Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Shade Grown
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 X 52 “Toro”
Price: $6.00 MSRP
Today we take a look at the New World Connecticut by AJ Fernandez.
I want to thank George Rodriguez of Rodrigo Cigars for the samples. This is a great place to shop for cigars. George doesn’t advertise these cigars for sale yet. But if you haven’t tried the Rodrigo Boutique Blend, then you have missed out on a great cigar. I reviewed the Rodrigo Boutique Blend back in November of 2014 and I raved and raved.
This blend has been a long time coming. AJ first thought of blending a Connie shortly after the release of the original New World.
The main difference is that the original had a beautiful box press. The Connie is a round cigar.
I’m not going to go into the real back story of this cigar. You can go to Halfwheel for that.
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez S.A.
This is a regular production cigar.
I read two reviews of this cigar while waiting on my cigars to mature a little.
Still, this is a very pretty cigar. The US Connecticut Shade Grown is a semi-oily butterscotch color. Couldn’t be any smoother. Only a few veins. Invisible seams. A perfect triple cap.
The cigar band is just as gorgeous as the original. The footer is a ribbon that merely states “AF Connecticut.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Corona Gorda 5 1/2 x 46 $5.50 MSRP
Robusto 5 x 50 $5.50 MSRP
Toro 6 x 52 $6.00 MSRP
Belicoso 6 x 54 $6.00 MSRP
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet cedar, cream, chocolate, spice, and whipped butter.
From the foot and clipped cap, I smell more cedar, lots of chocolate, spice, cream, and a lovely earthy tobacco.
The cold draw provides flavors of chocolate, cream, spice, chocolate mint ice cream, sweet cedar, wood, and earthiness.
The draw is heavenly. The smoke pours into the room and the flavors explode as I knew they would: It’s like being at Baskin Robbins. All ice cream flavors due to the heavy overload of creaminess. Such as vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and walnuts. To continue with this now being an ice cream sundae, I can taste boysenberries. Just slightly tart. With a sweet lemon twist.
I can taste plenty of whipped cream and the peanuts spread over the whole think like a Tin Roof Sundae. Hard to believe, but when I was a little guy they had Baskin Robbins and my dad was the one who introduced the Tin Roof. One might consider that a pedestrian sundae comprised of only vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and Spanish peanuts. We would sit down at the counter. (They had counters back when we fought of the dinosaurs for the sweet leaves at the top of the trees.) And my dad would just smile at the waitress and put his hand up designating the number 2. And we got two Tin Roof Sundaes. It appears to be a lost delicacy now.
Cedar pops up and nearly overcomes the other flavors.
I am concerned as I read two top reviewers’ assessment of this cigar and both complained it wasn’t up to AJ’s standards. Halfwheel gave the cigar an 84. Wow. That’s not good. But apparently, the cigar goes to shit in the last third.
As I’ve not smoked a cigar in 7 days, my palate should be wide open.
Half an inch in, new flavors emerge: Red pepper, apple, floral notes, herbal notes, and sweetness. The ice cream flavors are on the wane. Not fair.
It started off with a boom and is not sitting in the corner flatulating.
The lemon twist is a nice counterpoint to the sweetness. How do you like your martinis? You one of those guys that wants 3 huge olives or a bunch of onions? Not me. A lemon twist gets the most out of the taste of just about everything; including a premium martini.
Olives and onions just make your libation very salty. And what is it they call a martini when they pour olive juice into it? Ahh…yes. A Dirty Martini. I can’t even bear to watch someone drink one.
Back to the New World Connecticut.
Strength is mild. But the red pepper is surging. Point/Counterpoint.
Creaminess is the strongest flavor with the spiciness right behind. My Tin Roof Sundae is long gone.
The other two reviewers complained about the New World Connecticut smoking way too fast just getting an hour out of a Toro. So far, mine is smoking normally as a Toro should.
Smoke time for the first 1-1/2” has been 20 minutes.
The char line is dead nuts perfect.
Another thing we must remember is that this is basically a value priced cigar at $5 a stick online. No one is charging $6.00. It’s just that like most people, I expect a lot from AJ regardless of price point.
