Turning Over a New Leaf (Leaf Connecticut Toro by Oscar)

20151016_085313[1]Leaf cigars have been getting a lot of attention.  It’s largely due to the what is now unusual wrapper.  As might be indicated by the name, Oscar lovingly wraps their cigars in a full tobacco leaf instead of a cellophane wrapper.  Of course this is how cigars were originally transported, but we have this tendency to believe that modern technology trumps older technologies.  But I’m inclined to think that sometimes traditional ways are best, and if it ain’t broke, you shouldn’t fix it.

20151016_085829[1]I selected the Connecticut Toro because I was looking for a good light-wrappered morning smoke.  Once the leaf was carefully and delicately unwrapped, the unique shade-grown Ecuadoran wrapper was revealed to be delicate and golden; perhaps the shade and texture of parchment; though it was flaking a little at the foot.  When I peeled off the unique agave-paper label, both inside and out, I felt a little as though I was unwrapping an ancient map case.  It’s six inches in length and a 50 ring gauge. The Leaf cigars are also constructed with a well-made triple cap.  I always like a good triple cap.  That tends to keep a firm grasp on the smoke and suggest good construction.

20151016_094602[1]I clipped the Leaf Connecticut with my double guillotine cutter.  I may have cut it too high, but that paper-thin wrapper flaked and crumpled when I did so.  It settled when it was firmly licked into place, however.  The wrapper note itself was indistinguishable from the leaf it was wrapped in; a light, sweet-smelling tobacco.

I lit the stick with one of my cedar spills.  It toasted and lit easily, cleanly, and with a truly copious amount of delightful smoke that plumed into the air in thick swirls in the morning sunlight.

The first draws were outstanding; exactly what I want in a morning smoke and a golden Connecticut!  Light, airy, sweet, with hints of honey, new-mown hay (perhaps alfalfa), and butter cream.  It smoked with a pure draw that was almost effortless to keep lit.  The ash evolved into a perfect cylindrical column.

20151016_101301[1]At least, once I’d completed the first third, which was about forty minutes into the smoke.  As it evolved into a spicier taste that perhaps suggested a hint of real ginger, the flake at the head of the cigar spread into a widening crack that required I place my mouth completely over it to draw it properly — though I’ll own that this could be to an awkward cut as much as it could be due to the delicate wrapper; and if it’s the latter, I enjoy the wrapper so much that I’m willing to overlook this for the quality of the flavour!

20151016_085332[1]Well, I’d never tasted ginger in a cigar before!  Intrigued, I poured myself a ginger ale to go with, and I found it an outstanding match!

In about the middle of the second third, which took about half an hour, it cracked enough that I could no longer keep it lit, so some repair and re-lighting was required.  However, the repair job solved the problem, though I got a little lightheaded from the nicotine content in the process of firing it back up. It developed an undertone of white pepper and lost just a touch of the alfalfa and sweet; so that’s the extend of how “second third bitterness” manifested.
20151016_085332[1]After just over an hour I was obliged to extinguish it in order to make an appointment, so the final third resumed after I got home.  In the final third it was considerably more peppery and definitely a lot less hay-like.  A sharp spice taste and a hint of citrus, perhaps grapefruit, lingered on my lips.  It continued to plume amazing thick smoke into the air.  After another twenty-five minutes it sprang another crack, making it difficult to smoke, and finally fell apart and went out; though that ginger-pepper taste and a buzzing level of nicotine on my lips remained to the very end.  I decided that it didn’t owe me anything else and let it extinguish itself right before dinner.

I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar; a delicious, complex Connecticut wrapper.  It was a perfect morning (and all day) smoke.  My only complaint is the flaky wrapper, and obviously I thought that it was good enough that I was willing to fight that pretty hard in order to enjoy the remainder of the cigar.  However, a construction problem still excludes it from perfect marks; though in this lady’s perspective, I would still highly recommend it as the perfect cigar for the somewhat-experienced smoker; while a novice would still enjoy it and a veteran would be delighted by its complexities.  I give it:

Stars - 4 and a half

I got mine at SmokingPipes.com for $9.00 USD.  I don’t know where else you can get it; it doesn’t turn up easily in Google searches, though you will find a lot of reviews.  I guess it’s pretty new.  I encourage you to suggest it to your local tobacconist!

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