride he has for Honduras—a bright future in the cigar business suddenly becomes a virtual certainty.
The Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition is an interesting project from Oscar Valladares. Oscar’s packaging has always been somewhat unique (see: 2012 by Oscar, Altar Q, or Leaf by Oscar), but the Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition takes this level of creativity and passion for presentation to a new level. Oscar partnered with famous Honduran artist Elmer Ciserón Bautista to create the Ciserón Edition, where Ciserón painted a series of portraits that would later become the five unique designs of the same Ciserón Edition cigar. Elmer Ciserón Bautista then attended the 2018 IPCPR trade show, where an additional series was painted live during each day of the event. Each of these paintings are planned to be placed on the box and band of the next year’s Ciserón Edition, making each annual release somewhat unique.
Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun-Grown
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. (Honduras)
- Production: Seasonal (50,000 cigars for 2018)
- Vitola: 6″ × 52 (Toro)
- Price: $9.50 (MSRP)
Ciserón Edition marks the first time Oscar hasn’t used Honduran tobacco in a cigar blend made for his self-titled brand. Instead, an Ecuadorian sun-grown leaf encases filler and binder tobaccos from Nicaragua. Each of the five different versions of the Ciserón Edition have a release of 500 boxes (50,000 cigars total) that will be produced annually—all rolled in the same 6″ x 52 toro format.
The box and outer bands are stunning in appearance. The large sleeve showcases the artwork from Ciserón, with the design featuring the artist’s signature Picasso-inspired cubist/minimalist form; it displays a figure smoking a cigar with a moon in the background. Once removed, there is a smaller black under-band showing a red rose and an edgier rendition of the Oscar Valladares logo. On the inside of the larger band there is a biography of Elmer Ciserón Bautista. Overall, it is the most attractive presentation from Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. to date, in my opinion.
The sun-grown wrapper smells of citrus and the foot of the cigar is densely packed with an assortment of floral notes. The wrapper is thin and delicate, almost having a tissue-paper feel to it. There is a slight blemish near the under-band once I remove the larger piece of artwork from the cigar, displaying a brown sugar-like hue, now that the cigar is seen in its full form. With a double-guillotine cut, the toro gives a jolting white pepper taste from the raw, cut tobacco against the tongue.
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Ciserón Edition jumps out of the gate with deep, vibrant flavors across the palate. It’s such an incredibly sweet and full-flavored start that I made a couple of my colleagues try it to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. Ciserón is like an oasis in the desert—the first few puffs being so intensely flavorful, I thought it was a mirage. The profile tastes—get ready for it—uncannily like an honest-to-God cinnamon roll… like, exactly like a cinnamon roll! There are notes of raisins (I’m not the kind of guy that likes raisins in my cinnamon roll, but holy cow this is good) and loads of sweet cream cheese frosting. Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition is bright and flavorful in character throughout the cigar’s beginning portion, with a medium body and medium-mild strength output.
I get notes of barnyard hay on the retrohale, joined by flavors of leather, toasted nuts, wheat, and cabinet spices. The overall cinnamon-roll quality of the cigar has remained, but new and interesting flavors have come and gone, making for a somewhat dynamic smoking experience. Notes of anise, dark fruit, and white pepper are all available on the retrohale. Honestly, I have to force myself to put the cigar down every once in a while so I don’t smoke the whole thing in 30 minutes. The strength has ticked up a bit, now being roughly medium. The ash is holding tight; I don’t usually project the quality of a cigar through its ash, but this just feels right. Burn-wise, Ciserón is slightly wavy, but it doesn’t seem like anything of serious concern—everything else is virtually perfect in the way of construction.
There is a BBQ taste emerging—thick, rich smoke is just pouring out of the Ciserón. Dark fruit is still prevalent, as well as light herbal notes. The cinnamon creaminess mixes well with a delicate wheat/rice sweetness, becoming reminiscent of a Mexican horchata. The rich fruit flavor and wheat finish, mixed with an uptick in strength, makes for an atypical rye barleywine sensation. A little bit of bitterness has crept in after I removed the band, but this may be my fault, as I smoked the toro quite rapidly. The cigar has remained interesting throughout; it has the same base flavors but new notes and elements are constantly being introduced.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Honestly, I wanted to smoke another immediately after finishing my first. Oscar Valladares Ciserón Edition is a breath of fresh air—a lovely flavor profile with interesting characteristics that I haven’t often found in today’s cigar offerings. The attention to detail and wonderful artwork makes Ciserón Edition one of my favorite projects in recent memory.
This all being said, there seemed to be some inconsistencies between review samples, as later smoking experiences were not quite as intensely vibrant in flavor. All cigars offered essentially the same profile, with some being more aggressive and others being more subdued. The point still stands—yes, I will be smoking this cigar again.
- I have smoked more than one of the Ciserón and found there to be some inconsistencies in the cigar—some samples being fantastic and some being more in line with their price point.
- Ciserón Edition, as some may remember, was actually released in January of 2018, long before its tweaked appearance at IPCPR during the summer. While this original debut included Ciserón’s artwork on the box lids, the cigars themselves where concealed in large sleeves resembling the current-day primary band and logo design. The updated cigars now show the various paintings from Ciserón Bautista on the box and outer cigar sleeves.
- While the cigars were released in 2018, the artwork shows “’17;” this signifies the painting’s creation, rather the cigar’s. The 2019 edition of the Ciserón Edition will feature artwork from 2018, etc.
- Artwork for the cigar reviewed was design 5/5.
- Ciserón feels firm in the hand (signaling a dense filler bunch) but is somehow light as far as actual weight is concerned (I don’t know if this even makes sense).
What’s he doin’?
(a tentative section detailing my ideal smoking scenario for any given review cigar)
I would smoke this cigar in the future. No, not, “would I smoke this cigar again?” I would literally smoke this IN THE FUTURE—in a time-travel scenario. I am a successful robot doctor on Mars; I smoke my Ciserón and drink fine-aged Mars Whiskey and eat candied almonds. I still listen to music on a record player because I am refined—a hipster-Mars-robot doctor.
- Flavor: Medium / Full
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Cinnamon roll
- Dark fruit
- Cream cheese frosting
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Barleywine | Cinnamon roll | Horchata
- Purchase Recommendation: Box-buy
- Fantastic bursts of flavor
- Near-perfect draw
- Attractive and unique packaging
- Overarching profile can become monotonous
- Very small construction issues
- Inconsistencies between samples