Each February comes the celebration of the Chinese New Year, and as we have seen in recent years, it has become quite popular to release a cigar to commemorate the occasion. In the United States market, Davidoff has the best known of these releases. As we have seen over the past few years, there have been more companies entering the market for Chinese New Year cigars. For the Year of the Ox in 2021, Plasencia Cigars released its first Chinese New Year cigar with the Plasencia Year of the Ox. It was a cigar that was only released for the international (non-U.S.) market. The Plasencias have always been proud as farmers, and the Ox is an animal that is very important to agriculture. Today we take a closer look at the Plasencia Year of the Ox releases.
The following are the major Year of the Ox-themed releases that were released for the 2021 celebration of the Year of the Ox. Outside the Davidoff and Punch releases, the other cigars were not released to the U.S. market.
- Davidoff Year of the Ox (*)
- VegaFina Year of the Ox
- Liga Privada Unico Serie Year of the Ox by Drew Estate
- Flor de Selva Year of the Ox by Maya Selva Cigars
- Plasencia Year of the Ox
- Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras
- Punch Kung Pow (*)
* Denotes release has been distributed in the U.S. market
Plasencia has since released its second Chinese New Year cigar, the Plasencia Year of the Tiger. Unlike the Plasencia Year of the Ox, the Year of the Tiger will also be distributed in the U.S. market
- Plasencia Year of the Ox
- Plasencia Year of the Tiger
Without further ado, let’s break down the Plasencia Year of the Ox and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Plasencia Year of the Ox consists of 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos. This cigar was produced at the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Plasencia S.A.
The Plasencia Year of the Ox was released in one size – a 7 x 58 Salomon. It’s packaged in eight-count boxes with a total of 2,500 boxes produced. The eight-count boxes are symbolic because eight is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture.
The Nicaraguan wrapper of the Plasencia Year of the Ox had a light Colorado color to it. This was a wrapper that was more on the silky than the oily side. There were some visible veins, but most of the wrapper seams were well-hidden. Near the footer of the cigar is a short nozzle shape with an open foot. The cigar tapers to a single point at the head.
There are three bands on the Plasencia Year of the Ox. The primary band has a patterned orange background with gold font. At the top is the Plasencia “P” logo. Just under it is the text “PLASENCIA,” and toward the lower part of the band is the text “YEAR OF THE OX”.
One of the secondary bands for the Plasencia Year of the Ox is actually above the Plasencia Cigars band. It is orange with the Plasencia “P” logo in gold arranged in a repeating pattern. The other secondary band is near the footer. This band is orange with gold font and gold trim. The text “SPECIAL EDITION 2021” is prominently featured.
The cigar experience of the Plasencia Year of the Ox was commenced using a CREDO Special T cutter. This has a 38 ring gauge cutter and by cutting it, I can still get enough tapering to enjoy the smoking experience. From that point, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw produced flavors of sweet natural tobacco, cedar, zesty notes, and a slight bakers spice. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to remove the footer, light up the Plasencia Year of the Ox and see what this smoking phase would have in store.
The Plasencia Year of the Ox opened with notes of baker’s spice and natural tobacco, This was soon joined by notes of earth, hay, and black pepper. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the natural tobacco moved into the forefront. The baker’s spice, earth, hay, and pepper settled in the background. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
The second third of the Plasencia Year of the Ox saw the earth notes increase. Just past the midway point, the earth displaced the primary note. The natural tobacco joined the baker’s spice, hay, and pepper notes settled in the background.
During the final third, the earth notes remained primary. There was an increase in the pepper notes. These notes closed in on the forefront, but didn’t quite close the threshold. Notes of natural tobacco, baker’s spice, and hay remained in the background. This is the way the Plasencia Year of the Ox came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Plasencia Year of the Ox had a slight amount of meandering on the burn path. The burn line was also slightly on the jagged side. This cigar required touch-ups to keep things on track. While the touch-ups did the trick, there were more touch-ups than average. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flaky ash either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw of the Plasencia Year of the Ox was ideal for a Salomon. While Salomon vitolas tend to be somewhat open on a draw, there was just enough resistance to keep this in the sweet spot for me. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
Throughout the smoking experience, the Plasencia Year of the Ox delivered medium strength and medium body. There wasn’t much variance of the intensity levels of the strength and body throughout the smoking experience. When it came to strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Overall the Plasencia Year of the Ox delivered a satisfying experience when it came to flavor and complexity. While it was satisfying, this cigar did seem to lack some of the wow factor I would come to expect from a cigar. Satisfying? The answer is yes. Exceptional? The answer is no. This is not an inexpensive cigar as it comes in about $35.00. The cigar scores a respectable 89 point score when not factoring in the price, however for our value rating I would recommend trying to smoke first before putting down money for a purchase.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Earth, Baker’s Spice, Hay, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Plasencia Year of the Ox Heading to International Market
Brand Reference: Plasencia
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted