Oscar Valladares has been on a roll the last few years. The Leaf by Oscar has taken on a life of its own since its debut in 2013. That particular cigar was blended by Oscar for “Island” Jim Robinson (of the Leaf & Bean cigar shop in Pittsburgh, PA) and has now become a beast in the craft industry. You will see that unique-looking cigar—packaged in an additional tobacco leaf in place of conventional cellophane—in shops all across the country. Despite the cigar being made for and distributed by another company, Leaf by Oscar has done a lot for Oscar Valladares (because it, literally, has his name all over it). People smoke the Leaf by Oscar and wonder, “What other cigars has this dude blended?” Well, as it turns out, he has blended a lot in a surprisingly short amount of time!
The Wild Hunter debuted at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV (where the elite meet to eat). It was released with both natural and maduro wrappers. It is currently available in a singular 6″ x 52 toro format. There has been no mention of more vitolas on the horizon.
Oscar Valladares Wild Hunter Natural Breakdown
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras
- Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co. (Honduras)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 6″ × 52 (Toro)
- Price: $9.50 (MSRP)
The theme is a bit lost on me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of camo (and an even bigger fan of orange), but the band has a bundle-ish look. I’ve hunted several times with my farther over the years, but I would not consider myself a hunter. It’s rare that a band has a negative impact on me, but this one does. There’s very little chance I would see this cigar in the wild and reach for it simply because of the branding.
The wrapper is a product of the Copán region in the west of Honduras, near Guatemala. Copán is known for growing a spicy version of Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99. The wrapper itself is actually very pretty, with an attractive reddish hue. The texture was smooth and slightly oily.
Click images below for full resolution
The wrapper gave off notes of white pepper, cinnamon, mild leather, and earth. There was a unique floral note in there as well. It reminded me of dried flowers. The cold draw mainly tasted of raisins and molasses, along with mild anise, earth, and cinnamon notes. The bouquet, if you will, was very Honduran, which makes a ton of sense because this bad boy is a Honduran puro.
The flavors kick in right away—leather, cedar, and a mild earthy sweetness are the first to the party. They were followed shortly thereafter by notes of black (on the palate) and white (on the retro) pepper. The pepper spice added a nice depth. The profile was medium across the board.
A bit of graham cracker sweetness showed up around the midpoint. This was a nice addition to a somewhat linear flavor profile. Leather and cedar were still running the show, but the late addition of spice (black and white pepper) and sweet (graham cracker and mild molasses) rounded things out.
The final third saw a ramp up in earth and spice. The enjoyable notes of cedar and graham cracker disappeared. At this point, the flavor was still in the medium range and the body kicked up a tick or two. The final third was a bit of a letdown, but it was not, in any way, unpleasant.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Eh… I’m not seeking it out.
- Also available in a maduro version, with the wrapper likewise coming from Honduras’ Copán region.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- White and black pepper
- Graham cracker
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Old Cuban cocktail | Iced light-roast coffee | Diplomático rum | Pilsner
- Purchase Recommendation: One to try
- Great construction
- Nice flavors (for the most part)
- Disappointing finish