Cigar Buying Guides

2010 CA Report: Connecticut Wrapper Cigars Buying Guide

Advisor Buying Guide: Connecticut Wrapper Cigars

Connecticut-seed wrapper is arguably the most commonly used leaf for premium cigars and comes mostly in two varieties. The “U.S. Connecticut Shade” variety is grown in the Windsor valley along the Connecticut River under tapados – large cheesecloth tents that prevent the sun from darkening and thickening the leaves. The “Ecuadorian Connecticut” variety is grown in Ecuador, where an ever-present cloud cover acts as a natural shade tent.

U.S. Connecticut is delicately thin, yet very pliable. When cured right, it has a golden brown color, very few veins, and is silky to the touch. The flavor is mild and subtly spicy with sweet, floral notes on the finish. The Ecuadorian-grown variety is usually a little darker in hue, has fewer veins, and offers a slightly richer flavor. However, both varieties have excellent burn properties, and when lit expose a fine, grey-white ash.

 

Wrapper attributes that make a difference in flavor

Cigars are sorted in the factory by color. The reason for this is so when you open the box there is a consistency to each cigar’s wrapper color, making the cigars more appealing to the consumer’s eye. Additionally, if the wrapper is darker, thicker, or has more noticeable seams, the cigar will be somewhat stronger in flavor.

 

The Connecticut wrapper cigars featured in this lineup are a good illustration of how the flavor of each cigar can be enhanced by using such a unique leaf. All of these are “natural” Connecticut cigars, yet due to their filler & binder blends, present an impressive array of flavors and strength profiles. Here’s a quick tasting note on each:

 

 

CAO Gold connecticut wrapper cigarsCAO Gold Robusto

Nicaraguan tobaccos meld with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper for a rich, yet mellow smoke.

 

Don Tomas special edition connecticut wrapper cigarsDon Tomas Special Edition #300

A genuine U.S. Connecticut wrapper gives these Honduran-made cigars a creamy, toasty and nutty character.

 

Gran Habano #1 Connecticut wrapper cigarsGran Habano Connecticut #1 Rothschild

A creamy, earthy and sweet-smoking Honduran cigar that’s been rolled in very delicate Ecuadorian wrappers.

 

Montecristo #2 connecticut wrapper cigarsMontecristo #2 Torpedo

A classic! A lush Connecticut shade wrapper surrounds an all-Dominican leaf core  for a luxuriously smooth and creamy smoke.

 

Some Useful Connecticut Leaf History…

The sandy soil of the Connecticut River Valley is very similar to the soil in the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba. The growing temperature is also similar to that found in Cuba during the winter growing season when fine tobacco is produced.

tapado connecticut wrapper cigarsValley farmers have been growing tobacco for binder and wrapper leaves since the early 1800’s from varieties of “Shoestring,” then Broadleaf, and Havana Seed. In the late 1800’s a fine grained leaf imported from Sumatra began to replace wrapper from the valley.

connecticut wrapper cigars curing barnIn the early 1900’s Joseph Cullman Jr. created the Connecticut Shade variety from the Hazelwood strain of Cuban tobacco crossed with Sumatran seed tobacco varieties. As in the reference above to tapados which protect the leaves from direct sunlight, the idea was to duplicate the perpetually cloudy skies found in Sumatra. (This is one of the reasons Connecticut-seed leaf is grown so successfully in Ecuador.)

 

 

NUB Connecticut wrapper cigarsNub Connecticut 358

Short-yet-beefy Connecticut wrapper cigars with a Nicaraguan core; together, they render a smooth, medium-bodied smoke laced with complex woody and toasty flavors.

 

Perdomo habano connecticut wrapper cigarsPerdomo Habano Connecticut Robusto

Robust Nicaraguan longfillers swathed in a perfectly-aged Connecticut wrapper make for a full-flavored and complex smoke.

 

Rocky Patel American Market Connecticut wrapper cigarsRocky Patel American Market Selection

A golden Ecuadorian wrapper, plus a Nicaraguan/Honduran leaf blend offer a creamy, toasty and earthy smoke with a sweet aroma.

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Mike
Guest
Mike

Connecticut wrappers and not one mention of the Rocky Patel vintage 1999? I’m embarrassed for you.

Gary Korb
Guest

Good call, and you’re correct. Due to stock issues, we substituted it with the Rocky Patel American Market Selection, which if you haven’t smoked, I suggest you try and see how similar it is to the RP Vintage 1999. One of my personal favorites, too, and I’ve never had a bad one. Thanks Mike.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Connecticut wrappers and not one mention of the Rocky Patel vintage 1999? I’m embarrassed for you.

Gary Korb
Guest

Good call, and you’re correct. Due to stock issues, we substituted it with the Rocky Patel American Market Selection, which if you haven’t smoked, I suggest you try and see how similar it is to the RP Vintage 1999. One of my personal favorites, too, and I’ve never had a bad one. Thanks Mike.

AL from Santiago
Guest
AL from Santiago

iam from santiago dom republic and the cigars made in santiago are as good as cubans — remember its the same soil and seeds

AL from Santiago
Guest
AL from Santiago

iam from santiago dom republic and the cigars made in santiago are as good as cubans — remember its the same soil and seeds

Brian Eastman
Guest
Brian Eastman

Nice to know.

Skip Eggimann
Guest
Skip Eggimann

Good write-up. I live in the middle of the CT tobacco farming area, and we are very proud of the CT Shade wrapper. My excuse for buying boxes of CT Shade cigars is to stimulate the local economy. They just planted this year’s crop — it is a joy to watch it grow and be harvested.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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