Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduran Criollo ‘98
Size: 5 x 54
Price: $7.52 (A buck less online)
Today we take a look at the Henry Clay War Hawk.
According to Halfwheel.com:
“As for the name, it refers to a designation given to the late Henry Clay himself. Clay served in government including as senator, Speaker of the House and Secretary of State. During his time in the Senate in the early 1800s, he earned the reputation for being a “war hawk,” pushing for the country to expand, oftentimes through war.
“War Hawk is the first cigar of the new Immortal Trio Series from Altadis U.S.A. That name is also historical. Clay, along with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina were known as the Immortal Trio due to their unprecedented influence in American politics during the first half of the 19th century. Like Clay, both men served as a senator and Secretary of State.
“The Henry Clay brand is actually an old Cuban label dating back to the 1840s. It is owned by Altadis U.S.A. and while most have been produced at Tabacalera de García in La Romana, Dominican Republic, the War Hawk will be made at the Flor de Copan factory in Honduras.”
SIZES AND PRICING (MSRP):
Toro 6 x 50 $8.00
Robusto 5 x 54 $7.52
Corona 5.5 x 44 $7.00
A stout cigar with that big 54 ring gauge and only 5” long. The Connie wrapper is what you expect it to look like. Seams are fairly tight. Lots of veins. Lumpy and bumpy in a few places. A very nice triple cap. The tan colored, smooth as silk, wrapper shines with oiliness.
But…the thing is hard as a rock.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are very typical for a Connie: Cream, banana, vanilla, mild black pepper, floral notes, cedar, a tad bit of milk chocolate, cashews, and caramel.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, black pepper, cream, vanilla, floral, caramel, cedar, and nuts.
The draw is very tight. Out comes my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and with a few swipes turns this over packed sausage into a delightful piece of kishka.
Right away, the Henry Clay War Hawk tastes great. A big blast of spiciness followed by extreme creaminess, vanilla custard, caramel, banana, cedar, and milk chocolate. Very nice.
The strength surprises me as I expected a limp noodle but, instead, got a cigar blend that starts at nearly medium/full. This ain’t your Daddy’s Connie.
Smoke pours from the foot truly annoying my cat as he lies nearby.
Transitions begin toot suite. A meandering roller coaster ride of different elements in flux as it digs its feet in to the start of the journey.
The finish is like vanilla/banana pudding. Oh lord, this is decadent. I haven’t eaten just as I never do before a review and now I’m hungry. And a long road to hoe yet.
This cigar is packed to the gills and will be taking a big hunk out of my morning. As I must find ways to entertain and dismay my reading audience, I am compelling you to follow the entire 3-hour review. You may take a nap mid-review, but it better not be longer than 5 minutes.
Know what this cigar reminds me of? The El Centurion H-2K-CT by My Father Cigars. I love that stick.
The blend is smooth but has a kick. So far, balance is spot on. Savory elements move in that include smoky oak, mushroom, raw cashew, and buttered toast.
Henry Clay has made some real headway in the last few years with their attempt to be taken seriously by sophisticated smokers. The earlier releases were good but the War Hawk, at this early stage in its life ablaze, is my new favorite Clay blend.
As packed as the cigar is, the ash is very delicate. I protect my naughty bits with aluminum foil and a large piece of volcanic rock. At my age, you want to hang on to what little is left.
Buttery smooth. But the smoke is so prolific that I can’t find a place for it to rest while I type and escape the voluminous amounts of smoke pouring from its foot. And on top of it, the gardener is mowing the massive lawn outside our corner apartment and pollen is marching in formation through my open window clogging my sinuses. Yet…the flavors of the Henry Clay War Hawk seem hardly effected. That’s determination.
Thin Lizzy is playing. I’ve told this story too often but I remember when Curved Air played the Cambridge May Ball in ’75 as headliners. A gazillion bands played and I watched to them all. We shared a dressing room tent with Thin Lizzy and I fondly remember Phil Lynott and I sitting together playing off each other on our basses. Now, that was fun. When a couple unnamed musicians wanted to sit down and play with us, Lynott told them to go away. I loved that.
