Brand: Los Blancos Premier Connecticut
Vitola: Double Corona
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Price: Roughly $6.00
The Los Blancos Cigar Company was established in 1998, but has a family lineage that goes back 80 years to the Pinar del Rio region of Cuba. The distribution center and corporate office is located in the city of Chicago. One of the strong parts of Los Blancos Cigars is their family operation. Each person within the family plays a very important role in the day to day operations of the company.
The cigars are crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua, in Nestor Plasencia’s Segovia Factory. The selection of this particular factory has everything to do with its tradition and values. For years it has been referred to as “The Cathedral” for its large stained glass windows and exposed wood beams.
The Premier line of Los Blancos Cigars is made up of four varieties, which include a Connecticut, Criollo, Maduro, and Sumatra. Each wrapper is available in several sizes and come packaged in boxes of twenty-four. The sizes within the Connecicut line include a Churchill Tubo (46 x 7.00), Double Corona (52 x 7.00), Torpedo (52 x 6.50), Toro (52 x 6.00), Corona (44 x 5.50), Robusto (50 x 5.00), and a Sesenta (60 x 6.00).
After pulling my cigar from its cellophane sleeve, I gave a quick once over. The first thing that caught my eye was a jog in the seam of the cigar. It appeared that while the top cut of the wrapper was made, the roller stopped and restarted, making a “z” shaped line which looked sloppy.
The color of the wrapper leaf was consistent from head to foot. After giving it a pinch I found it to be uniformly packed with tobacco and free of any soft or spongy spots. There were a few medium sized veins throughout the length of the stick which gave it lumpy texture when handled.
After opening the head with a pair of cigar scissors, I checked the pre light draw. As I expected due to the firmness of the stick, the pre-light draw was firm and required a little effort to pull through.
After a simple toasting and lighting session, I had my Los Blancos Premier Connecticut evenly lit and producing smoke. The smoke produced by the first few puffs left much to be desired and seemed very airy and light. After about a half dozen puffs things began to open up. The density of the smoke increased and I was being left with a pleasant creamy texture across the palate and tongue.
As the cigar began to “warm-up“, per se, there were a couple of subtle flavors that made the mild bodied smoke interesting. Up front I was getting a light toasted nut flavor which quickly faded to the background and was replaced by a much more deliberate taste of wood. While the wood flavor was more pronounced than the nuttiness, both were soft on the palate and required a bit of concentration to appreciate.
The burn line was fairly even while being thick and dark. There was some minor swelling around he burn line which gave it a blistered appearance. The ash was medium grey in color while being firm and compacted. The draw was a little firm for my liking but did not make me feel as though I was working for the smoke.
After about fifty minutes of smoking, I found myself into the second third of my Los Blancos Premier Connecticut. While smoking this cigar I caught myself unintentionally over-puffing. Due to the airy feel of the smoke and the very mild flavor profile, I found myself puffing much more frequently in an attempt to saturate my palate with flavor. As soon as I realized what I was doing, I immediately slowled down and forced myself to concentrate harder.
As I concentrated on the flavor profile more intensely, I began to notice a few more subtleties. The roasted nut flavor of the first third was becoming salty and faded just as quickly. The wood flavor that followed was becoming more defined and was more along the lines of cedar. While this was going on there was a dirty flavor in the background which was slowly building.
The burn line was now much thinner than before and the swelling disappeared. The ash remained medium grey in color as well as firm and compacted. The smoke density seemed to get a little lighter as I progressed, while the firm draw remained the same. The room aroma, which was pleasant at the start, was suddenly less enjoyable.
After an hour and a half, I decided it was time to start wrapping up this cigar. The body remained mild throughout the final third. The finish was creamy and easily the most enjoyable aspect of the cigar thus far.
During the previous third I began to notice a dirty flavor coming forward in the flavor profile. As the stick burned shorter this unenjoyable flavor intensified. It reached the point that it was washing out the nutty and woody flavors, which were very mild but pleasant.
The more the cigar burned, the more offensive the room aroma was becoming. At its worst it was irritating my eyes and throat. The draw continued to be too tight for my liking while producing smoke which felt too light and airy across the palate.
While this cigar certainly has its own market, I was definitely not among the target audience. The flavor starts out mild and remains until it is time to put it out. When the favors do begin to come around, they were quickly washed away by an unappealing dirty sort of flavor.
While I enjoy a nice mild cigar in the morning, this just didn’t have enough punch to keep me interested. The flavors were so mild that I was forced to concentrate on nothing but the cigar, making smoking it feel like work instead of leisure. This is a long way from replacing my, almost routine, Flor de Oliva Gold and coffee combination on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
If you typically find your taste preference in line with mine, you may want to shy away from the Los Blancos Premier Connecticut. If on the other hand, you enjoy something along he lines of Macanudo, this may be a solid replacement which would ultimately save you a couple of dollars per stick.
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