Origen by Jesus Fuego Toro

It was probably sometime in the spring of this quickly fading year that I first heard someone mention a cigar named Origen. It was mentioned quickly, in a list of other cigars new to the market, and it sounded a little like the title of a suspenseful monster movie, “The Origen”. I took a quick look around the web for information on it, and didn’t find much. A couple of anecdotal encounters with the mysterious Origen on some cigar forums, but like encounters of an extraterrestrial or supernatural kind, no photographic proof, and few details. Hitting a dead end, I made a note of the name, locked it away in the mental filing cabinet and moved on.

Months later at a Jesus Fuego event, I still didn’t know anything about the Origen other than the name and that I should try it. And then, in the middle of a conversation, Mr. Fuego pulled one out of his shirt pocket and dropped it in mine. Once i got a look at it, I understood why it had been so mysterious. The only thing on the band, aside from the obligatory decoration, was the name of the cigar. No indication of who makes it. If I picked up one on a whim at a local brick and mortar, I wouldn’t have had much to post on a cigar forum either. As a fan of many of Jesus Fuego’s cigars, I didn’t hesitate to light it up. Had I been thinking, I would have saved it for the fresh palate of another day. I’d already had more than my share of cigars, that day, and I wasn’t able to get a very good read on it.

Well, it’s taken yet more months, but I ran across a box of these in a local shop, and bought some more for a review. There’s a good chance you haven’t come across the Origen yet, and an equally good reason why not. As mentioned by Mr. Fuego in quick interview earlier this year, these cigars are very limited release. 500 boxes of the toro were made in the Spring of this year for the top 100 J. Fuego accounts across the country. These have been followed by the Origen Belicoso Fino, which was released recently, and will be followed again in the Spring of next year by yet another, undisclosed vitola. And then finally at IPCPR 2010, the entire line will be made available, although I have not been able to determine if it will become a regularly available line, or will remain limited. But the most interesting detail of the Origen is that the cigar is 100% cuban-seed corojo, and boasts of an unusual corojo wrapper leaf that is grown in Brazil my Jesus Fuego’s father. And with that, it’s time to burn some Origens!

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Brazilian Corojo
Binder: Costa Rican Corojo
Filler: 1/2 Dominican Corojo, 1/2 Nicaraguan Corojo
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: MSRP $7.00

The Pre-Smoke
Because I didn’t have a lot of information about the Origen when I got to work on this review, the first thing I did was measure it to figure out which vitola I had. I noticed that even though it’s officially listed as 6 x 50, the ring gauge is actually closer to 48. Not that I’m complaining, in the past I’ve had better experiences with smaller gauged J. Fuego cigars, but it bears mention anyway.

The wrapper leaf is a darker brown with slightly reddish tones that really came out in the light of the sunny days we’ve had here in Atlanta this week. Further inspection showed what I thought was a patch on one cigar, which turned out to be only a piece of leaf that happened to stick to the wrapper. Aside from that, there were a couple discolorations on the cigars and a smears of pectin, but nothing serious.

The cigars were well packed and consistently firm, and had a pungent barnyard aroma. In the cold taste, I noted a little bit of caramel sweetness.

The Burn
The Origen burned and drew beautifully. One cigar had some unevenness in the final third that self corrected, but otherwise the burn line was razor straight the rest of the time. The ash was a solid but contrasting mixture of bright whites and blacks. And refreshingly, once the cigar was lit, no additional butane was necessary to keep the cigar burning properly.

The Flavor
The first third of the Origen started off with a creamy mixture of roasted nuts, some sweet almond, spice and maybe just a bit of wood. The wood didn’t stick around long, and the cigar made a couple interesting transitions before the third is over. It got creamier, picking up some earth and coffee notes along the way, and then went through a short, sweet grassy phase before finally returning to creaminess and caramel sweetness.

The second third continued to have a good deal of creaminess and at times was buttery. There is also a good amount of caramel sweetness early on that faded a bit as the cigar progressed. The dominant flavors were earth and roasted nuts, but there was also coffee, and some grass, and a few notes that reminded me of some Avo cigars I’ve had in the past. And, of course, spice, but with this cigar, that almost goes without saying.

On the way to the final third, the body built up and a more potent rich tobacco flavor came to prominence that carried the cigar to the end. There were still earth and roasted nut flavors, some creaminess, and good helping of spice.

The Price
I’m used to paying a few more bucks a stick for the Grand Reserva Corojo No. 1, so comparatively this seems like a deal. What is even more surprising is that the price is under ten bucks for what, at this point, qualifies as a special release cigar. (Of course the Origen could be destined for regular production after IPCPR 2010.)

The Verdict
Doctor Corojo (he does have an agricultural degree, after all) delivers again with the Origen. It’s well made, reasonably priced, tastes great and the flavors kept me interested for the duration. And it has me pretty excited to experiment with the rest of the line once it’s available. As I mentioned, I do smoke a good deal of J. Fuego cigars, and I’ve noticed the vitolas matter a lot. If the Origen is like the Grand Reserva Corojo No. 1, a petite corona or lancero could be amazing. That being said, I will absolutely be buying more of these toros while I wait for the rest of the line, and recommend trying one when you have the opportunity. And did I mention it’s fantastic with a cup of coffee?

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.