Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Custom Robusto
Size : 6.5 x 54
Ring : 54
Wrapper : Dark Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler : Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$5.00-$6.00 each
More info about purchasing Ortsac cigars...

This review is submitted by Michael A.K.A. @Se7en_Vandalay, our good friend and cigar aficionado. Enjoy!

Late last week I received two samples of the ORTSAC 1962 from Victor Vitale of The Cigar Agency. From the product literature and their website, I learned that "The Cigar Agency is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of premium of cigars and cigar accessories." The ORTSAC 1962 is listed as their premier brand. It has been aged for five years and is hand rolled in the Dominican Republic. They are distributed in cedar sleeve of 72 inside a U.S. Army ammunition box, which can be used as a humidor. (Imagine packing that to your next herf. HOOAH!)

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★☆
The ORTSAC 1962 has a very nice Chocolaty Corojo wrapper. Each sample had some prominent veins but nothing excessive. Both were fairly spongy to the touch with only one distinct hard spot on the second. The wrappers felt very stout/thick. It was similar to a light velvet pelt. The band is straight forward and placed at the foot of the cigar.
Construction : Rating: ★★★★½
These are very well constructed cigars. The triple cap is well placed and came off with ease with my Xikar Xi cutter. The draw had near perfect medium resistance. The ash was remarkably firm and solid and remained a beautiful ash-white. I had more than 2" going on the second sample before I decided to tap it. The initial light was without issue using my table lighter. The burn was very consistent and sharp.


Flavor : Rating: ★★★★☆
The pre-light flavors were indistinct, other than tobacco. Once lit I had a burst of sweet spice which quickly faded. Through the first and second thirds the flavors were earthy and cedar wood. Then like a switch had been flipped the sweet spice came back with full force through the remaining third. The spice really kicks up and lingers on the front of the tongue. As for body, I'd say it was mostly medium to mild.

Value : Rating: ★★★★½
The price of these cigars is right on. Although not highly complex, the experience is well worth the purchase.

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★★☆
The ORTSAC 1962 really impressed me. There's always some trepidation in house or personal company blends, but this is a great cigar and one that deserves a high recommendation. I would gladly pick these up again and would encourage others to do the same.

7 Comments on “ORTSAC 1962”

  1. pretzelman267 says:

    First, I would like to thank Michael for his well writen and comprehensive review of the ORTSAC 1962.
    However, I hold a slightly different impression of this cigar.
    I met Victor Vitale at a rolling event in Clifton Park NY on 5/29/09, the day after Michael submitted his review. I purchased 6 of these sticks at that time at $6.80 each. My first impression of Mr. Vitale was that he was a tad arrogant for a guy that sells cigars. While that hardly impacts the quality of the cigar, it left a bad taste in my mouth before even lighting up.

    After allowing the cigars a day to rest in my humidor I lit one. I completely agree with Michael’s review regarding the construction of these cigars as being well made, except for the wrapper’s “light velvet pelt”. Evidently this is accomplished by rolling the wrapper inside-out with the smooth side of the leaf on the inside. The rough texture became annoying to my lips before reaching the half-way mark.

    The burn was very good with a medium fine ash, and the draw almost perfect.

    Now onto the taste portion: I found it almost as disappointing as most Macanudos with only hints of body and spice and it left me with a craving for another full-bodied cigar.
    Since Michael received these as samples, I would say that price is right on, but I can think of at least two dozen cigars in the $7 range I would much prefer. I consider them to a solid $4 cigar. They will be relegated to my “yard work” smokes and certainly not as an enjoyable after dinner smoke.
    In my opinion if The Cigar Agency considers the ORTSAC 1962 as as their premier brand, they have much more work to do.



  2. El Bubelo says:

    I stopped by the Event at Park Lane on Friday also, but had a different experience. Victor was there rolling cigars, and he took the time to outline the whole rolling process for me and a friend. He looked a tad tired, but was friendly and answered all the dumb questions we had for him! Nice guy.

    ORTSAC, I bought the deal and it came with two freebies, an ORTSAC and a fresh handrolled cigar. I liked the cigar, and thought it well made. With all the taxes these days, it’s priced fairly at $6.80 (in NY) and is a cigar I would smoke again for sure. I don’t smoke overly strong cigars, and enjoyed the fact that I could smoke this big cigar all the way down. A solid medium bodied smoke with good flavors.

