Sometimes it is nice to get out of the house and relax at a local brick and mortar shop. A few weeks ago, I was talking to Roberto Lopez from Santiago Cigars and he mentioned that he would be visiting the Melbourne FL area. I suggested he meet me at one of my favorite little shops, “Paradise Cigarz” in Rockledge, FL and we can kick back and burn one. Taking me up on my offer, Roberto showed up with his cousin and we sat down with a good friend of mine Jack Smink to talk about cigars, sports, and wine. These all seemed to flow together that day.
Roberto brought us some samples of his newest blends to try and nobody was complaining about that. Having already sampled and reviewed the Santiago Habano I was ready to try one of his other blends, this time it was the Connecticut. Jack and I both agreed that the Connecticut was a good choice to start the afternoon.
Now before I get into the depths of this cigar let me say in the words of Roberto himself:
This is no Sissy Connecticut!
The Santiago Connecticut is one of three blends offered by the company. To the casual smoker, they may think it to be the mildest blend, behind the Santiago Maduro and Habano, but read on and you may well be surprised at this wolf in sheep’s clothing.
To start off with, the Santiago Connecticut is a satiny smooth, golden brown, wrapped cigar that is available in two, box pressed vitolas:
- Robusto (5×50)
- Toro (6×50)
I had the pleasure of smoking both vitolas and this review is representative of those samples. Overall I have smoked a total of 5 of the Santiago Connecticut blends.
Except for the Connecticut Wrapper, which by the way, is from Talanga Honduras. The remainder of this bold cigar, is from Nicaragua. The fillers alone are from 3 regions of the country; Esteli, Condega and Jalapa.
It doesn’t take long to notice the pride of construction in the Santiago brand. The Connecticut, like the other Santiago blends, is well packed and finished properly with a triple cap. Running my nose along the barrel I picked up a decent amount of cocoa powder scent while moving toward the foot, there was some nut and pepper that filled the nostrils.
Snipping the cap gently, I gave it a cold draw, and was greeted with delicious fruity sweetness. There was no traditional Connecticut bitterness to this cigar. I also detected some hay notes prior to lighting it up. You know, sometimes it is nice to just roll the unlit cigar between your lips, allowing your palate time to detect some of the more subtle flavors, prior to toasting it up.
Once I did torch it up – and I was careful not to use a large flame lighter – my palate was hit with a slight bit of pepper and some enticing fruit and nut components. The pepper increased a tad as the Santiago Connecticut got a little deeper into the burn. Just like the cold draw, there is no bitterness or bite.
The smoke is delicious after the first inch, filling the palate with notes of cream, fruit, and nut. The draw is perfect and the ash is light grey and a tad flaky with a slight wave to it. The wave does not last long as the burn eventually finds itself.
Amazingly the strength is starting to build early on, and subtly increases as it moves into the second half which brings along with it, dominating notes of chocolate and nut. The nut itself, offers a long finish on the palate.
As it transitions to the final third, a buttery cream fills out the profile, the fruit continues to build up, as does the strength. Though not complex, the Santiago Connecticut finishes with a delicate sweetness and a hint of cinnamon, which was a delight, to say the least.
I sampled another Santiago Connecticut, and enjoyed it in the morning, with some cinnamon flavored coffee. What a combination that was!! I have to say this little Connecticut wrapped cigar fired me up in a most unexpected way. I looked over at my friend Jack who gave me solid nod, agreeing with my sentiment.
Overall the Santiago Connecticut is a bold cigar that may well shock some newbies if they think this is a mild smoke. Experienced smokers will enjoy the transitions in flavor along with the the little kick it gives you.