Villiger NicaRoma Connecticut toro

Previously Punch and Draw weighed in in two of the three variations of Villiger’s fledgling NicaRoma line. Today they chatter about the third one – the Connecticut.Villiger NicaRoma Connecticut toro

Draw: Yawn. What a beautiful, lazy Labor Day weekend. Almost an oxymoron, don’t you think?

Punch: “Beautiful” and “lazy”? Those sound closely related.

D: No “lazy” and “labor”!

P: Oh. Not at all. I see that at road construction sites all the time.

Draw: I’m taking this exit…. The Connecticut is the third variety in Villiger’s NicaRoma line; the Maduro and Habano being reviewed yesterday evening.

P: I’ve got a soft spot in mine. Maybe because I bent it.

D: BENT IT??!

P: Well, I had lots of cigars to pack home from the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival in a single carry on. I think it was crushed just a little. Nice alfalfa aroma. Good construction, nice smooth wrapper with no noticeable seams.

D: Same, except for a single split in the wrapper just above the band. My aroma is very strong. Er…the cigar’s… In addition to the alfalfa, there’s some kind of fruit or earth right along side it. On punching, I have significant further splitting of the wrapper at the head. However, it is below the shoulder and the cap itself remains intact, for now.

P: The pre‐light draw has a slight fruity sweetness.

D: I agree; that, and cracked black pepper.

P: That would seem to go good with your cracked head. Er… the cigar’s. There is a brightness on the attack – I’ll say a “lemony freshness” – followed by a mild tobacco. There was a bit of harshness on the first draw, but on subsequent draws it is gone.

D: My first take is a Ball Park Frank, roasted to perfection.

P: I take that back. Maybe it is your head that is cracked. I like this better than the NicaRoma Maduro already… it has a certain freshness to it.

D: Well, it was just an initial perception. Besides, it’s not like I said “baked beans” or something like that – that would just be crazy‐talkin’.

P: Good point. There’s no intricacy here, that I’m detecting…yet.

D: I agree with your lemony‐brightness on the attack. There’s a raisin sweetness in the middle and finish, and I get just a touch of jalapeno in the aftertaste. I see that your friend Peter Hudson, of the Phoenix Cigar Club, has posted both a review about the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival, and a review of our blog!

P: He has. Peter is the founder of the Phoenix Cigar Club, and in less than a year he has really got something going. He is a professional photographer, so in addition to his leadership and writing skills, he brings a lot of nice images into the club Web site and the club newsletter.

D: Indeed. I’m looking at the photos he’s posted for the RMCF review, and he captured some great shots of many of the personalities at the festival. I found him to be as amiable as his writing suggests; I am glad we were able to hang with him during the festival. His bull‐by‐the‐horns approach helped us to see all the vendors in a timely fashion. That was fun!

P: Including these shots.

Photo courtesy of Peter Hudson, http://www.peterhudsonphotography.com/

Punch and Draw taking cover from the rain under a vendor’s cover at the RMCF. Photo courtesy of Peter Hudson, http://www.peterhudsonphotography.com

Photo courtesy of Peter Hudson, http://www.peterhudsonphotography.com

Peter with a couple of friends, namely: Pete Johnson of Tatuaje, and Janny Garcia of My Father. Photo courtesy of Peter Hudson, http://www.peterhudsonphotography.com

Into the second third there is still that lemon brightness on the attack but I, too, am starting to pick up some jalapeno. Thus far the burn on this NicaRoma Connecticut has been perfect. But I’m about to come into the crushed area and I’m interested to see if that affects it.

D: I agree with your assessment of the photo, and the cigar. The jalapeno which was formerly in the aftertaste has grown to fill the middle and finish, along with the raisin. I note that the jalapeno in the finish is accompanied by a buttery richness which moderates the hotness. Like my NicaRoma Habano from last night, the ash drops off like clockwork every three‐quarters‐to‐one‐inch (it’s difficult to measure accurately), leaving a little cone of cherry. The burn line has been very consistent, too.

P: Here in the final third, the bright attack has gone and the flavor that remains, the pepper finish, is a bit stronger.

D: I remember seeing someone at the RMCF who stuck a good inch of the cigar into their mouth to draw on, and at the time I commented on how odd that looked and wondered why someone would do such a thing. With the split that I have in the wrapper near the head, I find that I get a more pleasant smoke if I do the same. Live and learn.

P: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, now. I saw someone else there who was smoking a cigar backwards, by blowing into the lit end, but I think that was because they had tasted a few too many drink samples.

D: I know someone else burnt their thumb while trying to get their lighter working at the Boulder, Colorado altitude, and was walking around with their finger IN their drink!

During an extended idle, this Connecticut did maintain for several minutes, and several short puffs brought it back to life, albeit the burn became irregular. However, I proceeded to put it down again right away, and it didn’t receive enough life support. I removed the band before relighting, purged it, and touched up the burn. I’m still getting a lemony‐attack, which blends well with the jalapeno and cracked pepper in the middle. The raisin is still there, barely in the background, as is the butter in the finish and aftertaste.

P: By the way, Draw, how is your thumb doing now, a week later?

D: There’s a perfectly smooth spot in the center, but no other ill effects. My thumb has taken to sneaking Oktoberfests in the afternoon, though. Because of the wrapper split, the cigar is getting difficult to handle, especially when I try to wrap my mouth around it! Though I hesitate to do so, I’m going to let this one lay with more length than I’d like.

Burn it  or Spurn it?

P: Take a lighter to it. This is a nice budget smoke. It has a linear flavor profile which I would characterize as fresh due to the lemony attack that was present most of the way through. It never got harsh, has good construction and a great, even, burn. Personally, I liked this Connecticut better than the NicaRoma Maduro I had yesterday, and would compare it to other fine econo‐gars like the Perdomo Fresco.

D: Burn it. This has been a fun stick, with a nice burn time of 90+ minutes, and a moderate flavor that’s fresh – well said, Punch. I generally prefer a darker cigar, and between last‐night and today, I might reach for a NicaRoma Habano before the Connecticut. Given that, this cigar has been a nice pairing with a mild summer afternoon in the shade, and I’d welcome enjoying another.

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