Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecudorian Habano
Binder/Filler: Condeja, Jalapa, and Ometepe
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 Pulse. This cigar is an entry into fuller bodied cigars for Ohana who has tended to produce cigars on the milder side during their first couple of years in business. Ryan and I met up in Louisville for the Festival of the Leaf at Executive Cigar and talked all things Ohana, FDA, Bourbon, and Cigars! He is excited about this new blend and says that it’s sales have exceeded his expectations. He tells me that the initial production of 5,000 cigars is almost gone and more will be being made at Noel Rojas’ factory in the coming weeks. In addition, as we broke the news here a few weeks ago, this blend will be released with a San Andres wrapper later this year. I had the opportunity to smoke a prerelease of this cigar which Ryan told me was still a bit “young”, but I was impressed. Ryan has dedicated his life to his brand and to traveling and gaining shelf space in spots across the country. And, this dedication is working, as noted by the small number of Pulse remaining out of the initial batch. I heard the chatter while at Executive Cigar regarding the Pulse and it was receiving great comments from the members and guests of the event.
The Pulse is a beautifully rolled cigar with a pigtail cap and a closed foot, much like other cigars coming out of Noel’s Tobacalera NOA. In addition to the Ohana band that boutique cigar lovers have grown familiar with over the last couple of years is a secondary band noting the cigars name, Pulse. The cigar is nicely packed and has a good feel in the hand. The pigtail cut nice and clean and just in case you run out and forget your cutter Ryan advised one patron at Executive to just pull the pigtail right off. It worked. The prelight draw was open and tasted of sweet cedar.
I mentioned earlier that this was a change of pace from what Ohana has put out in the past and you certainly notice it from the first puff. A blast of pepper hits you at the outset and continues for several puffs before smoothing out. This stick will certainly get your attention. The pepper fades a bit and notes of leather and cedar come and go. I’m a stickler on construction, and as with my experience with other Ohana products, construction is a standout area for this stick. The draw is spot on and the burn line sharp. The ash is white and hangs on for a long time. One I smoked at the event was so impressive that Ryan had to take a picture of it for himself!
Into the second third the pepper has gone away and the leather and cedar notes are joined by a vanilla like sweetness that is a welcomed addition. The cigar continues to burn beautifully and produces tons of dense smoke. I got a bit of pepper back in there on the retro in the second third along with a distinct leather aroma. I would place this cigar at this point on the fuller side of medium in strength and body. Definitely the strongest Ohana release to date.
As we move into the final third, the construction continues to be impeccable with absolutely zero complaints there. The strength and body remain through the nub and the vanilla like note from the second third has turned more vanilla like. I also got a bit more of the cedar in the final third. Both bands came off with no provlem, a minor issue, but a pet peeve of mine if it becomes an annoyance. Sad to see this one come to an end.
I said in my previous review of the Ohana M13 that I love to see a boutique company continuing to evolve, and the Pulse certainly represents another evolution for Ohana. As the company’s first entry into the realm of fuller cigars, it was a job well done. I was a bit worried after the first few puffs that this cigar was going to be a pepper bomb, but thankfully those worries were unfounded. The pepper will get your attention out of the gate, and the flavor changes will keep that interest to the nub. Another solid offering from Ryan and Ohana and the maduro release is certainly one to look out for!
Smoking Characteristics: 24/25
Overall Impression: 32/35