  3. Hey Pretzel…hold the mustard!!
    No one wants to here your anonyomus negative and arrogant opinions about a Fine Cigar Professional. The guy was there trying to roll cigars, make sales for the Retailer and talk to every customer asking questions. What is he guilty of “comtempt of customer” because he didn’t spend enough time with you? You should try doing what you saw him doing sometime.
    As far as Ortsac goes you’re wrong. MSRP for Ortsac is $5. Thank your local and state legislators for the extra costs. For someone who claims to know “2 dozen cigars” you don’t seem to be able to compare properly. Since you picked Macanudo as your baseline, I’ll ask when was the last time you purchased their 6 x 50? For your information it’s on the high side of $8 plus bucks and you don’t like it. Well plenty of people do since it repeatedly outsells tons of other cigars priced higher and lower. Thanks for comparing the Ortsac to that.
    I’ll bet this info blows a hole in your credibility, Cigar Sensei. Ortsac delivers for what it is my friend and regardless of what you think it’s here to stay.
    Finally as you probably have guessed by now, I know Victor Vitale very well and you don’t have a leg to stand on with your commentary. I also know that Victor is held in High Esteem within the Cigar Industry, from Manufacturers to Retail Customers for both his Professionalism and his Knowledge. How dare you take such a foolish shot at a man who lives for the Cigar Industry?

  4. pretzelman267 says:

    A response to Carlos:

    “Hold the mustard” Cute. That was the most entertaining thing you had to say.
    “No one wants to here (sic) your anonyomus (sic)negative and arrogant opinions about a Fine Cigar Professional.” I’ll come back to that comment later in this missive.
    MSRP may very well be $5 for this smoke, but the fact is I was charged $6.80. If you want a list of 2 dozen smokes in the $7 range I prefer over the ORTSAC,I will be happy to supply you with one.
    I compared the ORTSAC to Macanudo regarding the taste, not the price. If you re-read what I wrote previously, you’ll see that. I wouldn’t pay 7 or 8 bucks for a Mac either, but there are people that regularly do so. According to P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Perhaps that’s what the Cigar Agency is banking on.
    Now on to “Cigar Sensei”; I don’t consider myself a cigar expert, nor do I hold myself up to be one. I have been smoking cigars for forty years and I know what I like and what I don’t like. I merely happened to express my opinion. If you don’t like to read other people’s opinions that may not agree with yours, then don’t!
    Now on to arrogance part: I am a Purchasing Manager for a company that builds and sells machinery all over the world. I see professional representatives nearly every day in my job, and I have never met a rep as arrogant as your friend, Mr. Vitale. If I had, I would throw their ass out the door in short order. Perhaps your friend is well respected in the cigar industry and perhaps he treats his friends better than his customers, but I suspect your problem with my review of the cigar has been clouded by my personal observations about your friend. My opinion of the cigar remains unchanged.



  5. pretzelman267 says:

    Ortsac 1962, a 2nd Chance Review

    A few days previously I had smoked another Ortsac without paying much attention, but as the cigar came to an end I realized I didn’t hate it. At that point I decided to revisit the Ortsac and give it an impartial second review.

    It follows herewith:

    When the time came I sat down with a clean palate, a cold glass of spring water, a new filter in my air cleaner and an open mind.

    I removed the sealed cello wrapper and to me, an upside down foot band.
    A distinct aroma of fruitiness and slightly woodiness presented itself.
    It had a two toned lightly veined wrapper that was smooth and almost shiny exhibiting no “velvet pelt” this time.

    Two hard spots were discovered: one at 1/3, and one at 2/3.
    The cap cut cleanly and evenly with my cigar scissors and the 4-layer cap was clearly visible.
    It had an unlit neutral taste with hint of fruitiness.

    Due to the hard spots it had a fairly tight unlit draw, so I used my poker to make three piercings through the length.
    Now with a much better draw, the bottom half was lightly toasted and the foot preheated prior to lighting.
    It lit cleanly and evenly with my butane table lighter.
    It revealed an unremarkable taste at the light as were the first several puffs.
    And then: a sweet fruitiness with a taste of honey – very pleasant but with a slight harshness – presented itself.

