Southern Draw Private Blend Connecticut #1 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 7.5 x 50 Double Corona
Strength: Medium
Price: $11.69 (Can be had for $10 online)

Today we take a look at the Southern Draw Private Blend Connecticut #1.
Samples provided by Southern Draw Cigars.

Production: 11,000 cigars
800 Ten-count IGNITE humi-jars. 300 Ten-count bundles

According to the Southern Draw Cigars press release:
“Memorial Day offers Southern Draw Cigars another opportunity to remember and honor our brothers and sisters who have died while serving in our United States Armed Forces. Our Veteran Owned and Operated company is honored to share the IGNITE 2019 cigar releases benefitting the Navy SEAL Foundation. Once again, the Southern Draw Cigars family is joining our premium cigar retailers, sponsors, industry media and supportive consumers to bring awareness and to offer financial support to services that are important to our family. Southern Draw Cigars is also proud to announce the initial launch dates of the NEW cigars as we come together to IGNITE some good.

“We are honored to have Southern Draw Cigars supporting the Navy SEAL Foundation with this promotion. As a company owned and operated by veterans, their commitment to giving back through their IGNITE program is incredible and the Navy SEAL Foundation is thrilled to be named as one of their benefiting charities for 2019”, said Chris Irwin, Director of Partnerships at the Navy SEAL Foundation.

“The Navy SEAL Foundation offers many areas of support and our family has selected two vitally important areas to focus our charitable contributions. 1)Warrior Transition – transition from active duty service into civilian life and 2)Warrior and Family Support – providing strength, resiliency and peace of mind via family support programs,” stated Shelly Hogan.

“The series this year will include 50,000 cigars packed in black enamel humi-jars of 10. There will be six new cigars featured. Each new cigar will come in one blend and one vitola. Boveda has donated a humidity pack for each. Each sale will generate 12.5% of the cost of the jar in money for the Navy SEAL Foundation.

“For more information on the IGNITE Mission, Vision and Values please visit us at”
Cigar Blend Information:
Q2 releases: (Q3 and Q4 release details will be offered at a later day)”

1. Private Blend Connecticut #1
Wrapper: Ecuador – Binder: Nicaragua – Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
Size: Double Corona 7.5×50
Mild+ Body, Medium Flavor
Production: 11,000 cigars
Packaging: 800, 10 count IGNITE humi-jars, 300, 10 count bundles
MSRP: $11.69 single cigar, $116.99 10 count humi-jar (subject to retail discretion)

2. Private Blend Corojo 99 #4
Wrapper: Honduras – Binder: Nicaragua & Honduras – Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras
Size: Rothschild 5.0×50
Medium+ Body, Medium-Full Flavor
Production: 11,000 cigars
Packaging: 800, 10 count IGNITE humi-jars, 300, 10 count bundles
MSRP: $11.49 single cigar, $114.99 10 count humi-jar (subject to retail discretion)

3. Private Blend Habano #3
Wrapper: Ecuador – Binder: Nicaragua – Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua & Ecuador
Size: Double Corona 7.5.50
Medium Body, Medium+ Flavor
Production: 11,000 cigars
Packaging: 800, 10 count IGNITE humi-jars, 300, 10 count bundles
MSRP: $11.69 single cigar, $116.99 10 count humi-jar (subject to retail discretion)

Very nice looking stick. Tight seams with almost no veinage. A nicely applied triple cap. The wrapper is the color of sunny gold. The stick is filled consistently without soft or hard spots. It’s mostly smooth but there are fragments of toothiness up and down the shaft.

First up is a massive dose of incredibly potent floral notes…followed by cream, caramel, malt, white pepper, white chocolate, peanuts, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, cedar, white chocolate, white pepper, caramel, and loads of creaminess.

I’ve been sick with a bad head cold for two weeks. So, I thought I’d come back with an excellent cigar to keep my spirits up. Now, I’m not a fan of Connies. I equate them with bland and uninteresting flavors. Plus, most are very mild. I don’t like mild. But the advent of Connecticut plants grown in Ecuador has changed the program dramatically.

I smoked my first cigar in 15 days yesterday and swooned like I was at an early Elvis concert. It was merely a Robusto. Here, I have a ginormous 7.5” long stick that should cause deep hallucinations caused by my time off. I look forward to a ‘60’s flashback.

The draw is beautiful. Resistance is perfect so I put my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool away for a lesser cigar.
I reviewed the SD Private Blend Habano #3 and it blew my socks off.

Due to the extensive aging time after being rolled, these blends are pretty much ready to go a couple days after receipt. But I’ve had this cigar for over a month now and it shows in its presentation of more complex flavors right off the bat.

Within the first puffs, the blend digs deep and provides a complex experience. Transitions kick in. A nice finish coating my teeth.
Strength starts out at medium; not mild. I dig a pony.
The burn is drop dead perfect.

And the flavors: Banana cream, caramel, white pepper, malt, almonds, and cedar.
There is a slight lemon zest influence.

As is usually the case in big cigars, the second half really shines; so, I’m truly looking forward to that because the first half is screaming laughter.

This is the perfect blend for me to return to work on. My palate is clean and fresh with that two-week break. I’m picking up all sorts of flotsam and jetsam elements that are more subliminal than identifiable. They perfectly align with the flavors I’m able to describe. This is absolutely the cigar for newbies to enjoy. And you old farts…you will once again, find love in a Connie.

