Once upon a time, Connecticut shade wrappers became associated with mild cigars that were lacking in the flavor department. Cigar enthusiasts across the states flocked to bolder, richer cigars and began to leave these blonde beauties behind.
But if you’ve smoked enough cigars over the years, you know that palates ebb and flow and trends come and go. Lately, we’ve reached new strides with Connecticut wrapped cigars that allows us to highlight some boutique cigars that aren’t your father’s Connecticut. Let’s call these the freshmen and sophomore class, bringing innovation and a fresh, new approach to a classic wrapper.
The Ambassador: Serino Royale Connecticut
Rather than try to separate itself from the theme, Serino decided to embrace the history and spirit of Connecticut shade cigars and craft an iconic, modern approach to this style of cigar. Their efforts resulted in the Serino Royale Connecticut, a cigar that’s fit for a King yet gentle enough for beginners.
This cigar exudes luxury, coating your palate in deep tones of cream, cedar, nutmeg, vanilla, and citrus. We’re naming this one the Ambassador because we expect you to fall in love again with Connecticut shade wrappers – or maybe for the first time – after smoking this Serino.
The Artisan: Dapper Cubo Claro
If you hear someone speak passionately about cigars in countries outside of the U.S., one of the first things you’ll note is his or her appreciation for aroma: the pleasant smells that waft from the foot of a burning cigar. And like good art, this cigar transcends regional palates and has a timeless feel to it.
Dapper approaches the Cubo from both angles, dialing in both the taste and aroma to make this Connecticut something you’ll go back to again and again. With more of a medium body, the Cubo Claro provides a creamy experience that builds on the palate without ramping up the strength.
The Champ: Patina Connecticut
When you shake hands with the Patina Connecticut, you get a firm handshake. Unlike the previous two Connies, Patina wanted to flip the script on what you think’s possible with a blonde wrapper. Out goes the soft handling of a luxury car; in comes the agile, finely tuned muscle car.
Coined the Connecticut with Balls, this is one that we’d recommend experimenting with more ambitious pairings than your morning coffee. Expect a One-Two punch with each puff, beginning with a generous helping of black pepper washing over your senses before yielding to an underlying sweetness and silky texture.
The Free Spirit: Cornelius and Anthony Aerial
The Bailey family has been in tobacco since the mid 1800s, and Stephen Bailey leveraged that experience to bring a unique experience to market featuring an American binder underneath Aerial’s Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper.
Aerial draws strength from this three-country blend, engaging the smoker in a sweet and spicy expedition that commands your attention. Expect a lot of spice early on followed by woods, caramels, and long stretches of molasses to warm you up this winter.
The Statesman: Highclere Castle
What do you get when you combine the George Herbert, the Earl of Carnarvon, and Nicholas Melillo of Foundation Cigars? The dignified Highclere Castle, named after the Earl’s estate that’s you probably recognized from the show Downton Abbey.
And dignified is the best word choice here, as Highclere Castle has a certain air about it that’s hard to define. The body is deeper and richer than you’d anticipate, giving it more punch and flavor from the Jalapa and Ometepe fillers. If you enjoy creamy, woodsy, nutty, and pastry sensations, there’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy your time with Highclere Castle.