I’ve become more of a medium-bodied cigar smoker over the past 4 or 5 years, and a larger part of that has been Connecticut wrapper cigars.  One of my all time favorites was the Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut (RIP) which was, sadly, discontinued after General Cigar acquire their parent company, Royal Agio, a few years back.  I’m still quite bitter about this, but life goes on.  I smoked those almost every day which meant I needed to find a replacement.  One of my goes to Connecticut cigars before the Balmoral was the EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut and New Wave Reserva, so I started to smoke more of those.  My friend Nimmer Ahmad of Valacari Cigars mentioned to me that he was redoing his Connecticut Shade cigar and asked if I would like to try some samples and help find the next Valacari Connecticut cigar.  After many, many samples, we finally decided on what today is called The Messenger.  It took me a long time to decide to review this cigar.  My thinking was that since I had a hand in deciding which blend to use, that it seemed unfair to rate it.  Many people have noticed me smoking them, especially on my Instagram account, and have asked about them.  That made me decide to go ahead a do the review.  If you think that would make me bias, just listen to my description and ignore the rating.  Either way, enjoy the video and pick some of these up when you get a chance.


  • Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder:  Nicaraguan
  • Filler:  Nicaraguan from Jalapa, Condega & Ometepe
  • Vitola:  Robusto Extra
  • Size:  5 1/2 x 54
  • Price:  $8.00/Mazo of 10 $80.00

Final Score:  93