Cigars smoked for review: 2
Reviewer: Danny Smith
Today we are taking a look at the newest release from Ryan Rodriguez and his Ohana Cigars, the Ohana M13. I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced the evolution of this blend from a pre release sample early on in development, to an IPCPR sample, to the final release version that I’m reviewing today. Ryan sent us a couple toro’s to review here at 2 cigar guys and a humidor as well as a couple in a lancero size that we will be reviewing later on. Much like the Ohana brand name, this cigar also has a strong family connection. I spoke with Ryan about the peculiar name of this cigar, the M13. Ryan told me that this cigar is a tribute to his Grandma, whom he called Mom, who helped raise him. He said that his Grandmother meant the world to him and he wanted to make this special blend to honor her and to do that he needed special tobacco. The tobacco used in the binder and filler of this cigar has been aged an astounding 13 years. Additionally, the letter M is the 13th letter of the alphabet. The only thing missing is an O in the middle. With a bit of the back story out of the way, lets take a closer look at the cigar itself.
The cigar features a band that fans of previous Ohana releases will easily recognize with the addition of a red ribbon at the foot. The cigar is an impressive looking and feeling cigar with a nice heft and a good hand feel. The cigar appears to be rolled skillfully, showing no signs of soft spots and featuring smooth seams and just the right amount of give between the fingers. I straight cut the cigar with my usual xikar xi cutter right at the shoulder and the cigar cut beautifully with the caps holding on nicely. Lets light it up!
From the very first puff, copious amounts of cool dense smoke comes through each draw, and from the get go, that draw is spot on. Each puff provides just the right amount of resistance, something I’m a stickler about. The cigar burns beautifully throughout the first third and the char line, although not quite razor sharp, is really close. Right out of the gate I have a great leathery flavor coming through along with an almost caramel/vanilla like sweetness that lingers on the lips. Very enjoyable start to this cigar. One aspect that gets overshadowed when talking about cigars is often aroma. As we know, smell and taste are connected and aroma is an area where this cigar really shines. I actually had three people, most likely non cigar smokers, comment on how good they thought the cigar smelled as they exited a neighboring business.
Into the middle portion of the cigar the flavors from the first third have remained, but the sweetness has faded a touch and the flavor is dominated by leather and cocoa. I notice a bit of pepper in the middle third that is hard to put my finger on until I retrohale. I would say it’s more of a red pepper and a really welcomed addition to the flavor profile. The burn line on this cigar continues to perform admirably and the draw remains flawless. Smoke production eased a bit in the middle of the cigar but it’s still putting out plenty. The cigar is just strong enough to make you take notice and I’d put it solidly in the medium range.
As we move into the final third, the leather from early on is still there and the predominant flavor I’m experiencing. The red pepper note from the middle also lingers around and the caramel like sweetness comes back to join the party. The flavor lingers on the palate and the lips for a bit after each puff. All things construction related continue to be just about perfect. As I near the end of this smoke, I’m sad I’m nearing the end! This has really been a great smoking appearance.
It’s great to see an upstart boutique company evolving. This cigar is the latest in the evolution of the Ohana brand and Ryan really nailed this blend. I previously reviewed the Ohana Claro Perfecto on this site which scored a solid 88 on our scale. This cigar is better. This cigar is very well balanced and features nuanced changes that are really enjoyable. This is one of the better cigars I smoked in the latter half of 2015. It’s the kind of cigar that when you’re finished, you are satisfied as it has everything you need…flavor, just enough strength, and near flawless construction. It’s a cigar that I look forward to smoking more of.
Smoking Characteristics: 24/25
Overall Impression: 32/35