|Sosa Family Selection Connecticut
I’ve mentioned many times that 2011 was definitely the year of the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper cigar. Over the past couple of years, many companies have been trying to do something innovative or different beyond the mild/mild to medium Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars. Some companies have been more successful at it than others. Recently, I had an opportunity to sample the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut. This was a cigar that was announced in June 2011. Sosa cigars was a brand of cigars I had heard of, but had not smoked; therefore I was not sure what to expect from this boutique brand. After my initial experience with the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut, I was very surprised as this cigar showed me that there is still more ground that can be covered with the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
The Sosa Family Selection was one of three cigar lines introduced by Antillian Cigars in 2011. Antillian Cigars owns the Sosa brand. From the press release announcing these lines, here is a little background on the Sosa brand:
The Sosa cigar tradition began with Don Juan Sosa, a small tobacco
grower in the fertile Taguasco region of Cuba at the turn of the
century. By the 1920’s, his farm had become one of the largest
tobacco-producing haciendas in Cuba. Over the next 30 years, Don Juan’s
son, Arturo, and grandson, Juan, manufactured cigars for sale in Cuba
and abroad. Juan B. Sosa moved the operation to the Dominican Republic
in the 1960’s where the family re-established their factory along with
operations in Miami, Florida. Today, the legacy of quality, handmade
cigars made in the Cuban tradition continues with master blender, Juan
B. Sosa, alongside his wife, sons and nephews.
The Sosa Family Selection Connecticut is one of two blends under the “Family Selection” umbrella. The other is a Nicaraguan Habano Maduro. For this assessment, we will focus on the Family Selection Connecticut:
There wasn’t a lot of details on the blend mentioned on the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut. It is mentioned that the wrapper is called “Ecuadorian Colorado Connecticut”. The binder and filler are not disclosed. While some folks might be a little frustrated about the non-disclosed tobaccos, I’ve been on record many times stating it does allow you to put a little imagination and guesswork into the blend.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Colorado Connecticut
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Both the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut and Sosa Family Selection Maduro are available in the following vitolas:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Gran Toro: 6 ½ x 56
Churchill: 7 x 48
Dbl Magnum: 6 x 60
For my assessment, I smoked the 6 x 60 vitola. The Sosa Family Selection Connecticut has a beautiful – almost camel colored wrapper. The wrapper is smooth with some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams. This particular wrapper seemed a little oilier than most Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers.
My particular cigar’s wrapper had a large “frog eyes” spot on the wrapper. Frog eyes are green spots common to Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers and are not a sign of any damage. I think it adds a little charm to the cigar. This example of the frog eyes is most likely a single instance, but still an interesting part of this cigar’s complexion.
|Frog Eyes to the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut (see to left on band)
The cigar features two bands. The top band has a brown background. It features the Sosa logo highlighted by a “S” in gold font. Under that “S” is the text “Imported” – also in gold font. The words “Family” and “Selection” flank each side of the logo to the left and right respectively – also in gold font. Below that band is a second band. It is basically red with some gold striping. It features the text “Connecticut” in white font – outlined with some red around the font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Sosa Family Selection Connecticut, I defaulted to my usual straight cut into the cap. On the pre-light draw, I was thrown for a loop with the flavor notes I detected. The primary flavors on the dry draw had a berry taste to them. The notes seemed were not overly sweet, but had a nice fruit flavor to it. The reason I was thrown for a loop is I had expected more of a creamy flavor on the dry draw. I looked at this surprise as a positive. At this point, it was time to toast the foot of this cigar and see what the smoking experience would deliver.
The start to the Sosa Family Selection had a combination of pepper and cherry sweetness. The cherry sweetness moved out in front early, and then subsided quickly While the sweetness diminished, you could still detect some unsweetened cherry. Shortly afterwards, some butterscotch, caramel, and nut flavors could also be detected.
Around the ten percent mark, the nut flavors moved out into the forefront. The nut base was complemented by some sweetness – this time from the butterscotch and caramel notes. This sweetness was not very heavy and provided good balance in the flavor profile. Meanwhile the spice in the background took on more of a cedar profile and I classified this more as a tertiary note.
The nut base was the primary flavor for a good chunk of this smoke. The cedar spice did build up throughout the smoking experience. By the second half, the butterscotch sweetness, cedar spice, and nut notes were pretty much all primary. I had expected more of a cedary/peppery finish, but the cigar took another twist as some cinnamon notes emerged late in the smoke. The cinnamon actually also moved up into the front replacing the butterscotch sweetness. The nut, cinnamon, and cedar notes brought this cigar to a close. The finish was outstanding for a larger ring gauge – not only was it smooth, but the nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut was good. It did require some touch-ups, but that kept the burn straight. The ash was a little looser and more flaky than I liked, but still this wasn’t a bad burn. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal. As I said earlier, I was pleased this larger ring gauge burned cooler at the end. The draw was effortless from start to finish – making for an enjoyable smoke.
|Burn of the Sosa Family Selection Connecticut
Strength and Body
Mild is not a word I’m going to use when assessing these attributes. This cigar wasn’t a nicotine bomb, but it had just enough zip to qualify this as a medium strength smoke. As for the body, these weren’t subtle notes, having enough depth to qualify this as a medium-bodied smoke. The Sosa Family Selection Connecticut is a classic medium-medium smoke in an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. The attributes of strength and body balance each other really nicely – allowing you to enjoy both qualities equally.
This was an impressive smoking experience. What I particularly liked is that it didn’t provide the traditional “creamy” smoking experience that many Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars bring to the table. This cigar also had a lot more complexity from a flavor perspective than I expected. The cigar was well-constructed and for a big ring gauge enthusiast like myself, this is a good thing. Too many times the larger ring gauges get knocked, but when they work it’s a beautiful thing. I’d recommend this to both novice and experienced enthusiasts looking for a great “any time of the day smoke”. As for myself, I look forward to picking some of these up and smoking again.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This cigars for this assessment were provided to myself from Antillian Cigars. The request
was initiated by Antillian Cigars to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide an
assessment. Cigar Coop is appreciative to samples provided but this plays no role in a final assessment rating.