W – Ecuadorian Connecticut
B – Dominican
F – Nicaraguan, Dominican
Origin – Tabacalera de Garcia, D.R.
Blended by Altadis U.S.A.’s famed Grupo de Maestros crew and Aging Room head honcho Rafael Nodal, the H. Upmann Connecticut pays homage to the Cuban heritage brand’s upcoming 175th anniversary in 2019. This is the first new H. Upmann cigar line to hit shelves since 2017’s H. Upmann by A.J. Fernandez, and is more in line with the standard H. Upmann experience in terms of intended profile and strength. It is also the first H. Upmann cigar to feature a Connecticut-seed wrapper in at least a decade.
After clipping the cap (which is a piece of dark maduro leaf that lends a nice contrast to the golden-hued wrapper), pre-light draws offered a pretty standard taste of cedar with a slight peppery tinge.
Opening puffs delivered a smooth, dense breadiness with notes of cedar and some ever-so-subtle pepper on the finish. The draw was firm but allowed for decent smoke production, and eventually I began to detect hints of sweet cream wafting into the profile. The pepper, while pretty muted in regular draws, was very much present (and tasty) on the retrohale.
As I burned into the second third there wasn’t a whole lot of transition in flavors, and a buttery wood flavor was most prominent. The smoke continued to be very smooth and easy like Sunday morning on the palate. A bit further in some sweet traces of caramel trickled in, along with some hefty nutmeg-like spice, and finally, a revelation – an interesting and delicious salted pretzel note that I reveled in for as long as I could.
The profile saw a significant shift in the final portion as the pretzel note darkened to a salty earth with dollops of cream. Here a full black pepper finally surfaced, along with some malty sweetness that pooled up on the palate and ended the smoke on a high note.
The H. Upmann Connecticut is a clean and classy, full-flavored cigar. Though not wildly complex, it gave off nice, rounded flavor from start to finish with a couple of unexpected highlights (I’m looking at you, salted pretzel.) As smooth as it was, the smoke was also quite full, and in fact had the type of body that I’d usually associate with stronger cigars while maintaining its mellow medium body – a feat of the Maestro’s supernatural blending skills, I suppose. The overall taste also reminded me somewhat of Aging Room cigars that I’ve enjoyed in the past, which is certainly not a bad thing. My biggest complaint in conducting this review was that this cigar was practically begging for a coffee pairing, and sadly, I had none. Three cheers for Rafael and the Maestros, I do believe these creamy Connecticut bombers are going to make a lot of people happy. See if it does it for you right here.