I woke up early on a Saturday and the house was still quiet. Everyone was still sleeping. That’s not an experience I have very often, so I decided that I would make the most of my much-coveted private time and get a little writing done. I also thought it might be an excellent time to enjoy a morning cigar.
It seemed to me that a lighter cigar would go over better in the morning. Who wants the richness and darkness of a maduro first thing? Light cigar, dark coffee; that’s an ideal morning. So I thought it would be an excellent time to have a look at my Oliva Five Card Stud Sampler from Pipes & Cigars, since they seemed to be of a lighter tone than the stuff I was accustomed to. The lightest of the bunch turned out to be the Oliva Connecticut Reserve; and the robusto seemed just the right size for my mood.
This cigar is composed of Cuban-seed Nicaraguans in a light Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper. I was especially attracted by its golden Colorado claro colour, small veins, tight wrap, and solid double cap.
Cigars International had this to say:
A mild-bodied gem from Oliva.
The Connecticut Reserve from Oliva is a fantastic, mild to medium-bodied handmade dressed in a silky Connecticut wrapper. This wrapper offers an exceedingly creamy flavor and mouthfeel, which complements the Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-fillers within perfectly. After significant aging, each cigar envelops the palate with layers of thick smoke, leaving behind subtle notes of wood, coffee, and cream. Mellow it is, but short on flavor it isn’t. This cigar truly satisfies, and Oliva fans will find this as a wonderful change of pace. Here’s your morning cup o’ joe cigar, my friend!
Hmm, that sounded just about perfect to me!
Opening the package, I found that the wrapper note was of rich golden tobacco, new mown hay, and cream. Smelled great; fresh like morning! I hoped I wouldn’t have any trouble with the draw, since the pack was rather hard. Still, I elected to punch, realizing that the firmness of the stick might require that I clip the end later. It punched with textbook perfection. The pre-light draw suggested butterscotch cream. Nummy! Toasting the foot released a delightful scent of smokey cream and butter pastry. I couldn’t wait to sample it.
The initial draw was difficult. I had to puff at it quite hard to get it going, and I suspected that yes, I would have to clip it. However, the taste was delicious enough that I would have been puffing diligently at it anyway. Butter cream, toasted almonds, butterscotch and wood elements flooded into my mouth with the excellent voluptuous smoke. Buttery caramel soon followed. I also noticed an immediate and noticeable lip and mouth tingle. Was this really a mild cigar?
The first third took about 45 minutes to smoke; though granted, I was working while I did so, and it consistently remained excellent.
In the second third, the stick maintained a brilliantly consistent, rich flavour that was almost identical to that lovely first third, except that it also developed a not unpleasant sourness. I was pleased to note that the difficult draw eased up, rather than becoming more challenging, and I was not required to clip the cigar after all. However, it did begin to burn at a slightly off-kilter angle, and it therefore burned considerably faster; though at a half-hour burn time for the second third, I could hardly complain.
The final third might very well have been the best part of the cigar. Both the off kilter burn and the initially challenging draw corrected themselves, and it settled into a creamy, flavourful, light and rich tasting delicious smoke! As a matter of fact, it smoked too easily and I found myself buzzing and a little woozy near the end. Again, are they sure the nicotine content is mild?
A little black residue started to collect near the punched hole at the end, so I was glad I hadn’t clipped it. It got mushy, cracked and lost part of wrapper half an hour after I judged the final third to have begun; and it went out five minutes after that. Well, I didn’t feel it owed me anything at that point, so I let it rest in peace.
So, at a smoke time of ten minutes shy of two hours, I feel I definitely got value for my money. I like a cigar to either show distinctive flavours between thirds, displaying the creativity of a designer, or to remain consistently delicious, displaying elegance of design. This was definitely the latter. It delivered exactly what it promised. I would definitely buy it again and indeed, hope to do so, just so that I have an ideal morning cigar supply in my humidor. It was a perfect morning smoke in this lady’s perspective; a “good cup o’Joe cigar” indeed!
Due to the difficult draw at the beginning and the slightly angular burn at the end of the first third, I can’t give the Oliva Connecticut Reserve perfect marks; but I will give it: