FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2017
Once again, Stogie Press brings you our pick of the top Connecticut cigars for the past year. We created this category because Connecticut wrapped cigars don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Although many think these blonde beauties are mild compared to their darker brethren, that is not always the case. One of the hardest things to do with a Connecticut wrapped cigar is being able to tone down the characteristic bitterness of the leaf itself. Depending on the binder and filler, they can offer amazing flavors with toned down bitterness and sometimes can pack a a head spinning punch.
This past year we smoked our fare share of blondes and we have selected the top 15 of those we sampled. They range from mild to strong in various vitolas. Each one was flavorful and enjoyable. Most were Ecuadorian Connecticut but some were true American Connecticut leaf.
So with out further ado lets break down the list:
# 1 A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Desflorada
Overall, the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva Desflorada is exactly what a well made, Connecticut shade cigar, should be. This cigar was flavorful and dare I say “refreshing”. certainly pairs well with a morning cup of coffee or perhaps an Italian style, espresso, with Sambuca and lemon peel.
# 2 Epic Cigars La Rubia
Overall, the Epic Cigars La Rubia was definitely not your average blonde. Flavorful and complex, with very little Connecticut bitterness, this is one fine cigar from Dean Parsons. I certainly enjoyed the short Gordo with a morning dark coffee, though the elegance of this smoke would go very well with a nice aged rum to enhance the fruit.
# 3 Ventura Cigars Archetype Dreamstate
Overall the Ventura Cigars Archetype Dreamstate had a bit more complexity than your average Connecticut. I especially enjoyed the honey and almond notes that enlightened the palate. I once had a conversation with one of the Cigar Babes and she suggested I try to pair a cigar with a nice cup of English tea. I would say the Dreamstate would be a perfect cigar to do such a pairing, maybe even with a teaspoon of honey and a dram of rye.
# 4 Foundation Cigars Charter Oak
Overall, the Foundation Cigars, Charter Oak, Connecticut shade variety, was a flawless smoke from start to finish. The flavor and burn was far more than I would have expected for a cigar in its price range. I think I speak for many cigar consumers out there when I say, we need more great $5.00 to $6.00 cigars. And to the FDA – No! $10.00 does not define the start of the premium cigar class! Great job Nicholas!
# 5 Moya Ruiz La Jugada Claro
Overall the Moya Ruiz La Jugada Claro is a welcome addition to the La Jugada line and I agree that it completes the line up of palate pleasing cigars for this line. This is an easy cigar to enjoy especially in the morning with a fine cup of coffee. A great way to start a weekend morning!
#6 Victor Calvo U.S. Shade Reserve
Overall the Victor Calvo U.S. Shade Reserve was an extremely satisfying Connecticut shade. The complexities of the blend kept the palate enticed from start to finish. With all the various Connecticut Shade cigars on the market this is one that stands out and would be a perfect cigar for any new or experienced smoker to enjoy.
# 7 Sag Harbor Enigma Segar Double Robusto
Overall, the Sag Harbor Enigma Segar – Double Robusto is a very well constructed cigar that offers a pleasurable smoking experience with fine flavor transitions and is not your everyday Connecticut wrapped cigar. The construction quality was evident in the extra long ash and straight burn line throughout.
#8 Recluse Amadeus Lancero
Overall, the Recluse Amadeus Lancero was an excellent addition to the Amadeus lineup from Iconic Cigars. It Delivered solid flavor through a pristine burn.
#9 Sensado Cigars New York
Overall the Sensado Cigars New York Churchill is an elegant cigar that was fine in the morning but could be enjoyed any time of the day. The blend had excellent flavor transitions. The burn was near perfect and the ash held on fine. It lives up to its name. This certainly would go well with a creamy cup of coffee in the morning or in the early evening with a Highland Single Malt.
#10 Southern Draw Cigars QuickDraw Connecticut
Overall, for a short smoke, the Southern Draw QuickDraw Connecticut was a solid cigar that had a flawless burn and though not overly complex, it offered some truly pleasurable flavor notes and demonstrated some strength at the finish. The Connecticut bitterness was perfectly complimented with notes of cocoa, almond, brown sugar and butter.
#11 Guayacan Rojas Reserve Connecticut
Overall the Guayacan Rojas Reserve Connecticut was a fine example of a robust Connecticut wrapped cigar with a bold interior of fillers and binder. Though not an overly complex smoke, it had enticing flavor notes throughout.It was a perfect cigar to start the day. It certainly will pair well with that morning cup of Joe.
#12 Azan Blue Label
Overall, the Azan Blue is one of those Connecticut wrapped cigars that I found quite flavorful with no bitterness or bite to it. The cigar smoked flawlessly with an outstanding ash and burn. Excellent early morning cigar to get your day going. Pair this with rich cup of dark roasted coffee. At the $7 to $8 MSRP, it stands out nicely in a growing field of Connecticut leaf cigars.
#13 Psyko Seven Connecticut
Overall, the Psyko Seven Connecticut from Ventura Cigars was a fine way to start the stay. Certainly not the mildest of Connecticut cigars out there and it delivered an error free burn with delectable flavor notes. The choice of fillers has definitely toned down the traditional Connecticut bitterness on this one.
#14 El Galan Reserva Especial Connecticut
Overall the El Galan Reserva Especial Connecticut was a delectable and elegant, mild – medium, morning cigar. It paired well with my coffee and I am sure it will pair even better with a Cafe Cubano. I was especially enticed by the honey and ginger notes that entered early in the burn and the delightful background of nut that continued through the experience.
#15 Dominion Cigars Flor De Claro
Overall, the Dominion Cigars Flor De Claro is a welcome introduction to the company’s lineup. For a Connecticut wrapped cigar it offered a terrific flavor profile and the burn was mostly spot on offering no issues through the experience. This is a medium strength cigar that can be enjoyed anytime of the day and would pair very well with a sweet creamy coffee or a nice honey liqueur such as an Irish Mist.
Congratulations to all these manufacturers and brand owners for making the list of the 2016 Top Connecticut Cigars. Each of you have shown what terrific blends can be produced with Connecticut Wrapper. I enjoyed them all! Have a happy and prosperous 2017.