Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Jose Carlos Connecticut
Size: 5×52, Robusto
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Connecticut
Jose Carlos, a new line of cigars introduced by Bill Davies, is named after an orphan Bill met in Nicaragua while researching his new blend. Bill was inspired by Jose’s story of rising above his abandonment and named his first line after the poor, yet well-to do young man.
Bill put an extreme amount of work into developing his line and utilized the Nicaraguan Agriculture University to help test his land prior to planting. Bill uses only the pure essentials required to grow his tobacco, taking a purist approach, which fits well with this Nicaraguan puro.
Introduced at the 2009 IPCPR in New Orleans, the Jose Carlos line of Nicaraguan puros are sold in three wrappers (Habano, Corojo, and Connecticut), in boxes of 26, and in two sizes (5×52 Robusto and 6×52 Toro). You can learn more about Jose Carlos online and follow him on Twitter.
This Nicaraguan Connecticut is very smooth with a few perforated and obtrusive veins. From head to foot there are no soft spots and the cap and foot are in great condition. The pre-light aroma is of sweet cedar with primary notes of barnyard. The draw is excellent with some noticeable hay. The band on the Jose Carlos is very attractive. The thick band is close to an inch and a half thick with gold, black, and red. The raised detail on this band creates one of the best I’ve seen released this year.
The Connecticut lights very well and has an excellent pull; not too loose, just right. The burn is straight to begin with, even with a slightly jagged light from wet matches. The burn remains sharp throughout with a few hills here and there. The draw remains open though it tightens some toward the 2/3 mark. This stick has a very unattractive ash, which is dark gray and discolored and is flaky and loose.
The mouthful of spice up front surprised me and remained on the tongue; the finish was short with strong notes of black pepper. The pepper fades beyond the first inch to a creamy and well-balanced smoke. The second third forward takes on more of your typical Connecticut notes of barnyard, with some cedar and hay. This remains for a bit with some more spice on the final third, which for the first time held a longer finish.
I can’t calculate price into the score, but I’d happily pay $6-8 for this stick; it had an attractive exterior, a solid burn despite the unattractive ash, and an interesting flavor profile with nice transitions. A big thanks to Bill for sending along the Connecticut, Habano, and Corojo; we look forward to trying the other two blends. If you see these in your local B&M, pick a few up and you’ll be happy with your purchase. But a fair warning, this is not your typical Connecticut–it has some kick to it!