Henry Clay War Hawk Toro (6×50)
W: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
B: Connecticut Broadleaf
Origin: Tabacalera de García in La Romana, Dominican Republic
The first entry in Altadis USA’s “Immortal Trio” Series, the Henry Clay War Hawk bucks tradition by using Connecticut Broadleaf as its binder, and not as wrapper like most previous Henry Clay releases. Instead we get a golden Ecuadorian Connecticut wrap to accompany the aforementioned binder and mix of Honduran fillers. They’re using a guy in the War Hawk’s advertising that can best be described as a “hipster hick,” complete with Tony Hawk haircut, Duck Dynasty beard, Matt Booth jewelry, and suspenders. Yes, I read the promotional materials for the cigar sent over by Altadis, but really, just seeing this guy was enough to make me light it up.
Pre-light draws were a little peppery and a lot creamy with a vague woodiness.
Which turned out to be a pretty accurate preview of the cigar’s initial profile. The first third opened with creamy wood and earth and a lingering white pepper spice on the finish. The spicy finish was surprisingly intense to start, and mellowed out to a more appropriate level after the first inch. Once the pepper calmed down the dominant characteristic of the profile was its super-smooth creaminess. Smoke production was excellent, draw was ample, burn was straight, and white, flaky ashes were left in its wake.
In the second third the War Hawk began to show its depth as notes of rich cedar,cocoa, breadiness, and a lightly-sweet finish emerged, peeking out from behind the steady wave of cream. The burn-line started to go a little wavy here, but nothing that required correction.
As I burned into the last portion of the cigar the cream finally began to subside a bit, but plenty of discernible tasting notes were still alive and kicking. Coffee, cashew, and earthiness swirled together to create a fantastic finale that was just as engaging as the intro to the smoke, sans the attention-commanding spice.
In addition to being creamy as hell for the majority of the smoke, the War Hawk showed a consistent medium-bodied strength from start to finish, as well as an unexpected level of complexity and a nuanced profile that I found myself digging more and more as it progressed. I enjoyed the unique character derived from the Broadleaf binder shining through the immaculate smoothness of the Connecticut-seed wrapper – a combination I don’t believe I’ve experienced before.
Full disclosure – I expected the Henry Clay War Hawk to be a solid “B-Lister”, and it turned out to be an easy “A”. Shows what I know.
The War Hawk is not only the best new cigar themed around a senator from the 1800’s, its one of the best new cigars to hit shelves in 2019, period. Grab it here and you will not be disappointed.