|Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux – exclusive to W.Curtis Draper|
Back in January, W. Curtis Draper, a cigar retailer in the Washington DC/Bethesda, Maryland area announced a series of cigars to commemorate their 125th anniversary of being in business. This series would consist of four retail exclusive cigars by leading cigar manufacturers. The first of that series was a special vitola of the core Cabaiguan line by Tatuaje Cigars. This vitola has been named the Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux. When Draper’s had a Super Bowl weekend event featuring Tatuaje founder Pete Johnson, the boxes sold out very quickly. Recently, I was fortunate enough to obtain one of these samples. I found it a little odd that the Cabaiguan would sell out so quickly. However, once I lit this cigar, I understood why. Without a doubt, this is one of the finest cigars I ever put a torch to. In a lot of ways, this surprised me – because the Cabaiguan isn’t a cigar that fits into my full-bodied, large ring gauge profile.
First up, some background on this vitola and it’s name. The WCD 120 Redux is based off of Tatuaje’s core Cabaiguan blend (not the Cabaiguan Guapo Natural that we recently assessed). Back in 2007, for Draper’s 120th anniversary, Johnson provided an anniversary cigar called the Cabaiguan WCD 120 (standing for W. Curtis Draper 120th Anniversary). The WCD 120 was also a retail exclusive vitola in this blend – a 4 5/8 x 42 petite corona. For the 125th anniversary cigar, Johnson essentially provides the same blend in the same size vitola – thus the name WCD 120 Redux. The only differences are the crop of the tobaccos that are used were different.
As for the name Cabaiguan, this pays homage to Johnson’s respect for the Cuban roots of the cigar industry. It is named for a city in the northern Sancti Spirites province that has been home to some of Cuba’s most knowledgeable cigar men.
The WCD 120 Redux has marked the first time I have smoked anything in the core Cabaiguan blend. While I feel this particular vitola is stellar, I cannot comment on whether or not this carries over to the whole line. I will also state up-front that this assessment is based on a single cigar that I smoked.
The blend features a Connecticut Shade Ecuadorian wrapper. While this blend has been out a while, the timing can still ride the coat-tails of the 2011 Ecuadorian/Connecticut parade. However, this is no imitation, as it truly shows that this wrapper can produce a great cigar.
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Ecuador
For completeness, I’m including all of the blends that have been made available in the Cabiaguan blend.
WCD 120 Redux: 4 5/8 x 42
WCD 120: 4 5/8 x 42
Imperiales: 7 x 47
Belicosos Finos: 5 x 52
Coronas Extra 5 5/8 x 46
Robustos Extra: 5 x 50
Petite Cabaiguan 4 x 32
The Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux has a relatively smooth Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. There are some visible veins, but it is not very toothy. There are some dark spots on the wrapper, but it does not feature any frog eyes (green spots common to Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers). The cigar features a triple cap with a pig-tail. The Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux and its predecessor release, the WCD 120 are the only vitolas in the core-line Cabaiguan line to feature a pig-tail. The pig-tail has typically been reserved for the Cabaiguan Guapos line.
The band is the classic Cabaiguan one. It is mostly yellow and black. On a yellow background, there is a calligraphy-style C in the
middle of the band in black font. Under that is the text “Cabaiguan” in red font. To the left and
right of the “C” are the words “Hand” and “Made” to the left and right
respectively in black font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke, I went with a straight cut into the cap of my Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux. This is par for the course as I use a straight cut on all pig-tail caps as opposed to pulling it off. The pre-light draw provided me flavors of mild cedar spice and mild pepper. There was also some nut and some butter notes (not butternut – but separate notes). Overall, the flavors were no surprise to a Ecuadorian Connecticut shade cigar, yet they were more complex than the average Ecuadorian Connecticut shade cigar. With very satisfying dry draw notes, it was on to lighting my WCD 120 Redux and seeing what else this cigar had in store.
The initial flavors to the Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux provided flavors of cedar spice and some cherry sweetness. The cedar notes moved to the forefront early. While the cherry was more of a secondary note, there were other flavors that soon emerged. The secondary notes were joined with flavors of butter cream. There was also another interesting sweetness that emerged – and in my opinion it seemed butterscotch in nature.
Around the five percent mark, the cherry and butterscotch soon fused into a unique sweetness. This would would join the cedar sweetness in the forefront and balance the cedar spice. The butter cream notes remained in the background.
At the one third point, I detected some classic wood notes in the background. It was also around this point where the cedar spice became more pepper-like. The pepper notes with the cherry sweetness soon were the ones in the forefront. The butterscotch notes joined the wood and cream notes in the background. Now it was the cherry fusing with the pepper – again for a most unique flavor combination.
At the midway point, yet another flavor could be detected. This time it was floral notes. These floral notes were in the background, but didn’t last long. The butterscotch notes made a big of a comeback into the forefront – joining the pepper and cherry sweetness.
In the last third of the WCD 120 Redux, the pepper notes finally moved out ahead of all of the other notes. The cigar seemed to settle into a flavor pattern of pepper in the forefront with the cherry/butterscotch sweetness joined by some nut flavors. Although the resulting nub was a little warm and soft, the finish to this cigar was very smooth.
Burn and Draw
Not much to say here other than “textbook”. The WCD 120 Redux had everything the burn and draw attributes of a cigar should have. I basically lit this cigar and did not have to do anything to it. It burned razor sharp – and at an ideal rate and mostly at an ideal temperature (despite being a little warm at the end). The draw was flawless – it had that touch of resistance that I love. This cigar’s draw was as good as it gets.
|Burn of the Cabaiguan WCD 120 Redux|
Strength and Body
As I have been following the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper cigar rage, I’ve been noting how many manufacturers are trying to get blends with this wrapper to be stronger and more fuller in body. While I cannot yet comment on the entire Cabaiguan line, I can say the WCD 120 Redux might be the most successful in this area when it comes to body. First up, the strength of this cigar starts out as mild and by the end of the cigar, it goes into the mild to medium range. There is no nicotine blast on this cigar. As for the body, the flavors have perhaps the most depth I have tasted on an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper cigar. The flavors start out medium to full and by the end of this cigar are full-bodied. The combination of mild to medium strength and full-bodied provides for a very unique profile – and really showcases the flavors. While in many cases, I do prefer an extra boost of strength, the profile works great with the WCD 120 Redux.
This is an amazing cigar. As you can see in the summary, it scored a 97 – this is the highest score given to a cigar since numerical scoring was introduced to this web-site in January. As I mentioned up-front, this is the first time I smoked anything in the core Cabiaguan blend. This blend could warrant Historic/Hall of Fame status down the line should the other vitolas perform like this. I can understand why this cigar sold out so quickly at Draper’s – as customers had a five year wait for this one. Needless to say, this is a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast – novice or experienced. It certainly is a box-worthy purchase, and one that also is a true special occasion cigar.
Strength: Mild (Mild to Medium at the end)
Body: Medium to Full (Full at the end)
Source: Special thanks to W.Curtis Draper for making this cigar available to me. While I inquired if I could purchase this cigar, one staff member was kind enough to make one available – unsolicited.