LHC Oscuro Fuerte Keith New off the rolling tables in Esteli, Nicaragua comes Oscuro Fuerte, a gorgeous line extension from La Herencia Cubana. This rich, extra-strong LHC brings big flavor and knee-knocking strength. Take a seat son, this will only hurt a little. Indeed, Oscuro Fuerte is a powerhouse blend packing heat and bringing the thunder. Its potent, sumptuous PA Broadleaf maduro wrapper pairs with bold, searing ligero filler tobaccos from the growing regions of Esteli, Condega and Jalapa. All told, this LHC is visually striking to say the least, offering a deep, dark chocolate colored wrapper bursting with tooth and glistening with an oily sheen. In fact, before even sparking it up you can imagine the flavor within, just waiting to be uncorked and run roughshod over your palate. Rounding out its discernibly good looks is the cigar’s heft – well-packed, firm, heavy in the hand. Clearly this carefully constructed black beauty was designed for the seasoned cigar smoker. From first light on, the draw is perfect and the smoke thick and dense. Not overly complex, it brings rich notes of espresso, licorice, spices plus a long and toasty finish. As it develops, a slight sweetness and increasingly pronounced spice becomes clearly noticeable. The first inch or so is medium in body, but as it burns the power increases markedly. Frankly, as it nears conclusion I can really feel the strength most noticeably in the gut. Not unbearably so, but enough to let me know who the alpha male is. A distinctly tasty profile from start to finish coupled with impressive strength and flawless construction make LHC Oscuro Fuerte a winner, winner, chicken dinner on all fronts. Considering you can pick up a box in the $3- $3.50 per stick range, it’s also a phenomenal value. C’mon. You’d be hard-pressed to find a cigar of this caliber for such a price at any store (other than CI of course, chum). As a general rule, cigars with this type of deep black oscuro wrapper aren’t normally to my liking. I find that while they normally offer well-placed richness and strength, they linger on my tongue in unnatural form….making me want to scrape my mouth clean to rid myself of the troublesome beast. But that ain’t the case at all with Oscuro Fuerte. It’s strong and rich but feels properly fermented and utterly natural on the palate. It’s a bit heavy toward the end yet remains uber-flavorful and nicely balanced. Fans of full-bodied maduros, feast! La Herencia Cubana Oscuro Fuerte delivers the goods.