Earlier this year, Debonaire House announced it was releasing a third blend under its Indian Motorcycle brand, the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade. It’s the sixth blend to be released by Debonaire House and the second Connecticut Shade cigar in the Debonaire House portfolio. When the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade was announced, Debonaire House also announced that it would be initially released as an exclusive release that will be for Canadian Retailers through distribution partner Brigham 1906. With the IPCPR Trade Show coming up, Debonaire House has also announced it would be taking pre-orders at the show. Today, we take a closer look at the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade in the Toro size.
Indian Motorcycle Cigars was launched in 2015 after Debonaire House co-owner Phil Zanghi re-acquired the rights to Indian Tabac, a brand he founded with Rocky Patel. Rather than relaunch Indian Tabac at that time, he opted to enter into a licensing agreement with Polaris, the owner of Indian Motorcycles, to create an all-new cigar brand. The Indian Motorcycle brand of cigars followed that year with the release of the Indian Motorcycle Habano and Indian Motorcycle Maduro.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As the name indicates, the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade features a Connecticut wrapper grown in Ecuador. The remainder of the blend features Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. As with all Debonaire House products, product is done at the De Los Reyes factory in the Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: De Los Reyes S.A.
The Canadian launch of the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade included two size – each presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper of the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro had a light brown color. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the wrapper. The wrapper was slightly bumpy. There were some visible veins, but despite the light color, the wrapper seams were decently hidden.
There are two bands on the Canadian release of the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade. The primary band features an antique white background with a simulated “oil smudge”. On the center of the band is an antique-white Indian Motorcycle logo sitting on a metallic red circular background. Surrounding the circular logo is a thick brown ring with the text “INDIAN MOTORCYCLE” on the top portion and “1901” on the bottom portion – both in antique white font. To the left of the logo is the text “Hand Made” in small brown font. To the right is the text “Dominican Republic” – also in small brown font. There is a black stripe across the top and one across the bottom of the band. Each stripe has some gold adornments on it. The lower stripe is thicker and features a gold ribbon-like adornment on it with the text “ULTRA PREMIUM CIGARS” in white font.
The secondary band surrounds the footer. It has a slight off-white background color. Featured on the band is the text “Indian” in a red scripted font. Below that is the text “MOTORCYCLE” in dark font and below that is the text “CANADA” in a larger dark font.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro. After the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw provided a mix of cream and wood notes. While it was a simple pre-light draw, it was still a satisfying one. At this point, it was time to remove the band of the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro (At times I did find this secondary band was glued rather tightly to the cigar causing some minor cracking). In the cases where I successfully removed the footer band, it was time to light up the cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro started out with a mix of cream, wood, bread, black pepper, and citrus. Early on the wood and bread notes emerged as the primary notes. The cream, black pepper, and citrus moved into the background. At the same time, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third, the wood notes slowly morphed into a cedar note. During this time the cream notes were more prominent and made their way into the forefront with the wood/cedar and bread notes. Meanwhile the pepper and citrus remained in the more distant background.
By the last third, the wood notes had morphed into a cedar note. The cedar and bread notes remained in the forefront. Meanwhile, the cream settled into the background. There was a slight increase in the pepper, but it still was more of a complementary note. Meanwhile, there still were some very subtle hints of citrus. This is the way the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro came to close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro performed quite well. While there was a slight curvature on the burn line from time to time, this was a burn that was never in danger of going off track. The resulting ash was firm with a salt and pepper color scheme. Meanwhile the burn temperature and burn rate were both ideal.
The draw to the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro also scored nicely. This is a cigar that had a touch of resistance – which is something that I like. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
While Debonaire House’s Debonaire Daybreak certainly introduced a milder offering under the Debonaire brand, the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade is going to prove to be even milder. This is a cigar that started out as mild in the strength. By the last third, the strength level kicked up a bit to move into the mild to medium range. Meanwhile, the flavors started out mild to medium-bodied before progressing to medium-bodied in the second half.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had a significant edge throughout the smoking experience.
If you are looking for a milder offering from Debonaire House under $10.00, then the Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Toro is going to check that box. However, over the past seven years, Debonaire House has built up one of the better portfolios of offerings out there. While this cigar is good, it dwarfs in comparison with most of the rest of the portfolio. It is a cigar that seemed to lack a wow factor. This is a cigar I would position to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast, but it’s also one I’d recommend trying a sample first and seeing what you think.
Key Flavors: Wood, Cedar, Bread, Cream, Black Pepper, Citrus
Strength: Mild (1st 2/3), Medium to Mild (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Value: Try a Sample
News: Debonaire House Announces Details of Indian Motorcycle Connecticut Shade Canadian Release
Brand Reference: Indian Motorcycle Ultra Premium Cigars
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted