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2015 CA Report: Top 10 Recommended Oscuro Cigars

10 Oscuro Cigars You Should Be Smoking

By Gary Korb

Don’t be intimidated by that dark cigar! Chances are, you’re gonna like it. I’m referring to maduro cigars; but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to dive several shades deeper into the domain of oscuro cigars. Sometimes referred to as “double maduro,” Oscuro refers to the nearly jet-black wrappers you see on many of the best cigars. (NOTE: The true definition of a “double maduro” cigar is one that has both, a maduro wrapper and a maduro binder.) Due to their extreme color, many new cigar smokers get the impression that a cigar with an oscuro wrapper is going to be strong. Moreover, if it’s dark and oily, it may look even more daunting to the unexperienced eye.

That said, first we must define what an oscuro wrapper leaf is, and how it gets so dark. In Spanish, “oscuro” means “blackish” or “dark.” The leaves themselves are usually taken from the first priming on the plant. These leaves that grow at the very top of the plant are called the corona, which is Spanish for “crown.”

Because they sit at the top of the plant, coronas get the most sunlight, and the longer they remain on the plant, the darker they tend to be after fermentation. Some tobacco growers refer to these wrappers as medio tiempo, or “half time,” because they’ve been left on the plant 50% longer. (I know, the term sounds like it means 50% shorter, but I’m not going to argue with centuries of expertise.) By doing this the leaves actually being their curing process while still on the plant. The end result is a wrapper that’s thicker, much darker, richer in flavor, and sweeter.

Tobacco leaves used often on both maduro and oscuro cigars include heartier strains such as Connecticut broadleaf, Mexican San Andres Negro, Brazilian Mata Fina and Arapiraca, and Nicaraguan Habano. During the fermentation process, oscuro leaves receive shorter fermentation times at lower temperatures than those used for your typical maduro. Following fermentation, the leaves are aged in bales or barrels, depending on the manufacturer. During the aging period the leaves begin to take on an even darker color ranging anywhere from dark brown to pitch black. Suffice it to say, oscuro leaves are not necessarily determined by their color; rather, they are determined by the process used to create them.

Now that we have a handle on what oscuro wrappers are, let’s look at some cigars that will give you a firsthand understanding of these dark, delectable leaves.

* * *

10 Humidor-worthy Oscuro Cigars

601 steel cigars on sale oscuro cigars601 Steel “Anvil” (6” x 60)

This bold new addition to this bestselling line from Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Estelí, features an extra dark Nicaraguan Habano oscuro wrapper that caps a savory blend of Nicaraguan ligeros, for an extra wide and full-bodied smoke that’s loaded with flavors of spice, earthiness, and dark semi-sweet chocolate.

 

Casa Magna oscuro cigars on saleCasa Magna Oscuro Robusto (5” x 54)

Oily, Honduran Cuban-seed oscuro wrappers lend a delicious balance to this cigar’s full-flavored Nicaraguan-Honduran core. More experienced smokers will appreciate the complexity within, as a peppery start gives way to deep, dark tobacco flavors with an ample amount of sweetness, and an alluring aroma.

 

La Gloria cubana serie n cigars on sale oscuro cigarsLa Gloria Serie N “Glorioso” (6½” x 58)

If you like any of the La Gloria Serie R cigars, look out; this Serie N is pure dynamite. Using proprietary Nicaraguan tobaccos at the core, the glistening “Capa Oscura” wrapper is a stunner. Distinguished by its “N” tobacco tattoo, this full-bodied big boy offers complex flavors by the pound in an impressively refined smoke.

 

Rocky Patel freedom cigars on sale oscuro cigarsRocky Patel Freedom Toro (6” x 52)

A medium-full cigar with a diverse blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers is made all the more tempting by its extra dark and savory oscuro wrapper leaf. Light it up and set your taste buds free for a sweet, nutty, and creamy smoke underscored by notes of espresso and other earthy flavors.

 

Partagas 1845 extra oscuro cigars on salePartagas 1845 Extra Oscuro Robusto Gordo (5½” x 52)

Flawlessly handcrafted with spicy Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan ligero tobaccos, this cigar boasts a Connecticut Havano oscuro wrapper, which is a smaller, thicker and spicier leaf than Connecticut Broadleaf. The smoke steps up to the plate and swings for the fence with smooth, stout, and perfectly-balanced flavors making it a great after-dinner cigar.

 

 

Punch rothchild cigars on sale oscuro cigarsPunch Rothschild (4½” x 50)

Here you have a true classic from the legendary Punch imprint made with its signature blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican tobaccos rolled in an extra dark oscuro wrapper. The smoke is exceptionally smooth, well-balanced, and offers a richer taste profile imbued with earthy, woody and sweet-spicy flavors.

