|11-25-2010, 07:55 AM||#1|
Decoder of CorporateSpeak
Join Date: Oct 2008First Name: Mark
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Cheap bastid review: Casa de Garcia
These are a new-ish bundle cigar from Altadis. Price at the B&M is less than $2/stick. What grabbed me about these was not only the price, but how nice the wrappers look for a cheap bundle cigar. This line comes in 3 wrappers; Connecticut, maduro, and Sumatra. I grabbed a Ct. and a maduro, and I will smoke them back to back for this review.
First, the Connecticut Shade.
This cigar is billed as a toro, but at 5.5 X 50 I would consider it a robusto. Nice looking stick. The wrapper isn't flawless but looks pretty high grade appearance-wise. The wrapper has a faint floral scent and the foot has a faint hay scent. Inspecting the foot, the bunch looks very nice and the foot is cut clean and straight. The cigar is quite heavy, surprisingly heavy in fact. I figured the draw would be tight but once I clipped it the draw is fine. Cool. Let's fire it up.
First few draws...pretty typical flavors for a mild Ct. wrap cigar. Buttery and toasty with just a slight hint of spice.
About 1" in...burn is a bit crooked. Not bad, I will try to correct it. Flavor-wise pretty much the same. That strange "buttered popcorn" flavor that I often notice with this type of blend. Not bad at all, but a bit on the mild side. The finish is short and tangy.
About 2" in...flavors haven't really changed but the finish is lingering a bit longer. The burn is pretty straight now. At this point I can say that this cigar is too mild for me, but since it's not nasty I will finish it. As I type with the cigar between my teeth, the aroma coming from the foot is nice...it has a toasted bread note.
About halfway...main flavors are still the same, but the finish has taken on a sweet character.
A little past halfway, I get a bit of spice in the nostrils. I'd still say this cigar is too mild though.
Winding down...amazingly this cigar starts picking up quite a bit more flavor in the last 2" or so, but not enough to change my mind about the fact that overall it was just too mild. My other favorite cheap Ct. wrap cigars (5 Vegas Gold, Flor de Oliva Gold) have much more flavor for a few pennies more.
Final thoughts...although this is the perfect cigar to hand out to noobs, moochers, occasional smokers, etc., the lack of flavor and character will make most frequent cigar smokers shy away unless Altadis improves the blend. HOWEVER...I would absolutely be willing to try another cigar to make sure my initial impressions hold true. Next trip to the B&M I will grab another one of these, maybe a different size.
Now, the Maduro (Connecticut Broadleaf).
Same size cigar. Again, a nice looking wrapper for such a cheap cigar. It has a nice sheen and doesn't appear to have been "enhanced" like many cheap maduros are. Very heavy, well constructed cigar with a rock solid cap that pops right off when I clip it. The draw is perfect.
First few draws...earthy and a bit grassy, but not an unpleasant or overpowering grassiness.
About 1" in...some typical maduro flavors coming on. Unsweetened cocoa and baking spice. As with the first cigar the burn is a bit crooked. The draw has tightened up a bit, which tells me I should have let this cigar sit for a while to dry out some. Oh well.
About 2" in...dominant flavors are the same, mostly cocoa, but the finish has become tangy and lingers on the palate. Pretty nice so far, and much more flavor than the Ct. Shade but still on the mild side. The burn is much better at this point and the draw has opened back up.
About halfway...nice cigar so far. Mild but tasty. The draw has taken on a sweetness to go with the cocoa, the baking spice has subsided and the finish has become spicy and woodsy. A little past halfway, the nose exhale has become a bit spicier. At this point I am really liking this cigar.
Winding down...wow, this stick has a lot of depth to the flavor for a mild cigar. The cocoa and baking spice have taken center stage again, and the "strength" of the cigar is creeping up on medium. Just kept enjoying myself and let 'er die around 1".
Final thoughts...what a great cigar. Mild but lots of flavor. Leagues better than the Ct. Shade wrap. I will definitely be grabbing a few more of these next time I'm at the B&M.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.