I had never heard of the Tortuga brand. This past summer while vacationing in the United States I happened upon them while in a popular local cigar shop/lounge. I saw this in their new release area with its deep burgundy band and the all too familiar these days “Limited Edition” secondary gold band. I picked one up to smoke in the store while I continued my shopping. I enjoyed it so much I picked up a couple more. These cigars are marketed as extremely limited cigars. Their website lists all the retailers around the country that sell them if you are interested in giving one a try. I doubt they’ll be sold out because of their relatively unknown status. These boutique cigars were readily available for sale at the shop I bought mine at. Finding them at all of their listed retailers may be difficult but worth the effort.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
The cigar looks exceptionally appealing. A very tightly wrapped cigar with visible seams but minimal veining. My sample had a spot on the wrapper as can be seen in the photo but this was no big deal as it did not affect the cigar. It sported a nice appealing dark brown wrapper with a rich looking deep burgundy band and of course it sports the Edición Limitada 2011 secondary gold band.
4.75 out of 5 Stars
The cigar felt firm to the touch and heavy/nicely packed. You would think the draw would be tough but quite contrary. It offered just the right amount of resistance. It burned very well but needed a couple of touch-ups to correct a burn that started to get away from me. The cigar burned really slow (due to the amount of tobacco in it) but never needed any relights. I had no issues with wrapper cracking on snipping it nor did the wrapper crack as I smoked it. The bands came off with ease. The ash was firm, never flaked and the smoke output was exceptional.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
The pre-light aroma was a very strong tobacco and wood. It had barnyard notes to the nose but overall it was pleasing. The pre-light draw had hints of coffee, some citrus, black licorice, cedar and chocolate.
Lighting the Tortuga, you are immediately greeted with full flavors that almost overwhelm the palate in a good way. I picked up notes of cedar, dried fruit, chocolate and a medium white peppery finish. The cigar wrapper left a nice saltiness on my lips. The smoke itself was velvety and very rich with a nice residue on my palate, almost like honey. Near the end of the first third I picked up some leather notes with slight hints of tea and black licorice.
The cigar transitioned nicely into the second third where I was able to pick up semi-sweet chocolate, coffee notes and rich earthiness. The pepper remained on the back end of the palate but it was milder than in the first third. The flavors were still bold and full. If this was a blind tasting I would have thought I was smoking a Padron Family Reserve No. 44. It really did resemble that profile.
As I neared the middle point of the cigar I continued to get nice bold flavors similar to those already mentioned but a little more coffee, mocha and creamy texture entered the picture. There were hints of sweet oak, dried fruit and wild berries. It was definitely very smooth and boasted a medium to long finish that was very pleasing.
The final third continued to develop nicely with some perfectly blended sweetness with some occasional hints of dark chocolate. It never got bitter or hot thanks to the slow burn and to the construction. The cigar offered up some very discernible coffee, mocha and sweet oak flavors with some black cherry, licorice and dried fruit. A nice chocolate tone mainly dominated the final third. The smoke was still thick and had a nice velvety cream-like texture on the palate.
The Tortuga 215 Edición Limitada has a definite kick to it. I started to feel the nicotine just past the halfway mark and this was after I had had a hearty meal. Definitely ensure you eat something beforehand.
4 out of 5 Stars
Despite being a boutique cigar and offered in very limited quantities the cigar wasn’t priced like some of the higher end better known cigars on the market. I paid $8.80 for this cigar before taxes. Definitely not priced to be an everyday cigar but certainly a cigar that you would enjoy when you have the time or for that special occasion. The cigar lasted almost an hour and a half so you do get your money’s worth in terms of duration. Paying this much for a cigar that many haven’t heard of though may put some purchasers off. Don’t ever be afraid to get out of your comfort zone though and try something new.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Tortuga 215 is a very pleasing cigar that offers full-bodied flavors and medium to full strength enjoyment. A great cigar with exceptional creamy smoke output and flavors that boast coffee, mocha, chocolate, dried fruit and sweet wood. It has a complex profile that evolves and transitions frequently and seamlessly. Try to find one. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did. A perfect ending to a nice steak dinner.