I generally don’t care for Connie blends. Without much exception they are bland and lack big moments. The War Hawk is a very pleasant surprise.
I find it very hard to believe that online this Robusto goes for less than $7. I’m having just as much fun with this blend as the overpriced $12 boutique brands. I would love to have a box of these. A really good go-to stick.
Strength is medium/full but it’s so smooth and balanced that it seems inconceivable that we could win a land war in SE Asia. Inconceivable.
I’m in a really fucking good mood now. Especially after yesterday’s review of a so-so blend.
Something I’ve noticed lately…a lot more reviewers are getting ballsy and using the F bomb. And trying to be funny…the operative word here is “trying.” What? For years, I was castigated for being a freak; an unwanted freak for my language and attitude. Could it be I’m no longer Satan? Could it be that those reviewers with a stick up their asses, afraid of their sponsors, have seen the light? It’s a baby Jesus miracle!!
My sponsors, on the other hand, love that I’m a train wreck. They aren’t afraid of blow back by the cigar community that I’m off the rails. Smart men.
Back to the Henry Clay War Hawk…it’s not a flavor bomb as the complexity nips that in the bud. Instead, it is a gorgeous compiling of earlier described flavors mulling around my palate like they’re in a bouncy house. There is something for everyone here.
It is damn near impossible to find those My Father H-2K-CT sticks anymore. And they ain’t cheap. This blend is the perfect substitute that can compete with the MF blend and is way affordable.
Jeremy Casdagli contacted me about my shameless shilling of Bespoke Cigars. He told me to forget my reviews and just talk about the deal you get at Small Batch Cigar and the 10% discount code: Katman. I said OK. Casdagli makes blends for the King of Sweden and the king wants me to mention that his daughter needs a good husband. Here’s the deal, you buy a 5 pack of Bespoke cigars from SBC and your name goes into a hat that gives you a chance of becoming royalty. Bespoke are great blends. They’ve made my top of the year’s list a lot. Go to Party City and try on some tiaras to get yourself in the mood.
The Henry Clay War Hawk is super consistent. The trajectory of the blend continues on its upward aimed task of getting better with each puff. Sips of water come a’plenty as each one is followed by an explosion of flavor and subliminal death threats.
Banana cream pie…with a real punch. The spiciness is perfectly doled out in a manner consistent with a sophisticated palate’s need for “…gimmee, gimmee, gimmee.”
Vanilla ice cream sits atop the slice of pie. Accompanied by sweet pecans and cashews.
I’m on cruise control. I just would like to sit back and enjoy this cigar without interruptions of typing and photographs.
Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” is playing. 1978. I wonder if the 1984 film, “Spinal Tap,” used that song as a springboard for their classic “Big Bottom.”
“The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin’
That’s what I said
The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand
Or so I have read
“My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo
I’d like to sink her with my pink torpedo.”
What a long strange trip this has been…Expecting a bland run of the mill Connie; and instead I get a real winner of a blend.
I’m not sure this is a newbie blend. As I mosey down to the last third, the cigar strength is becoming powerful. (No nicotine yet).
The flavor profile is now intense with flamboyant elements. Big, fat complex notes. A transition carpet ride that wanders into the smog filled heavens. And a finish that won’t quit.
Sure, Kohn…jinx it. Nicotine arrives moments later. There goes the vision in my left eye. Thankfully, I can still masturbate if called upon.
The ash has now fallen three times right into my lap. But I’m as lithe as a deer performing ballet. No testicle damage. I love my testicles. Don’t you? Without them, you’re just another Ken doll.
The Henry Clay War Hawk is a fun, satisfying cigar. Thank you, Charles. Mr. Lim is always introducing me to cigars I might never have tried.
