The cigar we will be discussing today is so new, that we can't even find it listed on the portfolio portion of the Oscar Valladares website.
The all-new, Connecticut version of "The Oscar" made a very quiet debut at PCA 2023. So quiet, that the only mention that I could find was a quick blurb in Halfwheel just prior to the show.
So imagine our joy when we received our shipment of these special stogies just a couple of weeks after the show ended, making Klaro one of the first online cigar retailers to offer this brand-new blend!
Naturally, my eager ass fired up the sample that was handed to me at the Oscar Valladares booth in no time flat, and great googley-moogley did it provide quite the memorable smoking session...
Oh, where to begin with this one... From its cobalt blue and gold band and deep triple cap to that signature Oscar Valladares spent tobacco leaf serving as an organic alternative to cellophane, this stogie entices the eye from every angle.
The wrapper is a bit veined, but this is a Honduran Connecticut wrapper we're talking about here, so there's room for a bit of forgiveness in that regard. This toro vitola also feels quite stout, with a nice, tight feel trailing down the length of the cigar.
Whereas the smell of the barrel is all sweet honey, cedar, and mild baking spice, the smell from the foot is a far more full experience. There's spicy, deep, dark, clove-like complexity here that sets your nose hairs aquiver and encourages you to light up ASAP.
Cold pulls are very complex as well, with a blend of savory Thai tastes and sweet gingerbread baking spices making for the majority of the mixture. Almond and cedar finish out the flavor profile, but on more of a mellow milky note.
Packed with pepper spice, the first few puffs are intensely sun-grown in strength and cedar filled in flavor. This vivacious start mellows out within about 5 minutes, leaving the blend ample room to play with your palate. There's also some bitterness here that some may find unpleasant.
Sweet, savory, and still stuffed with cedar shavings, the first 20 minutes or so of this cigar blend slides into overdrive with a leather glove and a bold allotment of attitude.
This isn't your grandpa's mellow Montecristo White Label folks. There's Honduran earthiness hither and yon, along with a nice little black pepper ping to tickle the tongue. A medium beginning in strength and flavor that does not leave you wanting save for in regard to sweetness.
It's more of a creamy, heavily spiced angel food cake taste, with tons of doughy, nutty silkiness inside. That honey note from unlit impressions seems to have disappeared though, which is a pity since that touch smelled so damn delicious.
The tables turn around the center of the cigar, with a milder, lighter, and tangier taste profile taking over. The cigar still is medium-bodied and full of flavor, but it takes more of a turn toward a meringue, baking spiced cake-like taste. And with it comes that honey taste, finally!
Nutmeg, vanilla, and lighter, grassy Connecticut note all come out at once somewhere between the second third's end and the final third's beginning. It's a vivacious reversal of what we have come to expect in premium cigar blends bearing the Connecticut nomenclature, and it really helps ease you into those parting puffs.
The parting puffs of this premium cigar blend turn much of the mellowness and tangy lemon meringue-like Connecticut transition that occurred in the second third into a an acidic taste. There is still a dash more of that mellower, honey-like straw tasting goodness inside the final few inches of the stick, but not much.
Instead, the baking spices and cedar swing in to take over, and with them comes that iconic Honduran earthen note. It's a bit of an imbalanced finish that I feel could use a bit more refinement from some additional aging.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Everything in this category was borderline ideal from light to nub. The only issue being a slight wave to the burn on occasion.
The quality of the smoke pulled through the cigar was exceptionally smooth and medium in body, with a surprisingly long finish to encourage you to smoke slowly.
I will happily say "Hell yeah!" to anyone offering me one of these blends. "The Oscar Connecticut" is ideal for full-flavored cigar smokers and medium strength fans alike. Complex and bold, while still being true enough to style to be considered a Connecticut, this blend rocks on almost every level.
My only qualms were with the lack of honey up until the final third, as that was one of the most appealing parts of my unlit impressions. Those cedar notes were fairly inconsistent throughout as well. Sometimes they were a tad too strong, other times just a bit too mellow, only to disappear entirely and reappear when least expected.
The cigar tasted a bit green as well, so I would be curious to see how it performs with six months to a year of age on it after resting in my matte black Japanese Kobi humidor. But even then, this all-new blend feels brilliantly executed, and a bona fide winner for the Oscar Valladares brand.
Oscar Valladares "The Oscar Connecticut"
Honduras & Nicaragua
6" x 52 "Toro"
|Iced Rooibos Sun Tea w/ Pineapple Juice