This cigar was sent to me by friends from Qatar. Before I give my comments on this wonderful stick I wish to set the record straight. In the past, when I’ve posted pictures of other Regional Cigars, many people have commented on how much they love that brand, thinking it’s similar (blend or ‘Liga’) to the regular releases of that name brand. I want to say that’s hardly ever the case and if it does it’s purely coincidental, in most all cases anyway. The buyer or distributor always chooses the blend he wants for his cigar and will undoubtedly do it according to what he feels his market is (since they’re only sold within his country). A perfect example of this is with the Oryx, the Regional from Qatar. In my opinion it’s an excellent cigar but it doesn’t fit the usual Bolivar profile. In strength, it may be similar to the Bolivar Gold Medal but it isn’t at all similar in taste. Oryx is the name they gave this cigar, the vitola is an Edmundo which is 52 x 135 (5.3”). Only 1000 boxes of 25 were released in 2011 with the box date on this one being August 2011.
After having said all that, I hope this shines a little light on what to expect (or not) from a regional cigar. Those of you that have had the good fortune to smoke a few Regionals already know what I’m talking about. The distributor of this cigar, who was kind enough to let me try some, owns a ‘La Casa del Habana’ in Qatar. Below I’ve posted some pictures of the shop. If anyone is interested in purchasing any of the Onyx the contact info is listed below as well. Don’t hesitate to contact them.
The cigar was slightly bumpy but otherwise smooth with a dark and oily wrapper and was hard to the touch. It was a beautiful looking cigar especially when they were all together in the box. The pre-light draw gave me nothing but pure tobacco and led me to believe it was going to give me a good draw. Once lit it gave me huge puffs of smoke, just as I thought. From the start, this was promising to be a mild smoke especially compared to regular release Bolivar. It was mildly earthy and the burn was a bit off. I haven’t reached the first quarter and the cigar picked up a bit of strength and was very smooth. The burn had almost straightened itself out but I helped it along with my torch. Picking up hints of black tea now.
By the time I reached the first quarter the flavours had settled down and the cigar had become medium to mild in strength. Reaching the first third and the flavours hadn’t changed much but I was getting spurts of strength now and again making the cigar taste a little stronger on those occasions. The ash was holding.
As I got past the first half I flicked the ash, it was stifling the smoke. I was correct, the cigar was burning hotter through the middle. I touched it up with my torch at this point. The smoke had mellowed with earth and wood being the dominant flavours but as I reached the last quarter it began to pick up a lot of strength. The flavours began to turn on me and rather than fighting it, I put it down. I’m sure a little more time in the humidor would help with that.
Overall, I loved this cigar and I’m glad I have a few more so I can see how they progress with the passing of a little time. As I said earlier, it’s not your typical Bolivar but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good cigar. Definitely worth a try and an excellent cigar for people who are not used to a Cuban cigar or who just want something that’s a little more easy going. I smoked two in one week and can attest to the consistency.
Adib El Sabagh
Sales & Marketing Manager
Intl. House For Trading and Services
Telefax (+974) 44434060-44437966
Mobile (+974) 66502191
Rayyan Complex, Al Rayyan Rd
P.O. Box 7870, Doha, Qatar