|Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade|
Earlier this year, I reviewed the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011. This Nicaraguan Broadleaf Maduro cigar was one of the best maduros to be released in 2011. These cigars are sold in boxes of sixteen. Each box is individually numbered. 15 of those cigars will be the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Maduro. The other cigar will be a bonus cigar featuring a Connecticut Shade wrapper on the same blend. The word on the street is that the plan is for the Connecticut Shade bonus cigar will be the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2012 release. The Connecticut Shade bonus cigar has been getting a lot of high marks from enthusiasts who have smoked it. I’;ve recently had the opportunity to sample the Connecticut Shade bonus cigar from my box. While I don’t think this cigar broke new ground for Connecticut Shade cigars, I do consider this a very good release.
|Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Maduro (L) and its Connecticut Shade counterpart (R)|
Last year, I felt that A.J. Fernandez was the one who broke the mold with Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigars with his San Lotano Connecticut. That cigar was my #8 cigar for 2010. In my opinion, this made its mark by showcasing that a Connecticut wrapper cigar can move into the medium range of the strength spectrum and the medium to full range in terms of body. Not only that, but that cigar provided outstanding flavors. Cigars such as the Room 101 Connecticut and Xen by Nish Patel have also followed suit. The Jaime Garcia Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade cigar is not going to push the envelope of becoming a medium strength, medium to full-bodied Ecuadorian Connecticut shade cigar. It will still have a little more strength and body than your average Ecuadorian Connecticut shade cigar and ultimately delivers a very worthwhile cigar experience.
Let’s take a closer look at the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade cigar.
The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade cigar has the same binder and filler as its core Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 counterpart. The difference is the core Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 Maduro features a Nicaraguan Broadleaf Viso wrapper.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Nicaraguan Cuban-seed (including Pelo de Oro)
Filler: Nicaraguan Cuban-seed (including Pelo de Oro)
There will be a single vitola made – it will be a 6 1/2 x 52 Toro. This is consistent to what the My Father Limited Edition and what the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Maduro cigars have been.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I opted for a straight cut on to my Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade. The pre-light draw provided a mix of butter and spice. It was a little hard to pin what the spice was on the pre-light draw. For a Connecticut Shade cigar, this was a pretty good dry draw. It was now on to lighting up my Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade cigar.
Upon lighting my Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade, I was treated to a cedar spice start. The analogy I immediately drew was that this was “Connecticut Shade version of a Pepin pepper blast”. Shortly afterward, some butter cream notes emerged. A few minutes later I also detected cinnamon notes on the tongue. The cream, cedar, and cinnamon notes would make up the flavor profile for the first part of this smoking experience. I normally do not make a big deal about cigar aroma, but the Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade provided a wonderful toast-like scent as it burned.
Around the 40 percent point of the cigar experience, the cedar spice transitioned to more of a classic pepper spice. By the midway point, the pepper moved over cream and cinnamon notes. I was expecting the Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade to get spicy toward the end, but this did not happen. In fact, the pepper spice subsided a bit during the last third. The finish was very smooth – highlighted by the cream notes. Complementing the smooth finish, the nub was firm and cool – the type of cigar nub all good cigars should produce.
Burn and Draw
Back when I sampled my first few Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 Maduros, I did have some uneven burn issues. Since then, a little age has really helped and these now burn excellent. As for the Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade – no issues here either. This cigar burned like a champ – it had a razor sharp burn. It also burned at an ideal rate and ideal temperature. No issues with the draw either – the Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade was a pleasure to smoke.
|Burn of the Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade|
|Nub on the Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade|
Strength and Body
I mentioned above that the Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 Connecticut Shade is going to be a little more strength and body than your average Connecticut Shade cigar, but it is not going to break any ceilings in these categories. From a strength perspective, this is a classic Mild to Medium cigar in terms of the nicotine it will deliver. It’s amazing what how a wrapper can change a cigar as the Limited Edition 2011 Maduro is definitely full strength.
As for the body, the flavors have enough depth to be a classic medium-bodied cigar. The balance of the strength and body deliver a classic smooth Ecuadorian Connecticut smoke.
I had heard from several people that this was a contender for Cigar of the Year. I don’t want to diminish what this cigar brought to the table because it was very good and by all means worthy of a “Memorable” assessment. Ultimately, I still preferred the Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011 Maduro to the Connecticut Shade. As for 2011 Connecticut Shade releases, I still give Matt Booth’s Room 101 Connecticut an edge over this one. Overall, it’s the kind of cigar I’d recommend to novice or experienced enthusiasts. I’d also smoke this again. Right now, unless you have some connections or luck on your side, the only way to get this cigar is to buy a box of Jaime Garcia Limited Edition 2011. I’m not sure its worthy the hefty price tag (these cigars go for $16.00 a piece) just to procure one of the Connecticut Shades. It might be better waiting for this to be available as the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2012.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Source: This “bonus” cigar was included in a box of Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 cigars that was purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte North Carolina.