Things have been a but quieter around the blog than I would have wanted, but with work and travel taking up most of my time, I haven’t really had time to smoke that many cigars or write up much. Having said that, there are a few reviews lined up for the blog and these will come up soon.
Today I am going back to Connecticut shade wrapper cigars. A while back I mentioned I started to look at these lighter smokes with more attention after I was really impressed by one brand among them. Today I am looking at that very cigar, the Oliva Connecticut Reserve Robusto.
Oliva needs little introduction. In very few years this has become a major brand on the cigar market and recognised for its quality and consistency. Still, until recently it certainly was not a brand known for making mild cigars. The O and G line, and especially the V line are better known for their rich flavours, and in the latter, their full body. Just under a year ago Oliva decided to launch the Connecticut Reserve which covers the missing space body-wise in their range. Continue reading
When it comes to non-Cuban cigars, living in Europe, and particularly in the UK, means ending up with late access -and many times none at all- to many acclaimed cigars that are coming out in the US. There are many BOTL here in the UK that would never swap the ready availability of Habanos cigars for the variety of brands ans smokes our fellow cigar lovers across the ocean have access to. I am not one of them; although I love Cuban cigars it is the variety of cigars available that intrigues me. Luckily today there are more and more Nicaraguan, Dominican and Honduran smokes sold in Europe (Germany seems for example a lot better off than the UK in that regards)… plus there are always ways if you search (not even that) hard enough.
If like me you follow many cigar blogs from the US regularly the NUB brand won’t be news for you at all. But maybe you have just started reading about cigars or you live in a pure Cuban puros world (bad pun intended), you would like a sort introduction, so here goes. NUb Cigars came to the market in 2008; they are the creation of Sam Leccia one of Oliva’s sales reps at the time. His idea was to make a cigar that would not need a warming period once lit up, but instead hit te sweet spot straightaway. After some trials Leccia found out that a combination of large ring gauge and short cigar produced the best solution. He pitched the idea to the Oliva family who decided to produce the line. The NUb line originally was made up of three ranges: a Connecticut shade, Cameroon and Nicaraguan Habano-seed wrapper. These have become available for sale in the UK in the second half of 2009. There is also a Maduro version now, but this seemsit is not available in the UK. Continue reading
I was going through my Connecticut shade sticks looking for something to follow-up my first chapter of the “Connecticut Files” and I stumbled upon a stick I had completely forgotten about, the Espinosa y Ortega (EyO) No.21 Robusto, a cheap-ish bundle cigar made by the same guys who make the 601 black label I reviewed previously.
I received this as a free “hitch-hiker” with a 601 sampler I traded with a US BOTL (Mike, my man!). How would the lesser sibling fare against the more acclaimed cigar? Also I was curious to see if the Panamanian tobacco would bring some interesting notes to the mix.
This will be a short review, so no wasting time people, let’s rock! Continue reading
Generally, I don’t mind milder smokes every now and then, though I must admit that Connecticut shade wrappers have in the past left me somewhat cold. Still, life is always full of surprises: a few days I had a chance to smoke a Connecticut shade cigar that seriously impressed me and so I decided to give these pale wrapped cigars another go and pay more attention. In the next weeks I’ll be tasting a few different Connecticut shade cigars I have at hand, hence the title above, “The Connecticut files”. Today we start with a cigar I have been hearing very good reviews and opinions about, the Espinosa y Ortega 601 black label Robusto.
Espinosa y Ortega (actually called United Tobacco Inc.) is a relatively young brand, started in 2003 and known for its Cubao, 601 and more recently Murceliago cigars. Like the 601 Blue Label, which I really like, this cigar is made for Espynosa y Ortega by Don Pepin Garcia, widely recognized as one of the best cigar makers out there and shown by the accolades he receives as the 4 cigars made by his company present in CAs top 25 of this year. It is supposed to be a quite untypical and is advertised as “far richer and much full bodied” than other Connecticut cigars. Sounds promising to me. Continue reading