Henry Clay | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 6 x 50 “Toro”
Body: Full
Price: $5.95 MSRP ($3.80 at BestCigarPrices.com)


This cigar has been around while you were peeing in someone else’s diapers.
And by the looks of the cigar, that’s exactly when they were rolled.

This is a 90 rated cigar by Cigar Aficionado.

A little history: The cigar is named for the 19th Century Kentucky senator, Henry Clay. Originally, a Cuban…like most big cigars today, it is now made in the Dominican Republic. In 1986, Altadis USA bought the rights for the American market. And manufactured at the Tabacalera de Garcia in the Dominican Republic.

The PR machine stresses that this cigar is not for beginners. OK. Now, for some reason, I’ve never smoked this brand. No reason. Just never got around to it. Or maybe avoided it based on its appearance.

And let us get into its appearance. Butt ugly!!

There is no way these cigars were rolled in wooden forms. They are totally free form. I tried to give you an idea with a photo. I have two of these sticks. They are like misshaped clay…no pun intended. They are not close to being round. They are oblong or parabolic shapes. And the shape changes and twists as it rises from the foot like a licorice whip. One of the two cigars is almost flat on one side and is terribly lopsided. I cannot use that for the photos. It lies almost on top of the front of the cigar band.

Construction is deplorable. Huge seam gaps. Terrible rippling of the wrapper. A ton of veins. Very sloppy attachment of the cap. But the wrapper has a nice dark coffee bean color with loads of oil. The cigar feels sandy, bumpy, toothy, and crappy.

I clip the cap and find aromas of sweetness, fruit, cocoa, and earthiness.
Time to light up.

There is a mixture of flavors that starts it off: a musky flavor, cedar, wood, leather, a bit of sweetness, charred meat, with the slightest dose of A-1 Sauce.

The draw is good. This is an odd bird. Strange flavor profile. While I am typing this, red pepper comes to play. It goes from nothing to slowly building into a bite of a jalapeno. This is a very meaty cigar. I don’t taste the hickory usually associated with meaty cigars but still….

I’ve had this cigar for three weeks. In my heart, I knew this was an old school type of blend that probably needed many months of humidor time but I went with it.

This is also the last cigar I have to review for a while. I’m in a cigar buying slump. I will be back sometime in mid-April.
The flavor profile at the 1” mark improves. The flavors are more distinct and the addition of creaminess really jump starts the whole profile.

The crappy rolling makes the draw a little strange. Almost like there are tiny pockets of air and that I am sucking through a straw. In other words, the draw is too easy.

The char line needs a major tune up.

Meaty is still the best way to describe the stick. But the continual rise of the spiciness makes for a better cigar experience. The fruitiness reminds me of preserves. A light fruit like peach or apricot.

The second third begins with a vast improvement to the flavor profile. The cigar continues to get better with each puff. Now I realize this is the M.O. of all cigars, but this one started out as a meat-sickle.

It is now very pleasant. And the flavors are: Sweetness, fruit, spice, creaminess, light brown sugar, and earthiness.
The char line is behaving itself.

I’m still in the second third when the flavors explode. Now we’re talking.

I hit the halfway mark and we have an official flavor bomb. Caramel has joined the group making the creaminess, sweetness and the new cocoa really shine. I grab a Diet Coke. Egg cream time.

The last third begins and I am digging this cigar. I was wrong about it being old school. Three weeks in the humidor seems to be just right.

It amazes me that you never see much of this cigar. The big online stores never have deals on it. And it is a good cigar for a very decent price point.

Yeah, it looks like a penis caught in a vice and then the victim was spun, but so what?

I should mention that the strength has been classic medium from the start. This is what separates the old school from the new breed cigars. A full bodied cigar should start much earlier than the last couple of inches. But then extensive humidor time just mellows it out. So this makes no sense. I’m guessing it won’t get any stronger than medium/full.

Except for a couple touch ups, the cigar is one I recommend. It’s cheap and a very good cigar. There are $9 cigars that could take a lesson from Henry Clay.

Jason at BestCigarPrices.com sent me these samples. A good chap. And while the MSRP may be near $6, they sell the Toro for less than $4. Can’t beat that.

The cigar band comes off like a champ. I was worried about that considering the condition of the rolling. No worries.

Flavors are rearranged: Caramel, sweetness, creaminess, plum, raisin, cocoa, brown sugar, leather, and wood. What a treat.
I’d like to have a box of these.

With less than a couple inches to go, the strength moves to full bodied. And the nicotine kicks in. Oh my.

I finish the cigar slowly to control my nicotine adversity.

In spite of the construction issues, I recommend this cigar. You’d be hard pressed to find a better cigar at less than $4.
Thanks Jason at BCP.

And now for something completely different:

What the hell haven’t I told you?
Clearly, all my good times as a musician are long behind me. If it were not for that damn skydiving accident, I’d still be playing regularly. But I have hopes that this summer something can be done about that. Fingers crossed.

Ahh. I thought of something. And it’s X Rated. So if you don’t like that sort of thing, do not continue.

Curved Air was traveling in our car. Yes. The management company was cheap. They got us a big American Cadillac instead of a bus. The tour manager drove us but he was a real drag so we threw him out early in the first tour.

One day, somewhere in Europe, it was a long boring drive to the next gig. Darryl was driving because he insisted upon it. Mick, the guitarist, sat shotgun.

That left me, the chick singer, and Stew the drummer in the large back seat.
The chick piped up that she was bored. “How about I give you guys blow jobs?”
I nodded in agreement and Stewart burst out laughing.

Darryl wanted nothing to do with it. And Mick, for all his rock n roll swagger, was a chicken. And didn’t want four guys watch him get blown.

“Who’s first?”

I said it should be me. She asked why? “Because I’m on your left.”
I know that makes no sense but remember hashish helped the long trips.

She said OK and unzipped my fly. I sat right behind Darryl and the chump liked to put the seat all the way back giving me little leg room. So my knees were tight up against the back of his seat.

So the chick started her thing while everyone watched with shit eating grins on their face. And then it hit me….I was too uncomfortable for the money moment. There was no way I could move and I was beginning to cramp up. I tried to push her back but she wouldn’t budge as she was going to town.

So I grabbed a dirty magazine and perused it while my tiny Jewish wiener was being attended to. Finally!
No cleanup was necessary.

She sat up, flush, and said, “Who’s next?”

Stewart grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and down she went.

While Mick was sort of a prude, he got a lot of delight watching. Darryl looked into the rear view mirror a lot causing the car to swerve a lot.

After a few minutes, Stew’s head fell back against the seat, turned his flush face towards me and said, “Phil. We are cum brothers.”

Now really. How many guys get the honor of having one of the most famous drummers on the planet telling you that you are his cum brother? No one. Just me.
1975 CA program



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1 reply

  1. Katman…love the analogy of pissing in someone else’s diaper. Great review.