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CA Review Panel: Siboney Reserve Connecticut by Aganorsa Leaf Cigar Review (Video)
Siboney Reserve Connecticut – The Back Story
In early 2019, Famous Smoke Shop partnered with Aganorsa Leaf on the revival of a defunct Cuban brand called Siboney. The collaboration gave birth to Siboney Reserve, a blend that instantly resonated with Famous staff and customers alike. Fast forward almost two years and there are two new additions: first, the Siboney Reserve Maduro in early 2020, and now, the Siboney Reserve Connecticut to fill the mellower void that its two predecessors don’t.
“Siboney Reserve has become a powerful boutique exclusive for Famous,” said Jim Charnley, Purchasing Director for Famous Smoke Shop. “As we were launching the Maduro, I was talking with Terence about how smooth and flavorful their Aganorsa Connecticut cigar is, and how maybe we should add a Connecticut wrapper to the Siboney Reserve Line. One thing led to another, and 6 months later, here it is. It is a great addition to the SR lineup, bringing that Connecticut wrapper flavor into the brand without any of that tang you get on some other Connecticut wrapped cigars.”
“Expression of Aganorsa”
The Terence he’s talking about is Terence Reilly, VP of Aganorsa Leaf out of Nicaragua. He’s spearheaded a good handful of Famous Exclusives over the past few years and he gave us his vision for the cigar:
“Siboney Connecticut offers the perfect entry for the aficionado who wants to take his cigar experience to the next level. Smooth and creamy as to not be overwhelming, but packed with flavor and just enough strength to satisfy the most experienced cigar lover. An excellent expression of Aganorsa.”
Siboney’s Connecticut Lineup
Siboney Reserve Connecticut is presented in boxes of 10 across four sizes:
Before we dig into our review of the Toro, just a quick reminder that we don’t score with a letter or numeric grade. Instead, we tell you what we experienced, so you can judge if it’s the right cigar for you.
When you try Siboney Reserve Connecticut, please let us know what you think in the comments below!
Siboney Reserve Connecticut Cigar Review – Toro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Toro (6” x 52)
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Shade
Gary‘s Tasting Notes…
Construction: The cigar is well-made. Rolled with a silky, blonde wrapper articulated by a few visible veins and a soft box press, the head is completed by a triple seam cap. The soft press feels good in the hand, too.
Draw: Just right.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Nutty and woody.
First few puffs: Nutty, woody and peppery.
Base flavors: Nuts, cedar, nutmeg, sweet tobacco, loam, and white pepper.
Retrohale: White pepper.
Burn & Ash Quality: The cigar burns a little jaggedly at a good pace with a thin carbon line and firm grey ashes.
A peppery start rounds out to a creamy, nutty and woody smoke. Early on, the dominant flavor is nutty with some spice, nutmeg, and a medium body and strength. The finish is long leaving a spicy peppery note in its wake. That finish was consistent throughout the entire cigar in both my base sample and the cigar I smoked in the video.
At the midsection, the Toro stayed creamy and medium-bodied. Some sweetness leaked into the mix, while the nuts, cedar and nutmeg held steady. Retrohales also revealed some pepper, but lighter than the spice on the finish. The cigar was performing well on all counts.
As the cigar enters its final laps, it takes an abrupt turn. The smoke increases in body bringing with it a loam and charred wood, and black pepper. So, it makes this 180, yet remains impressively rich and smooth.
Suffice it to say. . . The Siboney Reserve Connecticut by Aganorsa Toro is more than just throwing a Connecticut wrapper around a Nicaraguan filler and binder core to even out a particular line for the company’s catalog, This blend reveals a Connecticut with a bit of the dark side. Cigar smokers who favor the myriad Connecticut-Nicaragua style blends are in for some intriguing surprises. I also feel that with extra time in the humidor, this cigar is going to improve even more.
John’s Tasting Notes…
Construction: A tawny-colored Connecticut, given an oval press. Barrel of the cigar has a little give.
Draw: Very little resistance.
Pre-light flavor: A whiff of hay and leather, a taste of leather and bread.
Toasting & Light: Pepper and a hint of citrus zest.
Base flavors: Pepper, earth, leather and cream.
Retrohale: Warm, with peppery spice.
Burn & Ash Quality: Mostly grey ash hangs on well enough, with an ok burn line – no touch ups.
One of the more interesting things I learned about this cigar is that it’s not just a “rewrap” – meaning Aganorsa didn’t just swap out the Maduro wrapper and sub in an Ecuador Connecticut in its place. Here, the fillers got a gentle tweak to make sure they get along with the new wrapper’s flavor.
The way this cigar smokes from the start, it’s more like a Habano than a Connecticut…there’s no “dry Connecticut bitterness,” there’s a zesty sweetness that I usually associate with sungrown wrappers, and there’s this streak of pepper that runs from start to finish. By the second half, the smoke develops some creaminess, plus some leather and earth in the main profile. I didn’t expect anything like that from this Siboney Reserve Connecticut.
This is the weird thing about Connecticut cigars. On one hand, people think that because someone slaps a “Connecticut” label on there, it’s a mellow-fest with “hints of typing paper.” At the opposite end of the spectrum is “not your granddaddy’s Connecticut.” But because I promised myself never to write or speak that phrase again, I need to find a more artful way to describe Siboney Connecticut. So until I do, I’ll just say that this Siboney may be Connecticut, but it isn’t a beginner’s cigar. It’s more than that, and will be a really big help if you’re working to develop your palate.
A really nice surprise from Aganorsa in both body and flavor.
Jared‘s Tasting Notes…
Construction: Tri-wrapped cap that’s gently pressed. A little veiny, but very smooth.
Draw: Great but got a little tighter toward the end.
Pre-light flavor: Nuts and wood.
Toasting & Light: Cedar and lots of pepper.
Base flavors: Fig, cedar, leather, and peanuts.
Retrohale: Peppery with a pinch of sweetness.
Aroma: Kind of nutty.
Burn & Ash Quality: Some deviation and one relight, but nothing major. Ashes stay put.
I’ll start with two things I liked and one thing I didn’t.
Liked: 1. This blend feels full-bodied. It’s not as sweet as most of its rivals and caters toward a seasoned smoker. 2. It doesn’t really taste like a Connecticut.
Disliked: 1. It doesn’t really taste like a Connecticut.
I guess I owe an explanation here. I love when cigar blends ignore the status quo. That’s how the boom came about. That’s how the industry evolves. But I think Siboney Reserve Connecticut is almost a little too much, especially for newer smokers. They might see that blonde wrapper and assume it’s a safe bet for a gentle smoke. More proof that a lighter color – whether you’re talking about coffee, wine, or cigar wrappers, doesn’t always mean it’s mellower.
That aside, I love the flavors. Siboney Reserve Connecticut starts with notes of cedar and lots of pepper. About half an inch later, the buzz wears off, and it settles down to about medium. I can taste remnants of fig, more wood, and leather, but none of the sweeter flavors a Connecticut normally offers.
Toward the last third, the cigar is feeling fuller-bodied again. Siboney CT’s profile then shifts a bit nuttier (think peanuts with a little salt) with some black licorice sprinkled in at times.
Verdict: I think it’s an excellent cigar for smokers with a developed palate. It’s further proof that the only thing that stays the same is change. I know it’s something I won’t soon forget. Definitely worth trying for any smoker who wants, like I said in the vid, a Connecticut that’s anything but boring.