|My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade|
In 2011, it is well known that one of the big stories in the cigar industry has been the large amount of releases of Ecuadorian/ Connecticut Shade wrapper cigars. For the Garcia family, much of the activity has been more limited and experimental in the My Father Cigars’ brand around the use of Connecticut Shade wrappers (although the Garcias were involved with 2011 core line Connecticut Shade releases for EO Brands and Ashton). Last year, a special bonus cigar was packaged in the boxes of the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011 that contained a Connecticut Shade wrapper. (This one finished as our #17 cigar for 2011) Now this year, another limited release has surfaced – this time a Connecticut Shade cigar around the Le Bijou blend. This one was done as a retailer-exclusive cigar for Federal Cigars to commemorate their 91st Anniversary. This one is called the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade. Once again, the Garcia family has done something special with a blend utilizing a Connecticut Shade wrapper. This cigar proves to be a real winner and shows that Connecticut Shade cigars can be more than mild and creamy.
Retailer exclusive cigars are nothing new for the folks at Federal Cigars in New Hampshire. In 2011, for Federal Cigars 90th Anniversary, several manufacturers provided exclusive cigars. These cigars included the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 109, the Arturo Fuente Federal Queen B, and the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4. Kicking off their 91st Anniversary in 2012, Federal Cigars has received special blends of the My Father Le Bijou cigar. These cigars contained different wrappers than the core Le Bijou cigar. For the Federal Cigars’ releases, My Father Cigars provided a Connecticut Broadleaf and a Connecticut Shade version. In this assessment we will focus around the Connecticut Shade release.
Unlike the Connecticut Broadleaf version of the Le Bijou 1922 Federal
Cigar 91st Cervantes which has been made over the internet, the Le Bijou
1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade was only made
available in Federal Cigars’ retail stores. Let’s take a closer look at this cigar.
The core My Father Le Bijou uses a Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro wrapper. The My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade uses a Connecticut Shade wrapper. These cigars are produced at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua.
Wrapper Connecticut Shade
Like its Connecticut Broadleaf sibling, a single vitola has been made available – a 6 1/2 x 42 lonsdale. This is the first time a lonsdale has been made in the Le Bijou line. Only 50 boxes of 23 were produced of this cigar (for a total of 4600 cigars).
The Le Bijou 1922 Federal
Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade has a classic silky Connecticut Shade wrapper. While there are a couple of bumps, for the most part the wrapper is very smooth. There are some wrapper seams that are visible. There are a couple of frog eyes (green spots) present on the wrapper – something common to Ecuadorian/Connecticut Shade cigars.
The bands are the same as the core Le Bijou line. The top band features the classic pink, green, gold, and white My Father Cigars band. The second band features the same Le Bijou band on the core line – consisting of gold, green, red, and white. The difference with the Federal Cigars release is that the Le Bijou band is on the footer instead of under the My Father band. There is a cedar wrapper over about 2/3 of the cigar. The cedar wrapper features the My Father logo and says “Federal’s 91st”. The Le Bijou band sits over the cedar wrapper on the foot.
|My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade|
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade cigar experience, I placed my usual straight cut into the cap. At this point, it was time to commence with a pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided an nice level of complexity on the pre-light experience. I definitely detected some pepper on the early part of the pre-light. This was followed by flavors of dried fruit, wood, and cream. I was very pleased with the pre-light draw, and was very excited to toast the foot of this cigar and begin the smoking experience.
The start to the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade was woody and cedary with a hint of toast. It did not take long for some classic Garcia black pepper spice to surface. The pepper slowly built up and peaked in the first couple of minutes of the smoke before diminishing, but not vanishing. The pepper spice also was prevalent through the nostrils for a good part of the smoking experience.
As the pepper diminished, notes of wood and sweet dried fruit began to take center stage. The flavors balanced each other nicely – and it did not get overly sweet or overly woody. Around the five percent of the smoking experience, the dried fruit transitioned to more of a citrus grapefruit flavor. The profile soon took its form – consisting of primary notes of grapefruit, secondary notes of wood, and pepper spice on the after draw. This profile held for a good portion of the cigar experience. There were also times that the dried fruit sweetness returned from time to time throughout the smoke.
In the last third of the smoke of the Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade, the cigar lost some of the grapefruit notes and spice on the after-draw. For the most part, the flavor profile had a primary note of wood toward the end. The finish to the cigar was not harsh. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The construction attributes of burn and draw get perfect scores for the Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade. The cigar burned razor sharp throughout the whole cigar experience. True low maintenance around the burn as this one needed maybe one to two touch-ups maximum. The burn temperature and burn rate were ideal. The draw was low maintenance as well – making the Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade a joy to smoke.
|Burn of the Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade|
Strength and Body
For the majority of the smoke of the Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade, this was not a strong cigar from a nicotine standpoint. Most of the smoke was on the mild to medium strength side. Toward the last quarter of the smoke, the strength did cross into the medium area of the strength spectrum. As for the body, the flavor notes had some real depth. I assessed the Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Connecticut Shade as medium to full-bodied. There was good balance between the strength and body as neither component overshadowed the other
As I said earlier on, this was not your typical creamy Connecticut Shade smoking experience. Like the Xen by Nish Patel, this cigar successfully delivers flavors in the medium to full-bodied range. This cigar shows that the Garcia family really is on to doing some innovative things with Connecticut Shade wrappers. This is the kind of cigar that I think novice enthusiasts can really enjoy – without absorbing too much strength. Experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate the innovative qualities of this cigar. As for myself, if an opportunity would present itself to get more of these, I wouldn’t pass on it. Overall, this was an outstanding cigar experience.
Strength: Mild to Medium (Medium in last 1/4)
Body: Medium to Full
Source: This cigar was gifted to me by a friend who was able to get a box of these from Federal Cigars.