Wednesday, May 9, 2012

San Lotano Oval Maduro Churchill Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Price: ~$10

As you may recall ,the original San Lotano Oval made my "Top 10 of 2011" list. When I learned that one of my favorite cigars was getting a slight tweak and coming out with a maduro wrapper, I had to hunt it down. My one local shop, The Smoking Dog, just got them in so I had to get up there and grab a couple before they were gone. Luckily I managed to snag two Churchills.

This cigar has a very nice looking wrapper. The Ecuadorian Habano Maduro leaf is dark brown and marbled with some darker spots. There are no thick veins running through it, which leads the cigar to be very smooth to the touch. Th cap is made up of two flush layers.

The stick itself is pretty slid throughout, but has a couple softer areas. Upon final inspection, I noticed the smell coming from this cigar was very unique. It had a slightly sugary smell as well as a cinnamon hint to it.

As soon as I lit this cigar up I was greeted with some fantastic flavors. There were definite notes of oak and pepper immediately. There were some strong earth notes that started to form a nice base flavor. The peppery spice quickly coated my palate, and the flavors just seemed to build with every puff.

At the one-inch mark of this cigar the flavors became very creamy. The pepper was mellowed out a little bit by the creaminess and some cinnamon notes started to form. As the cinnamon notes formed, the oak flavor started to pick up. The cinnamon added a hint of sweetness to the flavor profile.

The second third had an entirely different flavor profile. Instead of being strong oak based, there was an equally strong leather flavor as well. The base flavor was still very earthy and woody. The pepper mellowed out to just an accent instead of how it was in the first third. My palate was coated with a nice combination of leather and creaminess. Every puff just seems to bring more and more flavor.

Around the halfway point of this cigar the pepper flavor seems to pick up a little bit more. The background flavors are still the same, but that is actually nice. Once the pepper and cinnamon notes picked back up, the leather flavor dulled out.

The last third was great in every aspect. There was a ton of flavor and it was very complex. All the flavors were present and full force. I couldn't believe how complex each puff was. The finish had every flavor come together and work perfectly together.

The ash on this cigar is a medium shade of gray. The ash was nicely layered and held on for an inch and a half at a time. The draw was pretty even throughout. It only had a slight wave once in this cigar. The draw was very easy and produced a hick light gray smoke. The smoke also gave off a very earthy aroma.

This cigar is very good. Its body flirts on the line between medium and full. I would consider it a high-medium body. The flavors are very creamy and not harsh at all. I would consider this a box worthy cigar. Its on par with the original Oval, but I like the original a bit more. I give this one a 8.5 out of 10.

Thanks for reading,

Zack the Stogie Man


  1. Zach, I've heard various things about this stick and your review seems to echo familiar observations and experiences. I'm curious to pick one of these up, especially hearing of the cinnamon notes... I've not heard anyone mention that yet. From the sounds of your review, this seems to be cigar semi-complex in character. Good review, now I'm really excited about getting one of these for my own.

  2. Hmm, this is interesting. I really enjoyed the original Oval (only had 1) so I guess I need to try this. I tend to like maduros, but sometimes I just feel that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

  3. Zack, I notice that for most of your reviews you'll remove the band around the halfway mark or so. Can you speak more to how you determine whether you'll remove the band and any issues you have with the glue on bands sticking to the wrapper?

    1. I usually try to wait until the burn gets down closer to the band because the heat will loosen the glue up somewhat. Some times if I take the band off too soon, the wrapper sticks, and wither peels or chips. So now I wait until the burn gets close. Ill pick at the band to see if it heated up enough. If it doesnt peel off easily or slide off, I wait a few moments longer.

  4. I finally got around to smoking the Oval Maduro a couple of weeks ago. I was left bitterly disappointed as I'm such a fan of the original - I felt the dynamic punch of flavor that I go to the original for was lacking in the Maduro. I agree that the original is better, obviously, but I'm surprised you ranked this one so high.