I’m not a mild body fan. Without that oomph, flavors don’t seem intense or have that heavy impact that I like.
Transitions occur which impresses. The cigar doesn’t stand in the same place very long.
Smoke time: 30 minutes.
The nuttiness element is very strong now. Maybe one of the strongest nut influences I’ve tasted. It is a combo of peanut, walnut, and almond. Very nice.
The strength moves to medium body.
And what’s this? Nicotine? No. (Yes.)
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a Vitamin N punch so early in a mild bodied cigar. I still have a little less than 4” to go.
The only other Connecticut blend that really impressed me is the My Father Connecticut. I reviewed it back in August of 2014. Spectacular cigar. But nothing in common with the AJ. Two different animals. The big difference is that the My Father wrapper is Ecuadorian while the New World Connecticut is U.S. born and bred. Not to mention the exotic binder and fillers.
I read in one of the reviews that the gentleman tasted cold French fries. I don’t know if it is the power of persuasion or he is dead nuts correct. I don’t care if homemade pommes frites are hot or cold.
The Dutch are nuts. You could buy a paper, or newspaper, cone of chips and then they smother them in mayo. They give you a very tiny spork to eat them with. Disgusting. But after a while, it became addictive. Naturally, the mayo was totally different than our American mayo. Richer and creamier.
I don’t normally infuse my review with other reviewers’ points of view. But I’ve been under the weather the last week and I was afraid my palate would be focakte. Turns out, it is just fine this morning. And I’m feeling better at last. Since the New World Connecticut has a kitchen sink flavor profile, it was nice to read other’s input for a change. And so far, our palates seem to be in sync.
As wonderful, as the cigar now tastes, it is not complex. The balance is good. And it has an extra-long finish. Almost cloying.
The chocolate disappeared long ago which is a shame. The current flavor profile would benefit from it.
Here they are: Creaminess, spice, nuts, lemon twist, sweet cedar, and earthiness. Those impressive flavors at the start just vanished.
So once again, I seem to be in sync with other reviewers who said the same thing. What a shame.
Remember, this is a $5 stick.
Smoke time has been 45 minutes.
Something new: Iced coffee. With a touch of banana. The nuttiness is now a middlin’ flavor.
Again, while the transitions keep on comin’, there really isn’t any complexity.
The cigar band is a bitch to get off. Way too much glue. But I manage. I use legerdemain. In spite of that, the photo of the band ain’t going to look so hot.
Flavors are dwindling. I’m left with creaminess, iced coffee, nuts, a tiny amount of pepper, and the lemon twist.
That’s a big fall. Now I see why Halfwheel gave the New World Connecticut a lowly 84. It starts with big promise and then just lies there like a flounder..or my first wife on our honeymoon. Flounder…First wife..same thing.
I’m not sure which reviewer said this, but I think it was Halfwheel…the reviewer put the cigar down before finishing it. Wow.
In one respect, I’m having the exact opposite experience with the length of the smoke. I can’t explain it. They barely got an hour out of it while I am getting the standard Toro smoke time..should end up at 90 minutes.
I keep a stop watch and a calculator next to me while I review so I get an accurate smoke time.
I just noticed that the back side of the cigar band has AJ’s signature.
The New World Connecticut has become dull. Although, that banana element has returned. Anything helps.
In comparison to the original New World, it is two different worlds. Pardon the pun.
The nicotine has just made a quantum leap. And the strength is medium+.
Some harshness develops. Bummer.
As I’m not really feeling up to par, I might mimic Halfwheel and put the cigar down now. But I’m not going to. There might be some gold in them thar hills during this last third.
The harshness becomes a little too overwhelming with 1-1/2” to go and I think it is time for me to put the New World Connecticut down. Sad ending to such a great start.
You can’t argue with the price. Right on the money.
I can’t help to say that I am slightly disappointed. The first half was excellent and exciting. A real interesting cigar experience. And then someone let the air out.
I want to take this moment to extend my apologies to the wonderful Barry Stein. I won’t go into details but I was confused by an email he sent me while I was really ill this week; with a high temp. I had a giant brain fart. (You’re saying, “So, what’s new?”)
Sorry Barry. My bad.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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