Alec Bradley Connecticut
Wrapper: Ecuador grown Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua and Honduras
Sizes: Churchill, Corona, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo
Size for review: Robusto
The Alec Bradley Connecticut came to me as part of a 5 pack sampler from an Alec Bradley event last week at Cascade Cigars here in Portland. To me it seemed like “the cheap stick” of the bunch. I had not had it nor heard of it before, so I was a bit intrigued. I thought it would be a new go-to inexpensive stick. I ended up with two to try, with a bulk of this review coming after smoking the second. Sadly, I didn’t take any photos of the first to help give a visual comparison.
The wrapper, being Ecuadorian shade grown Connecticut seed tobacco, is the focal point of this cigar. After all, if it weren’t for the Connecticut wrapper, it would be without a name. The binder is Honduran and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras. The first AB Connecticut I had was very veiny, though it didn’t cause any burn issues. The wrapper on the second was very nice. Both cigars had a couple soft spots and, overall, did not feel like they were that firmly rolled. Fortunately this did not cause much of any issue with the cigar. However, this is also what led me to believe this was an inexpensive offering from Alec Bradley. The foot and barrel of the Connecticut has a nice grassy straw smell to it–much like a freshly harvested wheat field. Using a punch, I found the draw to be very easy and tasted much like the straw I had smelled before. When I punched the cigar, there also formed a small crack in the wrapper between the band and the cap.
Toasting up the foot I was greeted with a good bit of pepper and and a sweet earth flavor I wasn’t able to pinpoint right away. It reminded me a bit of caramel, but not so much that I could call it such. With a few puffs, the pepper spice calms to a mild wood and earth combo. There is still an air of sweetness about it, that makes it go very well with my morning coffee. Retrohaling gives a very solid oak “taste” that compliments the cigar very well. This same oak flavor increased throughout as I worked my way through the first third. The ash held strong most of the way through the first third of the cigar. It burned cleanly, if not a bit wavy. Constant rotation will help this cigar burn clean and straight.
When the ash dropped, signalling the start of the second third, the flavors changed. Oak flavors, which had become dominant at the end of the first, almost disappeared as the second third began. Instead, the AB Connecticut tasted of sweet tobacco, earth and vanilla. It was a great trio of flavors. The retrohale was still very oaky. While the cigar started mild in flavor, it was now ramping itself into the medium category. The smoke started getting thicker, producing more body. In fact, the smoke from the Connecticut was getting thick enough for me to watch it drift across my backyard, over the garden, and into my neighbor’s back yard. This smoke also helped promote the sweet cream and vanilla flavors that were permeating the second third of the cigar.
Again, the last third started with the ash falling from the cigar. Flavors again moved around, with the oak returning with fuller force. Amazingly the sweet creamy vanilla was still present with some nut-like flavors coming and going with each puff. The thick smoke made sure these flavors coated the palate thoroughly. Oak still dominated the retrohale. Pepper spice returns near the end to help bring an end to the Alec Bradley Connecticut.
I was surprised to learn the retail price of this cigar is around $7. I had no idea until I sat down to write this review. While this is a great tasting cigar, I think the inconsistent build quality I’ve seen suggests that price. Indeed, compared to the $5 Alec Bradley American Sun Grown, the Connecticut falls short in many ways–flavor, build quality, etc. Should I find it for less than $5, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a few.