A smoky, meaty presence appears that is subtle but makes its voice heard with a passion.
The burn continues on its journey of excellence.

Very few blends start out this complex. My palate has become a receptacle for an onslaught of balance, smoothness of attack, and flavors up the ying yang…what the hell is a ying yang?
Speaking of yin and yang…I still have remnants of stuffiness in my sinuses and yet the intense flavors break on through to the other side.

The banana cream convolutes into a lemony meringue. The white pepper does a change up into black pepper. The malt reigns supreme. I can feel the caramel sticking to my teeth. The nuttiness expands from only almonds to the addition of sweet cashew.

Strength remains at a pleasant medium. A lovely morning cigar with your coffee. Yet, I’ve noticed that I’ve not yet taken a sip from my bottle of water. Time to do so…Wham! The water invigorates my palate and all those flavors explode like a 13-year-old boy with his first Playboy.

I truly respect Robert Holt and his company. Not only does the man consistently produce high quality blends every time out of the gate, but he does good with his charities. I admire him.
Southern Draw is one of those brands that never disappoints. Not a lot of brands out there than can duplicate that accomplishment.

I have a stupid smile on my face that just won’t go away. Two reasons…I am healthy…Yea. And second, this cigar is starting my day with a bang…no, Charlotte is still asleep.

I feel like some musical accompaniment. I click on the Southern Jams station and find my head bouncing to the beat.

Construction is flawless. You know when that occurs because you can put the cigar aside for a few minutes and when you pick it up, it is still burning perfectly. As opposed to lesser blends that go out a minute after you plop it in your ashtray.

The complexity goes deeper now. Flavors morph into one presenting a unified experience. Transitions moving at the speed of light. The finish is a mile long. The balance is bitch’n, Moon Doggies.
Yeah, as a SoCal boy, I was a surfer dude in the 60’s. Ever been stung by jelly fish? Me too. Nothing more of a bonding experience than to have your buddies all pee on you to stop the burning. (Shudder).

I normally dread really long sticks. Not here my dears…Holt’s choice of not making this a Toro or Robusto was dead on.

Another big burst of flavor. A flank attack. The stick just keeps on keeping on with it impressing the shit out of me. Yeah, the stick is good a week after receipt but let it smolder for a month and its Christmas in August.

No nicotine. Huzzah.

My favorite Connies are Nomad Connecticut Fuerte, Crowned Heads Le Careme Belicosos Finos LE 2019, Isabela Cigar Co. Sparkle Robusto, 2018 Isabela Cigars Shape-Shifter, Bespoke Cigars Daughters of the Wind Piramide, Southern Draw Cigars Rose of Sharon, and El Centurion H-2K-CT by My Father Cigars.
The halfway point sees the strength increase.

The blend’s intensity rises to the occasion.
I’ve been very careful not to slobber as Connie wrappers really show off the drool on the cap…yuck.

Recap of flavors: Salted caramel, banana and lemon cream, malt, black pepper, cedar, nuts, and green tea.

I was concerned with this being my first cigar in a bit that it would make me dizzy. Not so. I made a brilliant decision to choose the Private Blend Connecticut #1.
I wish this wasn’t a limited edition. The blend deserves to be available all the time. So, don’t dally in making up your mind to get some.

I was on the money hoping to see the second half excel beyond my expectations. It’s a killer, babies.

Dave Matthews is playing…who doesn’t dig Matthews? Love it.

My second sip of water and my toupee flies off my head and sticks to the ceiling. I will get Charlotte to remove it after the review.

I begin to tap dance in my slippers. Yeah, my parents made me take tap lessons as a kid. My teacher was Percy Venable. A legend in jazz. He was Louis Armstrong’s best buddy.

New flavors pop up: Spices such as cumin, ginger, and vanilla hit my palate like a sledgehammer.
The creaminess is on the same par as being hit in the face with a pie by Soupy Sales.
The citrus takes off big time. A perfect counterbalance to the natural sweetness.

Mild dried fruit shows up: Apricot and golden raisins.

Stop the trolley. Jimi is playing “The Wind Cries Mary.” Bliss. Can you imagine if Hendrix wasn’t a dumb ass doing all those drugs that kill your soul would be like as a player today? He’d be in a band with Keith Moon, Janis, James Jamerson, and SRV.

Strength is medium/full. So much for the common denominator of Connies being bland.
The balance is awesome. Punchy and smooth. No over the top flavors overwhelming other elements.
I am getting some nicotine now but I manage not to pass out.
There is a phantom ligero flying about.

The Private Blend Connecticut #1 is now one of my top favorites in the Connie category.

You guys have to snag some of these sticks. Newbies and sophisticated palates are going to dig this blend.
Now that I’m back, I have a bushelful of new blends to review so be prepared to get sick of me.

Mr. Holt, you did good.



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4 replies

  1. WOW! This sounds like it may change my mind concerning Connies. I try to stay clear of mild or bland cigars so Connecticut is usually not on my radar. Glad you’re better and back to reviewing!!

  2. Thanks Abe…it’s good to be back.

  3. I’m just happy you can light up again

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