• google

Victor Vitale Tortuga 215 Reserva Cedro No.5

This session Punch and Draw elucidate upon the nature of the Victor Vitale Tortuga 215 Reserva Cedro No.5, and spray paint graffiti on a dog*.Tortuga 215 Reserva Cedro No 5 cigar

Punch: This should be part of our review…how to prep it for smoking. There are no instructions!

Draw: Exactly! I assume we remove the cedar before lighting?

P: Sounds right. The tape on here is difficult to get hold of. Wait! Did you already start writing? I wasn’t ready…

The Tortuga web site tells that these are Nicaraguan puros made in Honduras, but gives no other specifics as to the composite tobaccos. It also says that these are “extremely limited and rare”.

The Tortuga 215 Reserva by Victor Vitale is a very rare cigar produced in Vitale’s Honduran cigar factory. Using all Nicaraguan tobacco this limited production brand is only sold to Appointed Merchants across the globe. You can find this special release in limited quantities only at Appointed Merchants.” —Tortuga Cigars

D: I won these as a prize from Cigar Federation’s weekly vidcast, Cigar Chat, back on January 2. That was the episode when Victor Vitale was interviewed, and he made these available as a “door prize” for some lucky viewer in the chat room. We appreciate Mr. Vitale making these available, and if you’re not already a regular listener, there are several worthwhile programs available at, in addition to Cigar Chat. Check them out.

P: As you can see in the photo, the Tortuga 215 Reserva has a cedar veneer wrapped around the lower half which is affixed with a strip of cellophane tape along the seam. The cedar has an inch of overlap, so you could safely use a pocket knife to slide into the overlap and slice the tape. Not having a cutting implement you are pretty much hoping to somehow get a fingernail under the tape to peal it off if it doesn’t easily slide off. If the tape had a short fold-over tab it would immensely facilitate its removal.

D: When I removed mine from the cellophane, I detected the distinct aroma of blueberries, along with raisin bran and urinal mint.

After I peeled the tape from the red-ribbon around the foot, I found the cedar sheath slipped off with little effort. The wrapper is a colorado brown, with that nice, dry-brushed copper tone. The wrapper leaf is very clear – that is, uniform in tone and free of blemish or variations – with a hint of oil and a fine vellum texture. A second stick was more toothy. The wrapper seems to be well-laid, the visible veins almost seem aligned, and are subtle for veins.

P: The primary aroma I notice is that of an outhouse without the ammonia — not off-putting, but not enticing, either. Punching it with a large punch yields a medium draw, straw with a hint of sweetness and porta-potty.

D: Wow! The cold-draw includes blueberries. The tobacco taste is all straw, no hay, and a hint of manure. For lighting, I’m going to splinter the cedar sleeve to make a spill….after I remove the transparent tape.

P: On my cold draw the first taste is cream. The draw is a perfect medium for me. While some of your descriptive flavors can be a bit… uh… imaginative, I won’t dispute the blueberry you have identified. In fact, I embrace it.

D: That’s a funny mental picture — you embracing a blueberry. It is a little fruity.

P: DON’T JUDGE ME! But I have to agree that blueberries are a little fruit.

Despite the cold draw, the Cedro No.5 starts off with little sweetness. A deep cedar coats the palate, a bit of coffee bean on the finish and a light creaminess through the nose.” —Charlie Minato of Halfwheel

D: My first impression upon lighting up is green. I think it’s… asparagus. Thick, chewy smoke. The attack is “green” – this is mild sage or asparagus – with the rest of the asparagus in the middle and finish. There is blueberries in the aftertaste. After a few more puffs, what comes to mind are these gourmet truffles I’ve tried, one of which was rosemary – rosemary-flavored filling in a dark chocolate truffle. It was quite weird, and delicious. The flavor here is similar.

P: Here at the beginning I get a harsh pepper on the attack — an acridity or “brightness”, which I don’t care for, but the finish is distinctly unusual to me – blueberry muffin and sharp leather. Half an inch in and the harsh pepper is gone, and a faint cedar has joined the finish.

D: Like watching Oprah Winfrey Network, and enjoying it. Distinctly unusual. To you. You are a half-inch ahead of me already – you’re hot-boxing it.

P: Nope. I’m just liking it! Still getting a “bright” hit on the attack, but not pepper. A subtle undertone of blueberry sweetness has developed under the leather/wood/cedar and lingers into the finish.

D: Now I’m getting bottle-rocket flavor in the middle. Fruity sweetness on the roof of mouth and aftertaste.

P: Like the common bottle-rockets you get at the roadside stands, or high-end free-range ones?

D: No. I’m serious – it’s around the middle of the draw, and I’m getting older leather throughout. The green pepper is starting to stick in my mouth,too. Getting clotted cream with blueberry now. I think the blueberry comes from the wrapper. I’m also get some per-fumy aromatics, occasionally.

Here’s how to taste the bottle rocket: put the cigar to your mouth. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Draw down the tip of your tongue just a short trip, then back up, then draw down your whole tongue. This process takes only a second or so.

P: Right. And if you put your pinkie finger in your ear when you take a draw, it tastes like pistachio. The SMOKE, not your finger! Seriously though, I can now imagine the “bottle-rocket” flavor – probably having to do with the flavor sensors on the bottom of the tongue which this technique washes with smoke. Overall, this has a good, rich, flavor blend and medium-plus body.

D: At the last third, I’m seeing where it takes a stronger pull to light the wrapper and thwart tunneling. This may be a construction thing, or a humidity control thing…either way. The flavor has turned more cedar/pine, still with green asparagus‑y flavor and cream, and the aftertaste is still blueberry sweet, but not as strong (cedar kind-of coats everything eventually).

The burn has been excellent. One tiny peninsula, but it quickly auto-corrected; otherwise fairly sharp and even. Ash consistently clings for an inch-plus every time.

P: Yeah. And it’s no surprise that the flavors are stronger and more blended here near the end. That bright attack which mimics sweetness on the draw is moving into leather with blueberry-n-cream sweetness. And the nub has become rather mushy.

Medium flavor, mild strength. Overall the flavor is very smooth, complex and balanced.

As for the flavors, they aren’t going to be ones that weigh heavy on your pallet — and it works well with this blend.” — Will Cooper (Cigar-Coop)

Burn it or Spurn it?

Punch: She’s a burner, fer sure. Assuming you can get your hands on one. Overall medium bodied, nice complexity presenting lots of variety: bright leather, green pepper, leather, wood, and subtle blueberry sweetness throughout. It had excellent burn with dense mouth smoke. This kept me interested throughout. This review was based on smoking two sticks, each, which we’ve had for three months. These were not given to us for review, nor were they purchased, but were won in a contest.

Draw: Burn it, baby! The Tortuga 215 Reserva Cedro No. 5 is a fine cigar. Great burn characteristics, mild strength, medium character, with sufficient complexity to keep me entertained. I might enjoy having a box of these around, if I could afford them or even find them. I’m delighted that, as the contest winner, I still have one left!

*We kept misspelling “graffiti” and ran out of dog.

The short URL of the present article is:

Comments (2)

  1. Hello Fellas, A very nice and entertaining review. Thank you for taking the time to smoke and review. Cheers fellas! Take care.

  2. […] 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. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.