Cigar Review: La Vieja Habana Connecticut

la vieja_1

Size: 5×54, Rothschild Luxo

Wrapper: Connecticut

Filler: Mixed Nicaraguan, Esteli and Jalapa Valley

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $49.95

Grade: 8.9

Drew Estate is a name that has been receiving more and more notoriety of late thanks to the Liga Privada line of cigars. Known primarily for his line of infused cigars, Acid and Natural, Drew is no stranger to the non-infused world. Though most assume his first line was the Acid, it was actually the La Vieja Habana (LVH), which debuted in 1994.

The LVH is a non-infused cigar that was initially sold exclusively at their World Trade Center store in New York. This brand was the catalyst to his company, originally made by a single cigar roller in New York, Antonio Almanzar. Today, the LVH is produced in Jonathan’s own factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

The LVH is available in several varities, including the Leather (original, 91 rated blend), Cameroon, Connecticut, Corojo, Fumas, and Maduro. Today we are toasting the Connecticut, so before we bore you with too much information, let’s toast the foot of this LVH.

Pre-light, 1.6:
This is a stout cigar with a borderline obtrusive ring gauge. It had a great weight to it and a soft roll presented a sponginess which was just right—not too tight, not too loose, and no soft spots. It was modestly single capped with minimal veins and a rustic and hilly exterior. The band was, well, ugly. It reminded me at worse of a convenient store cigar and at best of a bundled cigar. It donned faded colors, tacky script, and an odd female statue or alien, which happened to be naked, flanking each side of the center. The aroma was very sweet with a slight bit of citrus zest and the pre-light draw revealed similar flavors, but with a sweet spice and some strong nuttiness. The LVH was by no means a looker, but it did match the price point quite well.

Burn, 1.8:
The LVH had an excellent pull, even though the high ring gauge added a bit of difficulty to the smoke. The burn started, stayed, and finished very clean and required no touch-ups whatsoever.  The emitted smoke was very thin but plentiful and had a sweet, pleasing aroma. The ash held well though it was a bit flakey and very discolored and dirty looking. If you commit to ashing every inch or so, you will not have one problem on the burn of this stick. It did, however, begin to burn hot toward the nub.

Flavor, 2.7:
The flavor on the LVH was excellent; consistent, creamy, and lasting. The first third had a very sweet creaminess to it that took on some earthy flavors bordering on a light to medium roast. I picked up some of the typical Nicaraguan earthiness, but it was mostly overshadowed by a sweet creaminess. The second third offered a pickup of nuttiness that had strong hazelnut undertones. There was also the slightest bit of harshness on the tip of the tongue in this section. The final third produced some rather strong notes of hay, with some continued harshness. The overall profile of this stick was very enjoyable and would be an excellent morning smoke. The consistency was there and the transitions were also nice, though they didn’t stray much from the overall profiles of a creamy medium roast.

Overall, 2.8:
This is box worthy for me. I received this stick in a sampler, but I’ll now be keeping an eye out for a cheap box. The everyday price is around $49.95 for 20, so they may never go on sale for much less. At around $2.50 a stick, this one is hard to beat and likely sits atop my list of sub $3 cigars. Though it aint much to look at, the La Vieja Habana Connecticut burns exceptionally well and has a great flavor profile that is both consistent and shifty—I think this is a winner from Drew Estate; I just wish I’d discovered these earlier.

(Total: 8.9)