Cigar Review: Patina Cigars’ Oro de Nicaragua Toro Extra

Mo Maali, owner of Patina Cigars, announced in February of 2024 that he was adding a new core line to Patina’s portfolio: The Oro de Nicaragua. Now, for those of you who have lived in Chicago, Oro de Nicaragua might sound familiar. In fact, that was the name of a line from My Father for the Casa de Montecristo in Chicago. That’s one of the cigars that got Mo into boutique cigars. “It was one of the first cigars that really got me into the world of boutique cigars, remember this was about ten years ago,” Mo said in his press release. We also talked to Mo at the PCA 2024 Trade show and he told us as much.

As for that original cigar from My Father, it had not been made in a number of years. With that in mind, Mo approached My Father and was able to get the name. Knowing that the name “Oro de Nicaragua” means so much to Maali, it’s no surprise that he did some things differently with this cigar. Most notably, this is the first box of 20 that Patina has released. The MSRP of the Oro de Nicaragua ranges from $13-$16. The Oro de Nicaragua features an Ecuadorian habano oscuro wrapper, over Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and fillers from Nicaragua and the USA. They are rolled at Nicaraguan American Cigars S.A. (NACSA) in Esteli.

OVERVIEW

VITOLA:   Toro Extra
SIZE:   6-1/4″ x 54

ORIGIN:   Nicaragua
FACTORY:   Nicaragua American Cigars S.A. (NACSA)

WRAPPER:   Ecuadorian habano oscuro
BINDER:   Ecuadorian Sumatra
FILLER:   Nicaragua & USA

STRENGTH:   Medium+

SOURCE:   
Patina

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE:   
Home lounge/stuido

WHEN:   
April 16 @1pm

DRINKS:   
Bottled spring water

WEATHER:   
70° & 65% RH

HOW MANY CIGARS SMOKED:   
3

PRODUCTION

RELEASE TYPE  Regular Production

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  March 2024

TOTAL PRODUCTION
Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 20
Production Totals:  Unknown

VITOLA BREAKDOWN
o  Toro Extra (6-1/4″ x 54)
Robusto  (5″ x 54)
Toro  (6″ x 52)

BAND DESIGN

From the box to the bands, the Oro de Nicaragua oozes class. While the Patina name and logo are in the center of the main band, it is surrounded red with gold accents. The design is as elegant as it is eye catching. The secondary band is cut so that it fits snug to the ovaled bottom of the main band. The name “Oro de Nicaragua” is written in gold and pops against the red band.

PRE-LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

CONSTRUCTION

The Ecuadorian habano oscuro wrapper is the color of a dark milk chocolate. It has several visible veins that criss-cross the length of the cigar. It is rough to the touch and pockets of oil glisten when the light hits it just right. The cap appears to be expertly applied. The cigar is gorgeous, without being too elegant. There is a bit of a rustic feel to the Oro de Nicaragua.

AROMA

The Ecuadorian habano oscuro wrapper gives off notes of cedar and barnyard. The foot is a funky barnyard note that typically indicates, at least to me, that I’m in for a treat.

COLD DRAW

The cold draw is sweet tobacco, fruit, and freshly cut grass. That last one may just be due to all the freshly mowed lawns in the neighborhood. The draw for this particular cigar is a touch on the tight side. The other 2 smoked for this review were near perfect. Hopefully, the draw will loosen up on the light.

SMOKING EXPERIENCE

LIGHT & DRAW
Cut:  Les Fines Lames Le Petit Carbon Fiber cigar knife
Fire:  Peter James “The Bar” Single Flame Torch Lighter

The initial light has notes chocolate, coffee, caramel, and baking spices. Black pepper on the retrohale. There’s a fruity note lurking in the background and lingers on my palate. Spicy, earthy, and a hint of sweetness.

SMOKE

The smoke production is as close to perfect as I’ve seen. Each draw produces more than an ample amount of smoke; more than enough to coat my palate and be satisfying. At rest, the smoke quickly subsides.

FIRST THIRD
>> Chocolate, Baking Spices, Black Pepper

The Oro de Nicaragua begins with notes of chocolate, coffee, nuts, and an earthy vegetable note. Black pepper dominates the retrohale. The burn line is uneven on one side, but just barely. The ash is compact, with not a flake to be seen. It is gray with bits of black peeking through. The vegetable note has turned to red pepper that gently claws at the back of my throat. It isn’t harsh, just spicy. Baking spices join the mix. There is a richness in this first third, almost like peanut butter but not as sweet. The flavors meld together, forcing me to pay attention. A hint of wood appears as the burn line begins to even itself out. The retrohale is sublime: black pepper, baking spices and that rich earthiness shine through.

SECOND THIRD
>> Graham Cracker, Cream, White Pepper

 I begin the middle third by knocking the ash off so that it doesn’t end up on my lap. The Oro de Nicaragua dials back a bit in the second third. Notes of fruit, cream, and light coffee take center stage. There are also hints of unsalted peanuts and a floral note that come through. A nice citrus note cuts through the richness and allows the sweetness of that fruity note to come through. The burn line has evened out, but is less than razor sharp. Graham cracker adds its voice to the chorus of flavors. White pepper and baking spices on the retrohale heightens the citrus note. The middle third continues with salted nuts now, cedar, cayenne pepper, and a nice note of mushroom. The flavors begin to ramp up with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and earth. The creaminess and sweetness are still there, but the Oro de Nicaragua is letting me know the final third is near.

FINAL THIRD
>> Campfire, Fruit, Black Pepper

Campfire, espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, and damp forest floor begin the final third. Black pepper once again rules the retrohale. Red pepper returns and claws at my throat. This profile reminds me of a chocolate muffin with an espresso. A spicy woodiness lingers on my tongue. Tge Oro de Nicaragua has been medium bodied up to this point, but now teeters on the edge of being full bodied. The burn line is good, though not razor sharp. The only flakes from the as come when I deposit the ash in the tray. The espresso note is divine. Charred wood gives way to dark chocolate and nuts. The rich note of fruit returns, but almost blackberry-esque.

RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

FLAVOR PROGRESSION

The flavor progression of the Oro de Nicaragua has been amazing. It has never been boring and has very noticeable transitions between thirds. Rich and complex flavors go well together and allow the more subtle tasting notes to shine through.

BURN EXPERIENCE

Was the burn consistently straight? No. That goes for all three cigars that were smoked for this review. Did that affect the flavor or my enjoyment of the Oro de Nicaragua? Absolutely not. At no point did the Oro de Nicaragua need re-lit or touched up. So, what are we really talking about here? Aesthetics? Pretty much.

RATING BREAKDOWN
0.80 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.50 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.40 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.50 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

IS PATINA FOUND ON GOLD?

OK, that byline needs work. Regardless of my poor writing skills, the Oro de Nicaragua is one of the most interesting blends I’ve smoked in 2024; it kept my attention from light to nub each time I smoked it. The only real complaint I have is that burn was less than even on each one I smoked. So what? No relights or touchups were needed. The blend is complex, yet nuanced. Flavors compliment and enhance one another. Never one overpowering the other; instead, those tasting notes seem to enhance each other and bring more nuanced flavors to the front. What an addition to Patina’s core line! I truly believe that Mo Maali’s passion for what he does and the love that he has for cigars is found in this cigar. He went out of his way to get the name and he went out of his way to make sure that this blend honored what the original did for him. This is box worthy and will be found in my humidor for years to come.

SIMPLY STOGIES RATING:  9.7 / 10.0

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