Old School Jaxx toro by La Sirena

This week the Nubbit brothers learn that Old School is more that just readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmetic.

La Sirena Old School Jaxx cigarPunch: The bands of the Old School Jaxx and Jaxx Lt (which we reviewed here) are identical. The difference in appearance between the two cigars is that the the Jaxx has a darker wrapper and the Jaxx Lt has a distinguishing foot band. This toro measures out at 6″ x 52 ring.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Binder:  Nicaraguan Banda Criolla
Filler: Nicaraguan Seco & Ligero (Jalapa), Brazil Viso (Mata Fina)
Manufactured in Nicaragua at Tavicusa S.A.

Draw: Out of the wrapper, the Old School Jaxx Oscuro shares a sweet aroma with it’s lighter relative. This time, I’m calling fresh strawberries still in the garden – this captures the sweetness along with the garden-green and pasture scents. Very nice, and somewhat milder overall.

This is similarly a darker brown version of the wrapper, with a dry finish and very fine tooth, along with a coarse network of bold veins otherwise invisibly wrapped. Uniformly rolled and shaped, my attention is drawn to the visible filler bundles through the foot – this time the appearance is fine.

During my first sampling, I experienced audible cap popping with the big punch, but no visible splits. During my second sample, my wrapper popped just through squeezing and handling before lighting. Large punch, popped further. Got to hold the stick much further in my mouth to get a descent draw. I don’t blame the manufacturer for this, but it is still very disappointing.

P: La Sirena provided us each with two of these for this review. I punched mine with my big ⅜” punch. The draw is medium-loose. The distinctive flavor I get on the cold draw is anise-blueberry, reminding me of the Victor Vitale Tortuga 215 Reserva Cedro No. 5 we reviewed a few weeks ago.

D: Cold-draw is blueberries and steak, for me – not a bad combination. On lighting: bold start. It’s actually attacking the roof of my mouth and throat. I mean actually: I heard it call for artillery. To the point it almost triggered a gag reflex. The good news is that it is short lived. There’s a fruity tang on the attack, and so far, the rest is simply strong tobacco. This is one that I won’t be hot-boxing, but I am looking forward to the flavor maturing as I smoke it.

P: On the lighting, this Old School Jaxx is definitely stronger than its sibling, the LT. In fact it is rather harsh here at the start, and is producing lots of smoke on the draw. Burnt hay, burnt marshmallow, burnt burnyness. Mostly burnt hardwood, and a pepper finish in the back of the throat.

D: Burnt marshmallow? That’s good! I’m getting suede in the middle, maybe some green onion. Not really anything definitive on the finish. Burn has been uneven. Touched up a peninsula cum canoe. However, the ash continues to cling past 1-½ inches.

P: Yes, I’ll go with that – hot onion effect – without the onion flavor. After a half-inch it has settled down to where I can taste it: burnt hardwood with a sweet finish, and the pepper/onion burn finish has dissipated. This is starting to show some promise, although the strength is already becoming evident.

D: Entering the second third, it transitions to a stronger flavor again. Getting some warmed latex, like its sibling. More hot pepper, on the edges of my tongue and on the back of my throat. But its not harsh like the initial stages. The burn remains uneven, I’ve retouched it twice now, but I will attest that it does idle well. The hotter edge burned immediately when I sucked on it after a delay.

P: I agree, it has smoothed out considerably and we are rid of the harsh attack of the beginning.

D: Somewhere in the last third, the strength of flavor has faded a bit, but the flavor itself is the same: latex with pepper and some savory onion, and the slightest hint of sweetness. As I keep smoking, there’s more cooking spices. After a purge-chain, I taste toasted coconut. After consideration, I think the flavor is a hot onion: white onion, white hot spice.

While I take credit for causing the split at the cap, I can’t take the blame for the unraveling occuring at about three-fingers. It’s hard to get an even draw at this point…but when I do, I get blueberries again. Try this cigar with a slower, less frequent draw to keep the heat down, and see if that keeps the blueberry alive.

P: Here at the last third I’m starting to detect some cedar. The flavor here is otherwise hard for me to pin down, especially because at this point they have blended into a unified conglomeration of woodyness.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Punch: This is another “burner” from the Old School by La Sirena line. This Jaxx is fairly bold and has plenty of body – mostly woody with occasional nuances which keep it interesting. It has some strength, too, requiring me to consciously meter my enjoyment of it, which is easy to forget as the pleasant flavor entices me to puff away. Both of these samples required several touch-ups, but not enough to be a major distraction.

Draw: I did find the touch-ups distracting, as I was constantly watching the cherry, however due to the splitting I’ll blame my humidity control and not the cigar itself for the burn issues I experienced. Agreed; this is a moderately bold stick. Don’t let the harsh initial stage deter you – there’s plenty to enjoy throughout. I particularly like a cigar which throws random flavors at me in the last third. Overall, I think I enjoyed the Old School Jaxx LT over the Jaxx. Maybe I just need to humidify a fiver of the Jaxx and spend a little more “quality time” brushing up on my three “R”s.

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Comment (1)

  1. Great pics!! I too, was very disappointed with this reealse. Had very high hopes. I’ve got almost a full box resting. I hope I get the same results as you did. Keep up the great site!!

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