 

oscuro cigars surrogates tramp stamp cigars on saleSurrogates “Tramp Stamp” (5¼” x 48)

An Ecuadorian Habano oscuro wrapper leads-off a robusto-size smoke packed with an all-Nicaraguan center. Made by My Father Cigars, Pete (Tatuaje Cigars) Johnson had a hand in blending this full-flavored beauty. Dark, spicy Nicaraguan flavor abounds, accentuated by a stretch of sweet tobacco. If you like Don Pepin’s gift for making great cigars, add the Tramp Stamp to your “must smoke” list.

 

My Father le bijou 1922 cigars on saleMy Father Le Bijou 1922 Toro (6” x 52)

Speaking of My Father cigars, the Le Bijou 1922 series is without peer. Created by Jaime Garcia, this Toro dons a shimmering Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro wrapper. Below deck lies a perfectly-aged, full-bodied blend of earthy Nicaraguan tobaccos that combine for a sweet, creamy smoke that builds to a bold and spicy buffet of flavors.

 

la sirena Jaxx cigars on sale oscuro cigarsLa Sirena Jaxx Robusto (5” x 50)

A healthy mix of ripe Nicaraguan tobaccos with a shot of sweet Brazilian long-filler is rolled in a Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro for this Jaxx robusto. Medium-full in body, the smoke enters with a jolt of ligero spice that settles into a well-balanced brew of espresso, mocha, wood, and sweet spice flavors that command your attention.

 

tatuaje Tattoo cigars on sale oscuro cigarsTatuaje Tattoo “Caballero” (5” x 50)

Another Pete Johnson creation made with the finest Nicaraguan tobaccos capped by an inviting Ecuadorian Habano oscuro wrapper. Priced affordably, this robusto has a medium-full flavor profile that smokes with dead-center balance and a spicy aroma. Flavors of dark wood, earth, and sweet spice flow effortlessly across the palate for a very satisfying and memorable smoke.

newest oldest most voted
Shawn Mason
Guest
Shawn Mason

Nice selection. Some I have already tried and I see some interesting ones that I will be trying very, very soon…….

Lenny Morales
Guest
Lenny Morales

My favorites are the Liga Privada from Drew Estates and the Undercrown, same maker. The oils are palpable. Great smokes!

Brendan Gallagher
Guest
Brendan Gallagher

I’m a big LFD double ligero fan but just became a bigger fan of Drew Estate’s Liga Privada.

Michael Mastro
Guest
Michael Mastro

Where’s Pinar del Rio (PDR)?

Paul Buza
Guest
Paul Buza

The glycerine is palpable.

David Kimball
Guest
David Kimball

They are ALL delicious!!

Brian Bromwell
Guest
Brian Bromwell

Some of these I haven’t heard of… Will check them out. La Gloria Cubana Serie N is one of my go-to’s. Always in my humidor. But I have to agree with some others here. The Drew Liga Privada, as well as some PDRs and the LDF Maduro Chisel are all serious contenders.

Dan Colley
Guest
Dan Colley

You might want to try the La Reloba Oscuro as well. It’s a Don Pepin Garcia product and it well worth the price, which is a bargain IMHO.

Thomas Long
Guest
Thomas Long

The 601 green Oscuro is a go to for me, Awsome smoke.

Jeff Wurst
Guest
Jeff Wurst

Nice article. Keep your knowledge coming. I enjoy your recommendations on New cigars and what qualities they have.

Angel Garcia
Guest
Angel Garcia

I smoked the CASA MAGNA OSCURO ROBUSTO and I thoroughly enjoyed it and it’s my favorite summer puro this year..

Robert Hughes
Guest
Robert Hughes

I noticed an inaccuracy in the article. You mentioned that the crown or corona leaves were the “first priming”. Actually, priming starts at the bottom of the plant, so the top leaves would be the last priming.

Robert Hughes
Guest
Robert Hughes

Which do you think has glycerine added?

James A. White
Guest
James A. White

I don’t know for sure, I must be missing something here. I see people talking about Liga Previda and Undercrown, which I love both of them (and ALWAYS have some in one of my humidors). but they sure ain’t on the list up above by Gary

James A. White
Guest
James A. White

I think I will go fire up a Padron and then take my Bike for a ride

Jack Bliesath
Guest
Jack Bliesath

My favorites are the Partagas mentioned in the list and the Ramon Bueso Habano. Also the La Herencia Double Oscuro which is a bargain stick.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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