If you are looking for a cigar with an unusual wrapper leaf on its exterior, look no further than the "El Centurion H-2K-CT" by My Father Cigars.
While the hybrid seed strain of the Havana 2000 Habano tobacco leaf is not the most overly utilized, seeing it grown up in Connecticut of all places is completely unheard of. But that's what My Father Cigars did, which marks a bit of a divergence for the Nicaragua-based brand.
Sun-grown to perfection, and then filled with a mysterious blend of fillers and binder grown and fermented on Don "Pepin" Garcia's estates in Nicaragua, this medium-full smoke scored a "Top 25 Cigar of the Year" prize years ago.
But for whatever reason, I have yet to indulge in this box-pressed beauty until now. And by Zeus' beard was this smoke worth the wait...
This softly box-pressed toro is all about appearances. Gold ribbon cigar band around the foot for protection, textured double-gold paper band toward the shoulder, and a wrapper that is virtually devoid of imperfections. It's all there.
Unlit whiffs provide milky cocoa notes, dashes of sharp cedar, and that familiar graham cracker note we stogie lovers crave.
The draw on the unlit cigar offers more of a cookie spice taste, but with a bit of an odd paper aftertaste, almost like fresh paper off the copy machine. Definitely dry tasting too.
Spice-forward at first, this toro soon settled on a cookie dough profile that would last for much of the duration of the stick. Baking spices, milk, eggy notes, hints of salt, and even a little bit of chocolate chip can be detected.
With the raw cookie dough note taking center stage, evolutions with the first half remained more of a custard pudding-oriented affair. This applies to both the cigar flavor profile of the smoke, as well as the mouthfeel and body that make the smoke you exhale so spectacular.
Creamy and round, but not super sweet, this medium start to the H-2K-CT is a nice warm-up to what is to follow.
There's also an aftertaste of tart cherries that starts to show itself on the finish, which pairs perfectly with the vanilla-like notes of the pudding prominence up front.
Medium strength mellowness turns into a more medium-full affair past the center section of the cigar, with more black pepper on the retrohale replacing the previous white pepper subtleties.
Cedar also starts to slide in as well, which was not a key player in the first portions of the stick. This taste soon develops a bit of an evergreen needle-like taste, which for some may be a bit too sappy or sharp. This translates to a mildly bitter aftertaste, which I think went well with those milky tastes still in effect.
It is really toward the end of the El Centurion H-2K-CT that those cocoa powder aromatics start to shine a bit. Nothing aggressive, just a nice milk cocoa hint toward the tale end of the exhale.
Furthermore, there is no mass-muddled mess of flavors here like in many cigars. Just a simple, clean-tasting nub that somehow holds onto the stronger cookie dough spice flavors, and blends them with more milky custard tastes.
Definitely far more peppery on the retrohale at this point too, so mild cigar fans take heed.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Even though it made a great showing in its unlit presentation, I was left wanting in the performance department with the El Centurion H-2K-CT.
The ash quickly became flakey and was a mishmash of white, brown, and black tones. It also burnt unevenly, with the first and second third requiring routine touch-ups with my dual-jet Klaro torch lighter.
On the bright side, the draw and smoke formed were flawless, so I didn't dock too many points toward the end of my nearly 1.5-hour smoking experience.
Those on the hunt for a medium-full box-pressed cigar that can produce smoke that is smoother than a lubed-up slip-n-slide should definitely give the "El Centurion H-2K-CT" by My Father Cigars a shot.
Sure, those who favor intense transitions from the first third to the next may be underwhelmed by this blend's straightforward mannerisms. But then again I don't get the feeling that is what Don "Pepin" Garcia was after when he concocted this premium cigar blend.
It's just a solid, center-of-the-spectrum sun-grown stick with a rather obscure, yet super clean-tasting cigar wrapper. One that produces a smoking escapade that is almost as memorable as the banding and branding wrapped around the cigar itself.
My Father Cigars "El Centurion H-2K-CT"
Sun-Grown Havana 2000 Hybrid Habano (USA)
6" x 52 "Toro" (box-pressed)
Pomegranate & Tangerine Vinegar Soda