Released in 2015, the Matilde Oscura is the follow-up to the well regarded medium bodied Matilde Renacer that kicked off Jose Seijas’ then new venture. Boasting a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, the Oscura promised to provide a bolder, stronger experience. The Oscura, produced at Tabacalera La Matilde in the Dominican Republic, comes in the same sizes as the original Renacer: Corona 5½ x 44, Robusto 5¼ x 50, Toro Bravo 6½ x 54, and Gorda 6 x60. Prices are also the same: $7.50 to $9.00 in boxes of 20.
• Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
• Binder: Sumatra
• Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, US Pennsylvania
• Size smoked for review: Robusto 5¼ x 50
• Price: $8.00
Smoking time: One hour, thirty minutes
The Matilde Oscura presents itself well in a dark brown wrapper splotched with darker spots, a couple of fine to medium veins, and a moderately toothy surface. The cigar is extremely firm in feel, and has tight seams leading to a nicely rounded cap. The scent off of the wrapper is a light earthiness, while the foot gives up a deeper aroma of earth, natural tobacco, light cocoa, and wood. After clipping the cap, the fairly snug unlit draw doesn’t show much more than faint sweet peppery spice and cedar on natural tobacco.
The smoking experience:
Upon lighting, the Matilde Oscura shows earth, oak, and leather while pepper sits on the palate and is especially prominent on the retrohale. The earthiness fades back as sweet spice and light bread notes move in. The pepper becomes more of a hot red type and gives a hot mustard or wasabi-like sensation in the sinuses. Coffee emerges and flavors become rounder and smoother despite the persistence of the sharp pepper.
The second third brings a calming of the pepper, which results in a rise in sweetness and greater harmony of flavors. The pepper turns back to more of a pungent black pepper and the coffee becomes darker and roasty as a mineral note appears on the finish.
The final third of the Matilde Oscura has the mineral note turning to more of a citrus-like tanginess, as the leather resurfaces and the wood and pepper intensify. Light char comes into play as the cigar comes to a close at a full body and medium-full strength.
The Matilde Oscura is a heck of a cigar, especially if you are into fuller bodied and stronger smokes. Full, well defined flavors with good complexity, great construction, a burn that stayed sharp and even without any need for corrections or re-lights, and a great price add up to a cigar that I can easily recommend. Those who prefer their cigars on the lighter side, however, should approach it carefully, although I wouldn’t necessarily steer someone who wants to step up to a fuller, stronger smoke away from it.
You can get the Matilde Oscura from Cuenca Cigars here.
For a beer pairing suggestion, a rich sweet stout or Imperial porter will provide a great match and stand up to the power of the cigar. As for a wine, a boldly flavored tawny port would also be a fine partner for the Matilde Oscura.
Jeff Oda lives in Seattle, WA and is a frequent, if erratic, guest contributor to the Casas Fumando cigar review blog.