The Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē is one of three new lines introduced in 2014 by Villiger Cigars. It was two years go when Roy MacLaren was named President of Villiger North America. MacLaren has been instrumental in bringing renewed focus and energy to the premium cigar division at Villiger. This included hiring Fabian Barrantes as Director of Marketing at Villiger North America. Both MacLaren and Barrantes were instrumental in building these new lines. The company turned to Jochi Blanco and the Tabacalera Factory for his tobacco and production to bring the product behind these brands to life. The Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē is meant to be a milder, creamer offering in these new lines. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall I found this to deliver a classic Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigar experience and solidifies Villiger’s new offerings for 2014.
The Cuellar is named for Diego Velazquez de Cuellar. Velazquez was a Spanish conquistador who sailed with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1493. He settled in Hispaniola (the island that the Dominican Republic was a part of). Eventually he played an integral role in the conquest of Cuba and by 1515 he was appointed Governor of Cuba. The Connecticut Krēmē is derived from the wrapper (Ecuadorian Connecticut) and the cigar’s creamy profile.
In addition to the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē, the other two lines releases launched include Trill (a Habano) and Cabarete Maduro (a fuller box-press maduro). All three are new brands under the Villiger portfolio.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, the cigar incorporates 1998 Cuban Seed criollo from Blanco’s private farm in Jacagua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Leaf
Binder: Cuban Seed Piloto Ligero
Filler: Cuban Seed and Criollo 98
The Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē is available in four sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 48
Toro Gordo: 6 x 54
Churchill: 7 x 50
Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 52
For this smoking experience, I smoked the Toro Gorod vitola. The wrapper to the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē is a classic light brown Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins, but overall I would classify this wrapper as being quite smooth and on the silky side.
There are two bands to the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē. Each band has a white background with gold font. On the primary band is the text “Cuellar” in a classic cursive font. On the left side is the text “HAND MADE 1998” in small font. On the right side is the text “1998 LONG FILLER”. The remainder of the band features gold adornments.
The secondary band features the text “Connecticut” in a classic cursive font. Below that text is the text “Krēmē” in printed font. There is a small crown that rests above the text. The remainder of the band has gold adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē, I went with a straight cut. After clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw provided me some classic Ecuadorian Connecticut tobacco flavors of wood and cream. There wasn’t too much in the way of spice on this pre-light. Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Cuellar and see what this cigar would bring to the table.
The start to the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē surprised me with black pepper notes right out of the gate. There also was a light “twang” on the tongue from the pepper notes. I also detected the pepper notes on the retro-hale – something that would be present throughout the cigar experience. Once the pepper subsided, notes of cream and wood emerged. There also was a subtle fruit sweetness in the background.
In the early part of the first third, the pepper notes receded further into the background joining the fruit sweetness. With the cream and wood in the forefront, the two notes alternated in intensity for a good duration of the smoking experience. There were times I definitely picked up the rich creamy notes that were advertised on this cigar. There were other times the wood notes took center stage. The fruit and pepper in the background complemented these flavors perfectly.
In the last third, the pepper notes moved into the forefront – joining the wood and cream notes. The cream notes still had their “moments” in the spotlight. This is the way the flavor profile remained until the close. I found the end of this cigar to maintain the smoothness that was present throughout the smoking experience. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē scored very nicely in terms of its burn and draw. For the most part the burn remained on the straight path. There was some jaggedness on the burn line itself, but overall this cigar was not in danger of canoeing or tunneling There were some minor touch-ups along the way, but it was mostly cosmetic in nature. The resulting ash had a light gray color with some darker streaks in it. The ash was also firm and came off in nice clean even chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw to the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē scored nicely as well. I did not find the draw to be too firm or too tight. This was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē to fit the mold of many Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigars. I assessed this cigar as being in the mild to medium category for strength for the duration of the cigar experience. As for the body, I found the flavors to have some depth to them for a Connecticut Shade cigar. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body for this cigar.
Overall I found Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē to be an excellent cigar. While it isn’t going to be a cigar that redefines what an Connecticut Shade cigar will be, it is one that is going to do an excellent job at delivering a classic creamy, milder Connecticut Shade profile. These new Villiger lines are really showing the excellent tobacco Blanco has. I’d recommend this cigar to a novice cigar enthusiast looking for a flavorful cigar without being overpowering. Experienced cigar enthusiasts who can appreciate a milder offering will like this cigar. This is one of those cigars that seems to the perfect morning cigar profile in my book, however I can see myself reaching for these throughout the day. It’s definitely a cigar I’d reach for again and it’s worth a box split.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Villiger to Launch Trill, Cabarete Maduro, and Connecticut Kreme Lines in 2014
Price $6.50 ($130 box of 20)
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