There is a change in the winds. For the vast majority of my time in the cigar world, I have been a huge supporter of the full-bodied, full-strength sticks that so many of the top manufactures have been perfecting over the last decade. I'll even admit I spent a large amount of that time turning my nose up at the lightly shaded, blonde wrappers taking up space on the shelves of my favorite cigar shops. While I remain a "fully fledged flavor man", there are new smokes coming out from my favorite cigar makers that have changed my perspective immensely. Call it a maturing of tastes, or just a broadening of my horizons, whatever you call it, these new flavorful Connecticut cloaked sticks are rocking my world.
The first example to make me question my steadfast ways is the brand new My Father Connecticut released just this year. The cigar starts off with a lot of things going for it already. It's a My Father, its construction is flawless, and the aesthetic is anything but bland. It was with apprehension but genuine interest that I lit up. Immediately there were bright notes of cedar, nuts, and coffee. The first quarter of the stick insured my finishing of these blonde beauty. My Father went about this stick in all the right ways. The binder and filler are essentially the same combination as the original My Father. The Nicaraguan filler and binder from My Father's Esteli plantation work in perfect harmony. The beautiful Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper cloaks the flavorful body in a mellow, soothing smoke. This stick started to make me question my ideals. That is always a terrifying epiphany.
The second blow to my mental stability came in the form of the Camacho Connecticut. Much like My Father, this brand really has yet to let me down. From my introduction the original Scorpion, to my utter satisfaction in the brand new Ecuador, Camacho just knows what I want. Admittedly, I always walked right past the golden yellow band of the Connecticut on my way to a Diploma, Ecuador or Triple Maduro. When I finally stopped and picked up the blonde figurado, I couldn't help but notice how genuinely beautiful the stick is. The band -not unlike the rest of the Camacho line - is perfectly appropriated to the color of the light-shade wrapper. The notes on this stick are subtle yet easily accessible. From the first puff to the last, this mellow, creamy stick offers flavor-seekers like myself, just enough notes of coffee and nut while sneaking in cream and light-earth notes. Two different brands, and two wonderful Connecticut sticks. What on earth was happening?
The nail in the coffin for me was my experience with the new Nestor Miranda Connecticut from his beautiful re-branded line of smokes. I had to try the other two offerings first of course, but after my absolute delight in both the Habano and Maduro sticks, I couldn't help but light up the beautiful light-skinned stick and give it an honest chance. I was anything but disappointed in this cigar. Right off the bat this stick is fully-flavored with very little after taste on the tongue. It is the equivalent to a creamy porter that finishes crisp with no bitterness to speak of. Nestor has really hit the mark with this entire line of cigars, and befitting of this rant, the Connecticut is neck and neck with it's darker-clad brethren.
Safe to say I have open my eyes to the world of light-wrapped cigars and the possibilities are endless. Chances are if the stick comes from a family of phenomenal flavor-packed sticks, that those traits will carry over to the lighter side of the spectrum, offering just as much flavor, smoke and ultimately enjoyment, all wrapped up in a beautiful Connecticut wrapper.