Savory notes make their move. A smoky meatiness appears. As well as a rich espresso, pharmaceutical cocaine, and black walnuts.
Construction has been flawless. Not a single burn issue except for the cigar’s mission to destroy my nether region with flaming ash.
If you haven’t tried this cigar because you’re allergic to Connies, don’t fret…this is a must try. A great, inventive blend whose price point is amazingly affordable. At least a fiver…
The nicotine mystically calms way the fuck down. My vision returns and am now able to masturbate without incumbrance. It’s going to be a good day.
I just got a robocall that advised me too much masturbation can lead to a low sperm count. I gotta check this room for bugs.
The Henry Clay War Hawk winds down perfectly. Smooth and complex. No harshness. No tar overload. And while it is a full-strength cigar at this point, it lovingly wraps your palate and overtaxed brain into submission.
And with that, I bid you dear readers, a fond adieu.
And now for something completely different:
I’ve written this anecdote before. The summer of 2014 to be exact. But a buddy wanted to see it as he had never read it. Instead of just sending him the link, I decided to torture my readers with “…one more time…”
We had played our first gig in Amsterdam…always the first city on the European tour.
We always took the opportunity the Dutch government provided by going to the Paradiso Club which was government run and required a lifetime admission of 5 Guilders. Back then, a Guilder was around 25 cents. It was a multi-tiered humongous venue with different types of live music on each floor.
Plus, it has a giant main arena for headlining acts. It was always a gas because we would go to the basement, where the hash and weed was sold, and stocked up for the entire tour…which normally lasted 6-9 weeks. Normally, we still ran out by the time we hit Germany.
Needless, to say, we were stoned out of our brains when we hit the big stage that first night. Stew and Sonja liked to drop acid before a show. I have no idea how they did that.
After the gig, our Dutch agent took the band and the main core of roadies, out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Around 1am, we were stuffed. They paid us shit but the perks were good.
Our BTM agent, Rik, asked everyone if they wanted to go to the red-light district and get laid? Only Darryl and I raised our hands. The others were chicken shit scared. Shit. We were rock stars! Rock stars aren’t afraid of STD’s. We were impenetrable.
So off we went to the red-light district.
We got out of the car and surveyed the territory. All the girls sat in tiny bay windows that were back lit with red lamps. All lined up in a huge row along the famous canals.
Prostitution was legal and the girls had to get checked out on some sort of timetable. Of course, that didn’t help if the guy just before you had the clap.
Rik saw a girl he liked and went in. Darryl and I waited beside the car.
He came out 5 minutes later and told us he made a deal for all three of us. $20 each.
He announced that he would go first…since he was paying for it.
I was nervous as hell as I had never paid for it…in cash, anyways.
He returned 20 minutes later with a shit eatin’ grin. He slapped us on the backs and proclaimed with pride; it was GREAT!
Darryl announced he was going next. Great. I was getting thirds. This did not make me happy.
All I could think of was a gooshy quedgie. But then these girls were pros. They wouldn’t last if they weren’t clean. Gulp.
Darryl returned 20 minutes later with that same shit eatin’ grin and bragged what a stud he was.
Now it was my turn.
I lumbered into the room. It was the size of a closet. Big enough for a single bed and a make-up table.
The girl was of Heinz 57 heritage. She was from who knows where but she was gorgeous.
I made small talk but she would have none of it.
“Hurry up. Get your clothes off.”
I did as she commanded.
I tried to impress her with who I was but she said that she only liked R & B. And had no idea who Curved Air was.
She lay on the bed and was naked from the waist down. She kept her halter top on. Well, that was no fun.
She handed me a rubber.
Then she took a handful of something from a jar and slathered her quedgie with it. All I heard was this squishy sound. I was losing my enthusiasm.
She jerked on my dick a few times to get me hard. I was so scared that it wasn’t that easy to get an erection but, hey, I was 24 and anything could give me a hard on.
