Earlier this month, Southern Draw Cigars announced its newest blend, the QuickDraw Connecticut. Southern Draw Cigars was founded by Robert Holt and a group of U.S. Veterans. The name is appropriate to the company’s vision. Southern Draw seeks to keep to the promoting “Southern” culture and in particular paying homage to being a Southern gentleman. In terms of its cigars, the company has put considerable effort into making a cigar with an effortless draw while enjoying it. The QuickDraw Connecticut marks the first Connecticut Shade blend released by the company. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the QuickDraw Connecticut in the Short Panatela format. Overall I found this to be an outstanding cigar and one that works very well in the long, thin vitola.
The QuickDraw Connecticut is the fifth blend to be released in the Southern Draw Cigars portfolio. It also is the third blend in the QuickDraw line. As the name indicates, the QuickDraw is meant to provide a cigar geared for a short, quick cigar experience. The QuickDraw has two other blends, the QuickDraw Habano and the QuickDraw Pennsylvania (a Broadleaf) blend. The two previous QuickDraw blends s were released in one size – a 4 1/2 x 44 petit corona. The QuickDraw Connecticut also has a petit corona size, but it differs from the other two blends in that it has a second size -in this case, a 5 1/2 x 40 short panatela. The company has stated it is planning to add the short panatela format into the QuickDraw Habano and QuickDraw Pennsylvania blends later this year.
At press time, the QuickDraw Connecticut is being rolled out at select events. In July, 2016 the QuickDraw Connecticut will be generally available.
Another philosophy the company follows is that it releases cigars designed to pair with a beverage. When the QuickDraw Connecticut was announced, Holt stated, “The QuickDraw Connecticut blend was heavily influenced by our appreciation for Café Cubano, colada and cafecito, a blend offering the strength of dark roast espresso, the sweetness of hydrolyzed sugar and the light creaminess of the espumita or crema that sits atop the coffees.” For this cigar assessment, the QuickDraw Connecticut was assessed on its own.
Without further ado, let’s break down the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Connecticut wrapper is an Ecuadorian-grown one. The remainder of the blend is all Nicaraguan incorporating tobaccos from the Ometepe, Esteli, and Condega regions.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Ometepe (Nicaraguan)
Filler: Esteli, Condega (Nicaraguan)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
The QuickDraw Connecticut is offered in two sizes:
Petit Corona: 4 1/2 x 44
Short Panatela: 5 1/2 x 40
The Petit Corona is packaged in 50 count boxes and 25 count bundles. The Short Panatela is packaged in 25 count boxes and 25 count bundles. A total of 50,000 cigars per size are planned for release in 2016.
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper of the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela is a classic light brown color. The wrapper had a light sheen of oil on it. It is also a wrapper that I found on the smother side. There were some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams. The cigar features a pig-tail on the cap. Finally, consistent with the other cigars in the Southern Draw Cigars’ portfolio, the QuickDraw Connecticut features a covered footer.
The band of the QuickDraw Connecticut is a variation of what is found on the other cigars in the QuickDraw line. The band is highlighted by text “QUICK DRAW” is in gold font over a orange background. The color of that background is slightly darker at the center. Below the text is a gold ribbon-like design with the text “CONNECTICUT” in thin dark font. There are gold adornments going around the band. To the left and right is the text “Hand Made” – also in white font on a yellow / orange background.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling off the pig-tail cap of the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela, I opted to place a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped off, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a classic Ecuadorian Connecticut profile of cream and wood notes. Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela and see what this cigar would have in store.
The QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela started out with a notes of white pepper, cream, and classic wood. The pepper notes quickly subsided and dissipated. I found the cream notes became primary early on while the classic wood notes moved to the background. In addition to the classic wood notes, there was also a slight cedar sweetness in the background on the tongue. Meanwhile there was a cedar sweet-spice present on the retro-hale.
Later in the first third, the classic wood notes began to increase and by the start of second third, the wood was on par with the cream notes in the forefront. The subtle cedar notes remained in the background, but started to increase. I also detected a citrus component provided some subtle bitter notes.
By the midway point of the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela, the cedar notes moved into the forefront becoming the primary note. By this time, there was now a slight spice component to the cedar notes. Meanwhile the classic wood and cream moved into the background. I also still picked up the citrus notes in the more distant background.
The last third saw the cedar notes firmly in control. There was still a touch of cream and citrus in the background. This is the way the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela is a well constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. I found this cigar maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. The burn line had some occasional curviness to it, but overall I found the to be a low maintenance burn. The resulting ash was a silvery gray with some dark speckling to it. This ash was a tight, firm one – and one that came off the cigar in clean chunks. Meanwhile the burn temperature was ideal. While the QuickDraw line is designed to be 30 minutes, I found this to be a 40 to 45 minute smoke – and this is what I still considered ideal for this cigar.
Keeping to the company’s reputation, the cigar had a flawless draw. I found the draw to be not too tight, nor too loose. I also found this small cigar produced a nice amount of smoke production.
Strength and Body
From a strength and body perspective, I found the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela to be in the wheelhouse of what I would expect a Connecticut Shade cigar to be. Both the strength and body started out in the mild to medium range. Both attributes increased gradually throughout the smoking experience. By the end of the cigar, I still assessed both attributes as mild to medium.
In terms of strength versus body on the QuickDraw Connecticut Short Panatela , I found both attributes balanced each other nicely – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
When it comes to Connecticut Shade cigars, I find it is often difficult to find good ones in large ring gauges (54+) and small ring gauges (44-). With the Short Panatela format of Southern Draw Cigars’ Quick Draw Connecticut, I found this cigar delivered quite well – and delivered a nice satisfying smoke. In terms of strength, body, and flavor, I found this to be Connecticut Shade cigar more on the traditional side. While I didn’t do a Café Cubano pairing, I can certainly see how this cigar would pair well with it. This is a cigar I’d recommend to either the experienced or novice cigar enthusiast as an any time of the day smoke. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and one that is worthy of a box split.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Mild to Medium
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Southern Draw Cigars Adding QuickDraw Connecticut
Price: $5.00 to $6.00 (for line)
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 184
Stogie Feed: QuickDraw Connecticut Petite Panatela by Southern Draw Cigars