Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation with a primary focus to capture Somali Warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid and members of his faction. On October 3rd 1993 several high-ranking members of Aidid’s staff were the target of a capture mission. The mission which was estimated to last no more than one hour turned into an 18-hour firefight. On that day a force of less than 200 members of Task Force Ranger held off thousands of Somali Militiamen who flooded the streets of the “Bakaara Market” district of Mogadishu. In the end, U.S. forces lost two Black Hawk helicopters and saw over 70 soldiers wounded, and 19 men gave the ultimate sacrifice. The estimates of Somali casualties were in the hundreds. The Battle of Mogadishu turned out to be the most intense and extensive close quarters combat that U.S. troops have engaged in since the Vietnam War. This limited edition cigar was created by former Delta Force Master Sergeant Norm Hooten, co-founder of Hooten & Young Cigars, and veteran of Operation Gothic Serpent, to honor the men of Task Force Ranger that fought in that battle.
Hooten & Young Gothic Serpent Toro:
- Country of Origin: USA/Ybor City FL
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Honduran
- Filler: Honduran
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $15.00
- Date Released: Oct 2018 (25th Anniversary of Operation Gothic Serpent
Everything about this cigars presentation screams excellence from the stick itself to its packaging. The cigar sports a nearly flawless wrapper that is slick and has a slightly oily sheen. The gold trimmed double band and box appropriately have 19 stars emblazoned on them as well as other subtle references to the Battle of Mogadishu.
The cigar produces a leathery and slightly oily mouthfeel with a flavor profile that provides baking spices and bread type notes in the front and dark chocolate and pepper on the finish. This is the sort of profile that brings very easy to enjoy flavors and enough complexity to be appealing to both beginners and connoisseurs alike.
Strength ramps up a little bit in the second third and brings the cigar to the high side of medium by the mid point of the smoke. The flavor profile remains largely the same as the first third, but which flavors are more pronounced and which ones take a back seat seem to change a little from puff to puff and keep things interesting. Combustion and burn are excellent. The cigar maintains a straight burn line at all times and is completely maintenance free. The ash produced is a bright white color and easily hangs on for 1 ½ – 2” before falling off with a light tap.
The cigar changes things up on me in the final third. Most of the chocolate notes disappear by the time I get to the last couple of inches, and some leather and wood notes start to make their way into the profile that haven’t been noticed before. This is a nice surprise a good way to finish off the fairly long smoke of a toro sized stick.
Simply put, this is an excellent smoke, and even though we are only a few months into 2019, I am certain this cigar will make my personal top 10 list this year (with good potential it will end up in the top 5). It is flawlessly constructed, looks great, performed perfectly, and offered a flavor and strength profile that is right in the center of my personal strike zone. I highly recommend giving it a try.