Escape Mediocrity - Explore Excursion August 23rd, 2016 Erick V 94 Share: Summer is coming to a close. Maybe it’s a bit early to be thinking about, but it’s true. It’s a bummer, too, but it does mean one thing is right around the corner: the return of Sunday night games, and Fantasy Football. As I write this we’re one week away from the CI Office Draft, and if you look closely at anyone’s browser, you’ll probably see an ESPN tab hidden in there somewhere. You can get a ton of draft advice, but, inevitably, the topic always comes back to sleepers — what player is no one paying attention to, that they should be. There’s no fantasy cigar leagues that I know of (although if there were, I’d go ????? in the first round), but with the truckloads of awesome brands that exist right now, there are certainly some sleepers in the cigar world. Handmades that get unnoticed, while the same old stuff goes off the shelves. Which is a roundabout way of getting to our review cigar today: Latitude Zero Excursion. I can be a bit wordy, so if you’re looking for a short, sweet review, I’ll sum it up for you as best I can. Latitude Zero has been an awesome brand since Day 1 that they were introduced, and in my humble opinion, Excursion is their best cigar yet. By a landslide. It’s a rich, powerful experience that has me seriously considering picking up two or three pouches on my next order. Not only is this easily one of the best cigars I’ve smoked this year, it’s one of the best Maduros I’ve smoked in quite some time. Do yourself a favor, and stock up now, because I can’t even imagine how these will taste with some age on them. If your attention span is short, click that Add to Cart button, and we’re done here. If you want some more information, let’s keep going. So who makes Latitude Zero Excursion anyway? Oliva Tobacco Company. No, no, no, not that Oliva of V and Melanio fame. Oliva Tobacco Company is a provider of tobaccos for huge, ultra-premium brands like Davidoff, Ashton, and Montecristo. They’ve been one of the largest tobacco growers for over eight decades now, and were the creators of Ecuadorian Habano wrappers. In short, they know how to make a quality leaf, and they know it well. You may not know the name, but familiarize yourself with it now. If Ashton and Drew Estate are the A-list celebrities of each cigar blockbuster, Oliva Tobacco Company is the producer pulling all the strings and putting the wins together behind the scenes. The blend is simple, on paper. We’ve got an oily, dark Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper (more on that in a second) over top a bed of handpicked Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers. This isn’t just any Broadleaf wrapper, though. It’s been specially fermented and left to age twice as long as industry standard. That extra aging time provides a glistening, brown chocolate bar colored wrapper that has some serious flavor to it. It also takes a bit of the edge off: while some Nicaraguan, Connecticut Broadleaf wrapped cigars boast tons of strength and spice, this one goes for a more balanced, medium to full-bodied approach. That chocolate bar appearance comes over to the taste. There’s certainly some strength here, but the profile is, as a whole, smooth as silk. Rich and chocolatey, with a nice bitter espresso finish and a bit of natural tobacco flavor in the background. It’s not quite “creamy”, but it’s insanely easy to take this one down to the nub. You could singe your fingertips on this one, and it won’t get harsh. And I’m speaking from experience there. Remember when I said earlier that I tend to be really wordy? I wasn’t lying. Let’s get this wrapped up. If you enjoy Perdomo Champagne Noir, La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor, CAO Flathead, or, dare I say it, Liga Privada No. 9, this one should be an absolute no-brainer. As a matter of fact, if you like maduros at all, you better try this ASAP. I don’t get paid by the word, so I’m going to cut this review to a close. There’s about two inches left of the Latitude Zero Excursion Toro I’m enjoying now, and I’d like to finish it with no distractions.