Ozgener Bosphorus Cigar Review
by Joe Gulino
Brand: Ozgener Family Cigar
Vitola: 4.0×50 Box Press
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli, Jalapa, Ometepe)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut & Nicaraguan Jalapa
Smoking time: 40 minutes
Flavor: Medium Intensity
What Makes It Special
The former head of CAO, Tim Ozgener, has launched his first Bosphorus Ozgener Family Cigar line. Tim is the son of CAO Founder Cano Ozgener. The cigar’s name, Bosphorus, is a body of water that divides Europe and Asia and pays tribute to the Ozgener family’s Turkish roots. These cigars are produced by the Tabacalera Pichardo Factory in Nicaragua and distributed by Crowned Heads. This 4.0×50 was graciously provided by Crowned Heads Regional Sales Manager David Payne III during a by-chance meeting at Norwood Royal Cigars in Chicago. Although the cigar was gifted, my review of the cigar will remain honest and transparent, based on my personal smoking experience as a self-developed cigar and whisk(e)y pairing reviewer, under the guidance of Dave Yancey, aka Greybeard, and Ash Red.
Its Ecuadorian wrapper leaf gets its varying spicy and sweet flavors from Ecuador’s rich volcanic soil and minerals, ideal for growing the most oily and pliable tobacco. Sumatra tobacco migrated from the Indonesian Sumatra Island, where it is known as ‘black tobacco.’ Ecuadorian Sumatra, made by blending Cubano and Sumatra varieties, is a mild and sweet leaf that produces sweet floral and earthy notes of cinnamon. The Nicaraguan fillers and binder will provide nice leathery notes and additional spice to the cigar.
Visual / Pre-light Draw
This is easily the smallest vitola to reach my hands. After a two-day dry boxing of the cigar, it was still slightly oily. It is smooth to the touch with tougher toothier-looking veins toward the head of the cigar. It has a very flashy gold, orange, and blue double band. The back of the main band has a cool ferry boat that is out at sea, with a nice sunset and bridge in the background. The side sniff is bold, mulchy, or earthy, with heavy hay notes on the dry foot odor. I took the bands off right away due to their short length. I used the shallow v-cut from Vertico due to the small ring gauge. The dry draw produced spicy earthiness.
Campfire chocolate on foot smoke odor. Creamy but classic Nicaraguan spice notes on the first draw. The cigar’s flavor is quick on the palate with little to no finish or aftertaste. The retro-hale has a nice creamy, vanilla, spicy punch over freshly baked bread. It has a great medium draw and excellent smoke output volume. The first third has some saltiness and bitterness, but the ash and burn is perfect.
Lots of earthiness and oat notes coming in. It becomes spicier on the retro with bold baking spices. There is a nice transition to dark leather notes coming in. The ash is holding strong while that saltiness and bitterness disappear.
Only sipping water with the cigar, and my palate feels hot, probably from the spicy Nicaraguan tobaccos. The ash is still holding strong, and the retro has calmed down—more of those nice vanilla notes, baking spices, layer over creamy leather. The flavors are lighter or less noticeable in the final third, with some staleness on the aftertaste. This is not the most complex cigar in terms of flavor, which was surprising given the dual binder and multi-regional fillers. With just under an inch left on the cigar, its flavor disappears or dries out, and I put it down. The ash held well and finally fell off with dignity well into the final third. For my palate, it is a medium bold cigar.
This cigar has excellent construction and is obviously packed with quality tobacco. However, it is not very complex, so slightly disappointing. It is, however, a nice cigar for a small break from your busy day. It would have more potential with more aging time in the humidor. I do not recommend dry boxing this cigar as it may have negatively impacted the experience. Also, the smaller size of the cigar may have negatively affected the full flavor potential of the blend.