I climbed on board missionary style and she guided me in.
Not 30 seconds later, she said, “Can’t you cum? C’mon…cum already.”
I told her to shut up. I was concentrating.
She kept up this mantra and it was driving me nuts. Elvis had left the building.
So, I tried to take her top off. She stopped me.
“That will be another 20 Guilders.”
I didn’t have 20 Guilders on me at that very specific moment. That was around $5.00.
I couldn’t cum and I wasn’t having any fun so I began to sing Simon and Garfunkel’s “Keep the Customer Satisfied.”
She got mad and let me put my hand inside her halter top if it would make me cum faster.
I succeeded despite the obstacles.
As I got dressed, she told me: “You didn’t drink tonight, did you?”
I smiled and said no. I don’t drink. “Why?”
She said the other two guys obviously had a lot to drink.
I looked confused.
Then she took her index finger…made it stand up straight and then allowed it to droop.
I laughed so hard my sides hurt.
So, after all this, I was the only one to get laid. The others were too drunk. And they came out bragging about how good it was.
I sauntered out to the car with a big smile.
They looked at me and knew in an instant that I knew.
They hung their heads and said nothing. I laughed.
It cost Rik $60 for me to get laid. I thanked him.
The experience cured me of my curiosity. The idea of paying for sex was wiped clean from my Bucket List.
Road life is not what it’s cracked up to be when you are in a big-time rock band. Anyone that travels for work goes through the same thing. You wake up in look-alike hotels with the same fake paintings on the wall. And then there is that moment; just when you wake up…and you shudder.
Where am I? Space and time disappear. I could be in Switzerland or I could be in Manchester. It is a bizarre feeling. Time and space distortion.
The routine becomes wearing. You get dressed. You go downstairs to the hotel restaurant for the same breakfast as the day before. And you sit with your bleary-eyed band mates as they try to choke down a lousy hotel breakfast. Coffee is really popular.
You’re bleary eyed because you stayed up so late and partied after the gig. The road manager controls how much sleep you get because you must get into the luxurious road car and head to the next gig.
Across a country or across a continent. You might have a gig that night or one two days from now.
The roadies stay up even later than the band because of their duties. They had to break everything down and pack it into 18 wheelers. And they get up way before the band to get the trucks on the road. I often felt sorry for them. Tough job. The rest of the band treated them like slaves and personal assistants. I wasn’t brought up by wolves like the rest of the band and found I had more in common with our core roadies than my band mates.
This one morning was different.
We had played a gig in Amsterdam the night before. A wild town back then. Now the Netherland’s government is cracking down on the weed and hash trade putting hundreds of coffee shops out of business.
As we sat and ate breakfast, Stewart shushed everyone. Sonja had not said a word the entire time at the table.
We all looked at him quizzically.
He said, “Can you hear that?”
We shook our heads no.
He slowly leaned his head towards Sonja’s lap. And then he yelled out for everyone in the restaurant to hear: “She has a dildo inside her!!!”
Yep. She had taken a small 3” personal vibrator and put it inside her quedgie. The vibrator was making a small hum.
She sat there with a Cheshire Cat grin. Never said a word. She was happy and not very hungry. Sonja was a vegetarian. This always struck me as odd since she was a recovering junkie still on methadone. And her diet wasn’t exactly strict vegetarian in the healthy sense. All I ever saw her eat was fries (chips), eggs, and baked beans.
You ever done methadone? I haven’t. From my observations, it gets you very, very high.
The whole restaurant erupted with enthusiasm.
This did not faze Sonja.
Stewart insisted she get rid of it before we got in the car and took off. Reluctantly, she did so.
Sonja always wore a G String. So right at the table, she lifted her skirt and removed the dildo at the table. She pulled it out and waved it in our faces. We all screamed in horror.
Stewart yanked it away from her. We let the road manager pay for breakfast and we beat feet to get out of there.
So not every morning was the same. Some were more interesting.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS