Following up on the successful Knuckle Sandwich Habano and Maduro blends, Espinosa Premium Cigars created an Ecuadorian Connecticut version of the blend. The new variant was showcased at this years Total Product Expo (TPE) in Las Vegas. The company did a soft launch of Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut in January at Espinosa lounges nationwide.
In a press release about this blend, Erik Espinosa noted:
“In the last year, Guy has shown his enthusiasm and commitment to our industry and the Knuckle Sandwich line. He is excited about adding a Connecticut offering to the Knuckle Sandwich brand and providing yet another smoking option to its fans.”
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut is expressed in 3 different vitolas, each packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Robusto J (5 x 52) – MSRP $12.50
- Short Churchill G (6 1/2 x 48) – MSRP $13.00
- Toro H (6 x 54) – MSRP $13.50
For this review, I sampled 2 of the Short Churchill G vitolas, which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut sports a golden tan, silky smooth wrapper that is light on veins and a exhibits a decent oily sheen. The vitola has a nice box pressing and the foot displays some rich dark leaf filler in contrast to the light wrapper. A simple cap finishes the presentation.
Two bands adorn the cigar. The primary band is the same as the previous varieties of the Knuckle Sandwich. It uses a gold, black, and red motif and boldly displays the Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich logo in the center along with the Espinosa cigars logo in a red circle on the bottom. There is also a gold satin foot band to distinguish it.
Running barrel along the nose, I did not detect much aroma but the foot did offer some rich earthy notes.
Using my CigarMedics Baller cutter, I opened the cap perfectly and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that offered an excellent restriction and delivered some peppery goodness and earthy notes. This is certainly not your daddy’s Connecticut, at least from the cold draw. The more I cold puffed, the pepper was stinging the lips and tongue and all around the palate.
I chose to use a lit cedar spill to warm the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of throat striking white pepper to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this sandwich to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- White pepper strikes the throat on the first puffs
- Touch of herb adds to the profile early in the burn
- Creamy and chewy smoke fills the palate on each puff
- Solid white ash begins to form on top of a medium thick char line
- Sweetness enter deep in first third
- Ash drops in a solid chunk revealing a perfect burn cone
- Pleasant nut notes enter with continued peppery notes
- Smoke starts to smooth out with the entry of salted butter nuances
- Mild spice joins the mix midway along with sweet earthy notes
- Coffee and cream nuances deep in the second third
- Herbal notes swirl back in the final with an ever present peppery note lingering
- Strength hits medium overall
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
As noted in the pre-light notes, the Espinosa Premium Cigars Knuckle Sandwich Connecticut Short Churchill G is not your daddy’s Conny. In fact it is quite a flavorful medium strength cigar that any enthusiast should have in their rotation. There was no traditional Connecticut bite to this blend, but rather a great burst of white pepper to start and a lingering pepper note throughout the burn from pre-light down to the nub. That pepper was blended well with notes and nuances like herbs, sweetness, coffee, cream, nut, and butter. The burn was excellent with a straight even line throughout and a Stogie Press signature burn cone when the ash dropped. Grab boxes of these you will be pleased. In fact as much as the Maduro got the same rating last year, I give the edge to this blend, at least in this short Churchill expression. I rate this a solid 97.
Point Deductions: NONE
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Straight Even Burn Throughout; (+1) Pleasant and consistent across multiple Samples