|Lou Rodriguez Edicion Reserva Connecticut
One thing I’ve said that is important for retailers when considering indie/boutique cigars is to find something special. Most importantly, a cigar that is capable of knocking something else out of the humidor. In a time with many new launches and many new brands, this is an important rule of thumb. One brand that has a cigar that falls into this category is Lou Rodriguez Cigars. From the 2011 IPCPR, I was able to sample one of the cigars – the Lou Rodriguez Edicion Reserva Connecticut. In a year in which the market has been flooded with Connecticut shade releases, this cigar was one that has stood out very nicely.
A little background on what I know about Lou Rodriguez Cigars. The founder, Lou Rodriguez is a doctor by profession who is passionate about cigars and got into the industry. In fact, his cigar bands have the medical symbol denoted on them. Rodriguez launched two new blends to join two Maduro cigars he has already released (the Edicion Reserva Maduro and the Edicion Premier). The two new blends launched at the 2011 IPCPR were a Connecticut and a Rosado blend. The nice thing about the new releases is it really helps round out Lou Rodriguez’s line to a wide variety of consumers. For this assessment, we will focus on the Connecticut.
Production is limited to 5000 boxes per year. The brand is committed to supporting the Brick and Mortar retailers. The brand is also available on the online retailer Charmed Leaf as this provides access to those who do not have access to a brick and mortar carrying the brand. The brand is committed to not selling out to the online retailers.
Lets take a closer look at the this cigar:
The blend brings a nice mix of Nicaraguan tobacco wrapped with a Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Nicaraguan (Proprietary)
The Lou Rodriguez Edicion Reserva Connecticut is available in five sizes:
Panetela: 6 x 38
Corona: 5½ x 42
Lancero: 7 x 42
Robusto: 5 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 54
The cigar has a unique “spiral” like pig-tail on the cap.
|Spiral pig-tail cap of the Lou Rodriguez Edicion Reserva Connecticut
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I sampled the Corona size. If you read this web-site, I don’t often sample corona vitolas, but this is the sample I had. I usually still place a straight cut whenever there is a pig-tail cap, so I didn’t change course here. I then proceeded to sample some dry draws before lighting.. The pre-light dry notes were classic Ecuadorian Connecticut with a mix of cream and cedar. Satisfied with the pre-light draw, I proceeded to fire this up and see what the Edicion Reserva Connecticut would bring to the table.
The initial draws gave me some classic black pepper spice to start. The pepper subsided quickly and the cigar settled back to what I got on the dry notes – namely a mix of cedar and cream. Around 10 percent into the cigar experience, some classic cherry sweet notes emerged.
As the cigar entered the second third, the cream notes moved into the forefront. The cream notes gave this cigar a real smoothness and the cream was robust – in other words this wasn’t your generic Ecuadorian Connecticut shade smoke. As the cigar moved into the last third, the cedar spice kicked up a bit. This gave the cigar a nice kick as it came to a close. The cigar finished as smoothly as it smoked for the duration. The nub was a little soft, but it not harsh – and burned cool at the end. This was a testament to the quality of the construction of the smoke
Burn and Draw
I mentioned this was a quality constructed cigar. The burn and draw clearly reflected this. The burn was very even requiring minimal touch-ups. The cigar burned nice and slow for a corona vitola – and I view this as a positive. It also burned at a perfect temperature. The draw made this cigar a real enjoyable smoke as it was near perfect.
Strength and Body
This is not a cigar that is going to overpower you. It doesn’t have a lot of nicotine and it is a classic mild strength smoke. The body was also classic mild to medium. Some people look at mild strength, mild to medium bodied cigars as a negative, but this truly fulfilled the definition of classic smooth smoke.
While this wasn’t the strongest or most complex cigar I had, this was still a very good cigar. I enjoyed the flavors it produced, and this was a real pleasure to smoke. In a lot of ways, it fits the profile for a classic “morning smoke”. Novice cigar enthusiasts can really appreciate a smoke like this. Experienced cigar enthusiasts who appreciate what a milder strength, milder bodied smoke can bring to the table will also enjoy this. Overall this is one of those cigars that can knock out a lot of cigars out of a retailers’ humidor that fit this profile. I would definitely purchase some of these in the near future.
Body: Mild to Medium
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This sample was received at the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show. The sample was initiated by Lou Rodriguez Cigars. I am appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.
Note: All samples received from the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show will be included in my “2011 IPCPR Series”