I’m back, having fully recovered from a case of the seasonal crud, and I’m happy to get back into the swing fo things with a review of the Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut. It’s the third in a series that includes the original blend with a Nicaraguan wrapper, and the follow up San Andres Maduro version. Though the main band has been modified to reflect the name change (Casa Fernandez is now Aganorsa Leaf, ICYMI), and the colors are different, there’s no mistaking the Connecticut blend’s connection to the other two.
Over the years I’ve seen the phrase “not your father’s Connecticut” a number of times, describing a number of amped up blends featuring a Connecticut wrapper. In fact, I think I’ve seen that said about every new Connecticut cigar released since 2007, including this one. In this case, it goes without saying. I’d be more worthy of mention if folks behind Aganorsa Leaf had actually succeeded in making a Connecticut that one’s hypothetical father would have smoked. My father doesn’t have a go-to Connecticut, and rarely smokes cigars, so I don’t a good way of testing the well-worn phrase. But let’s not worry about the old man’s opinion, let’s see what I think of Connecticut.
Size: 5 1/4 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador Connectiuct
Price: MSRP $7.40
The Pre Light
The Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut is a good looking cigar that’s lightly box pressed (which isn’t always apparent in the pictures), with a light-colored wrapper that has few, fine veins. I spent a little time admiring the cap of the stick I photographed for this review, and couldn’t decide if it had a triple cap or a quadruple cap. I enjoy a cap made to repel bullets. The cigar had pretty uniform firmness, and was free of obvious surface imperfections, which has been my experience with all the ones I’ve had thus far. In the cold draw I tasted mild sweetness, earth, and floral notes.
The First Third
The cigar got off to a pretty impressive start, offering me a very nice array of flavors like cream, toast, earth, sweetness and some lingering spices. As it warmed up, the profile became creamier, and then suddenly it was pretty chocolaty, with some deep dark fruity sweetness. Before this third ended, the bready and toasty notes faded, concluding with milk chocolate, earth, and mild pepper. Top marks on construction in this third, it had good volume of smoke, long sturdy ashes, and even burn lines.
The Second Third
In the middle portion, the cigar picked up some jammy notes, the chocolate and earth continued, but there was a growth in earthier spices. It seemed to vary a bit where the spices came in, initially it tasted like anise and nutmeg, but then shifted to nutmeg, and then finally (actually more so in the next third), into paprika. The creaminess of the profile shifted into butteriness, and cedar notes made appearances. As before, the cigar continued to perform well in the combustion department.
The Final Third
I do have one small beef with the cigar in the final third, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the flavor, or really the way it burned. It’s the bands, not the appearance of them, but way the main one comes off- it takes tobacco with it. Bands that are glued to the wrapper are a pet peeve of mine, and a flaw that I get grouchier about as I get older. But that said, cigar continued to burn well, even with the damage. The flavor was a mixture rich chocolate, dense earth, a little sweet almond, cedar and the aforementioned nutmeg and paprika-ish spices.
With the exception of my final third gripe, the Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut is a well made and delightfully blended cigar. By the end of the first third, I found my self thinking, man, this is such a great cigar. And it deserves praise for burning well, even when smoked slowly, the way I prefer. There are a lot of great tasting cigars out there that just don’t do that well. This is a regular rotation cigar for me, and I expect it will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. But you know what? I still think my dad would enjoy this cigar. And yes, it’s box-worthy.