Line: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Size: 5″ x 60
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Grade 1
Machine or Hand-rolled: Hand-rolled
Price: $9.50 CAD
Where to Purchase: Village Cigar Co.
When it comes to cigars you have such a variety to choose from. Although this sometimes can be daunting, it also provides a vary rare opportunity. That is, to try new sticks, and ever once in a while, stumble upon that diamond in the rough.
I was at Village Cigar Company & Barbershop last week for the first time and I can say that I couldn’t be blown away more that I was when I got there! The store was beautiful and the folks who ran it even more! I was there for a Casa Magna event, but before I left I decided to pick up a few of their house blend cigars. This house blend, called Pueblo, is exclusive to Village Cigar Co. and comes in two wrapper shades, an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and a Brazilian grown Maduro wrapper. Each of those two come in three different large shapes: a robusto, a large figurado and a smaller, yet still robust favorito!
I will say, now to my shame, that I was sceptical that a house blend like this cigar would hold up to my high standards of cigars….but I could not be more wrong. Since today was a nice day I decided that I’d take this stick out for a spin. I don’t usually smoke cigars above a 54 ring gauge but since this was the only option I had no other choice. The stick had virtually no noticeable veins, the wrapper was tight and smooth and INSANELY oily! I snipped the pigtailed cap off with my table cutter and lit it up with my tabletop butane torch lighter. The draw was perfect and the stick produced a massive volume of smoke. The initial draw flavours were definitely medium-full body with notes of cedar, leather, light cocoa and hay. Typically cigars don’t give me that ‘chewy’ mouth feeling until the second third but this baby hit me with it right off the bat.
First Third (1/3) – 20 min
I have to say I am impressed with this house blend. VCC has done a great job at the vetting process and creating a great stick. Like a Cuban cigar I got notes of port, ice-wine and a long finish of aged tobacco and nutmeg. It was a refreshing stick despite the full-mouth sensation that it so ready gave me. The finish felt deep, and I felt that heavy chested feeling that is reminiscent of drinking a shot of hard liqueur! If there was ever a cigar to pair with port, you got yourself the king of pairing sticks here.
Second Third (2/3) – 25 min
Typically large ring gauge cigars have trouble maintaining a consistent burn, I am not sure how the guys at VCC did it but the Pueblo had no problems at all! The notes of ice-wine were dissipating at this point, but they were replaced with notes of caramel and vanilla, which started to come into the fold as the finish notes began to dominate the profile. The burn was slow and steady, yet the smoke output did not cease to produce. The textures were also comforting as they created a sensation of creaminess and a thick oily silkiness on the lips and palate.
Final Third (3/3) – 25 min
The flavours of hay, vanilla and malt really made a statement during this third. Over the course of about 20 minutes they really consolidated themselves as the dominate flavours in the profile. The cigar maintained its razor sharp burn as did its voluptuous amount of smoke. The cigar did not get hot as it reached the nub which was great since I was able to get the maximum amount of smoke out of it. Overall a unique and excellent third!
Total Smoke Time: 1h 10min
A uniquely delicious cigar with a profile that is difficult to come by. Pueblo Cigars and VCC have done a great job at creating an instant classic in my book. Given the opportunity I will stock my humidor with as many of these sticks as I can. I am very curious to see how they age over the course of a few years. Given the marvellous construction, excellent smoke output, beautifully blended flavours and great burn time I give this cigar on the Leather Library 10-Point Stogie Scale a:
I have yet to give any cigar a perfect score. However, I have yet to try a cigar that is constructed in such a way, yet produces such amazing flavours. There are very few cigars that can possibly match this flavour profile and price range. All in all this can be considered my perfect stick and I look forward to trying the maduro variant as well as both after a few years of aging.
Most of you would have noticed my write up on Village Cigar Co. and I don’t want you to think that I am in any way pandering to them by giving them a perfect score. That I absolutely not true, I am neither sponsored nor endorsed by VCC, although I am open to the opportunity should they wish to!
By: Steven Umbrello
Steven Umbrello is a student of philosophy and an avid cigar and pipe smoker. He has been smoking cigars and pipes for over five years and has made it his mission to learn as much about the industry as possible. He has attended some high profile cigar events and is a leading member of the Toronto Cigar Club. You can find more from Steven at his blog The Leather Library Blog.