    Still tasting of honey after 1/3 of the way through, the burn started to run so it was
    set down to rest for a few minutes.
    After knocking off the ash, I trimmed the unburned wrapper, lightly toasted the next section, preheated the foot and relit.

    Now the honey taste was almost gone and replaced by mild woodiness.
    A few puffs later the taste of spice kicked in with a mild and sweet aftertaste, and the harshness of the first third disappeared.
    It continued as such throughout the second third and into the home stretch.

    Nearing the final third it began to run again so it was corrected it with a quick touch of flame. At this point a bit sweetness began to return, but not as strongly as the first third.
    As I savored the last inch of this cigar the harshness never returned and it finished extremely well.

    In conclusion, I found this Ortsac to be very good cigar, well worth the nearly
    7 bucks I paid (yes, I know; $5 MSRP). Most importantly to me, it has earned a permanent place in my humidor.

    This one was nowhere near the same dreadful cigar I first reviewed and I am now convinced the previous smoke was a dud.

    I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. ****

    Congratulations on a fine smoke, Cigar Agency.

    In your face, Carlos.


  6. stogielover1 says:

    great reviews everyone.

  7. We here at The Cigar Channel have been rounding up and meeting cigar professionals, shops, experts, manufacturers and anyone else who is in some way a part of the world of fine cigars. Recently our staff and I had a meeting with Victor Vitale of The Cigar Agency in Nashua NH.

    Obviously Mr. Vitali was inquiring about the advertising and sponsorship opportunities with the cigar channel. During our meeting Victor pulled out a few cigars to show us. Amongst them was a cigar with a unique story. The cigar was called the ORTSAC. It was a simple looking cigar with a small end wrapper that came inside an empty ammo case.

    Victor was kind enough to explain the story behind the funny sounding name ORTSAC. I guess during the Cuban missile crisis upon discovery of SS -4 missiles being assembled in Cuba, the US government considered several options including a blockade, an airstrike, or a military strike against the Cuban missile positions. In 1962 operation ORTSAC was only discussed by Pres. JFK and Cabinet members. In 2008 the cigar agency activated operation ORTSAC on the myth that Cuban cigars are the best.

    Victor handed out a few of these ORTSAC cigars to our staff and myself. During our presentation I was puffing on this ORTSAC cigar and noticing how good of a cigar and actually was in wondering to myself why haven’t I yet heard of this cigar.

    Being a marketing buff myself it dawned on me that it’s very likely that Mr. Vitali has not yet engaged in any aggressive Internet or print advertising. To be frank this cigar was probably one of the best I’ve ever smoked in my entire life. I was absolutely speechless but did not want to come off like a kiss ass. I really didn’t know what to say other than hey this is a great cigar and it has a lot of potential in the market. After smoking the ORTSAC the buttery smooth taste was on my lips for the rest of the night.

    Unlike other well-known cigar magazines we here at the cigar channel do not endorse cigars just because they fill their pockets with money. We will promote or endorse any cigar that we feel deserves not only the exposure but the fair opportunity for all the other cigar smokers in the world to know about and enjoy.

    It’s not all about how much money you throw out there for people to stare at your logo or hear your jingle or see your product in action. What it is all about is having a good product that people like.

    This is a cigar that I don’t like….it’s a cigar that I LOVE! The construction and appearance of the cigar was flawless with a perfect draw allowing the smooth velvety smoke to easily come out. I was speechless when I smoked it. Our staff did a blind taste test and it blew away a top brand competitor.

    All I ask is for everyone to go to their local cigar shop and I challenge you to take a popular five dollar cigar and compare it to the ORTSAC. The ORTSAC in my opinion hands-down will win. The ORTSAC is looking like a strong competitor in our Cigar Fight series.

    ORTSAC has NOT engaged us at all for advertising and this is a genuine non paid promotional story that we all felt ORTSAC deserved free of charge. Just for the record I want everybody to know that Victor has not yet engaged cigar channel in any financial way whatsoever.

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