Cigar Challenge Complete (Sort Of)

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Cigar Challenge Complete (Sort Of)

If you’ve been following along over the past few weeks as I’ve stumbled my way out of retirement – you may recall a challenge I issued myself just this past week. In an effort to dig myself out of a Cigar Rut, I wanted to smoke Three New-To-Me Cigars this week.

I feel obligated to tell you that I may have bent the rules just a smidge….

In the list below you’ll see a couple of cigars that I have smoked more than a handful of times over the years. In fact – the Oliva Connecticut Reserve was my absolute favorite Connecticut Cigar for some time. And the 601 Oscuro – I’m sure I’ve sang it’s praise on more than one occasion over the years.

So why did they make it onto my little list this week? Baby Steps my friends! Actually, it’s been so long that I’ve had either of these cigars that I didn’t know if they were even remotely close to what they were the last time I enjoyed one.

Oliva Connecticut Reserve

Back in my early days of cigars, I didn’t smoke too many Connecticut offerings because they had a tendency to be mild. I can remember being skeptical when Oliva Dave handed me a pre-production sample and told me to give it a try.

On a side note, I miss Dave (he isn’t dead – he just moved to Florida). He had a vast amount of industry knowledge and was fantastic when it came to recommending Cigar and Whisky Pairings. But I digress…

After smoking that very first Oliva Connecticut Reserve, I was on the bandwagon. It was rich, it was complex, and it delivered tons of flavor. For a long time it was my Go-To Morning Cigar (with Coffee).

Eventually it was replaced in my rotation by the EP Carrillo New Wave (another fantastic cigar that I haven’t had in ages) and then the Charter Oak Connecticut.

I know that as Veteran Cigar Guys we like to light up cigars and proclaim “This isn’t what it used to be!” but, to be completely honest, it’s been so long since I’ve had the Oliva that I can’t remember specifics.

Assuming the blend hasn’t changed over the years, this is still a wonderful cigar that packs lots of flavor into a deceptively light package. I paired it with a nice cup of coffee (M&N Roasters Nicaraguan Jinotega SHG EP) and a smile immediately spread across my face.

If you haven’t had an Oliva Connecticut Reserve in while you owe it to yourself to pick one up and give it a go. It is still a delightful cigar even after all these years.

601 Oscuro (Green Label)

Of the three cigars on my little list, the 601 is the one with the most interesting past. It was initially an EO Brands (Espinosa and Ortega) offering that had a cult following.

Later when EO Brands split up, 601 (as well as a couple of the other offerings) made their way to Rocky Patel. I was not a fan and distanced myself from the new cigars.

After a while the 601 Lineup found its way back to Erik Espinosa and seems to have regained some of the fame it once had.

I decided to pick up a 5-Pack of 601 Oscuro Robustos on a whim (Cigar Monster comes with free shipping and with a little Shopping Cart Ninjitsu you can add a Cigar Monster Fiver to your Famous Box order and get Free Shipping – but you probably already knew that)

Hoping to relive a little piece of my Cigar Glory Days, I lit up the 601 Oscuro with high hopes. I can’t say that I remember much about the original cigar but the current offering is pleasant. It burns fairly well (a couple of touch-ups were necessary), the smoke volume was good, and the flavor was solid.

I won’t say its on my radar as a favorite cigar but at a few bucks each I think they area great budget buy and I’ll be smoking more in the future.

Trinidad Espirito Series No. 2

Of all the cigar companies that used to send me Review Samples – Altadis is the only one that hasn’t realized that I haven’t actually been posting reviews of their products and continues to send me care packages from time to time (please don’t stop sending the itty-bitty bottles of booze and samples – it makes me feel relevant when they arrive!)

In the latest Altadis Care Package there were three Trinidad Espirito Series No. 2 Cigars (as well as a bunch of swag – including a soccer ball that my daughters can’t wait to put to use once all the snow melts). The cigars were dark, oily, and made use of a striking band.

Despite the visual appeal, I was a little hesitant because I haven’t had a Trinidad in f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve had one since my Kensington Tobacconist days and sadly that shop closed over a decade ago.

I’m happy to report that this cigar smoked beautifully. I ran into zero burn issues, zero draw issues, and the smoke volume was glorious. The flavor profile was a bit monotone with earth and a bit of spice but I didn’t mind.

If you’re the type of guy (or gal) that likes a Medium to Full Bodied Cigar that doesn’t deviate much from front to back, this would be a solid choice.

enjoying cigars since 2005

9 thoughts on “Cigar Challenge Complete (Sort Of)

    lol Nice little post. I just snagged some cigars I have not had in a while also! Wife even got me a box of the new CAO Vision for Christmas but with the crappy weather here I am waiting till I can sit outside and actually enjoy them before giving them a shot.
    Hope everything is good for you man, I miss the fun at the events!!!

    1. Hey Mike,
      Its been a long time – its good to see you’re still around!
      Hitting the local events was always a lot of fun – I especially miss Cigarnival.

      I picked up a 5-Pack of CAO America the other week. A friend saw me light one up and asked if I’d tried the Vision Re-Release. I’m so out of the loop I had no idea it had come out again. You’ll have to let us know how it is.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Your login credentials probably still work – feel free to review those CAO Vision…. LOL

  2. Was the Oscuro a strong cigar, I seem to recall that it was. Haven’t had one in years.
    I always like the Oliva Connecticut Reserve especially with coffee. A nice medium body mid morning smoke.

    1. Jimmie,
      I think it was marketed as one back when it initially launched. With the way cigars are these days – I’d call it Medium to Full.

      Thanks for leaving a comment

  3. Walt, it’s so good to have you back in gear at Stogie Review! You were such a great help to me way back when I was getting started in the hobby and you were posting reviews every week. Yes, I too am in a cigar rut! Thanks for giving me a hand up out of the ditch.

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