CLE Connecticut Cigar Review
Wrapper: Ecuadorian – Connecticut
Strength: Mild but with enough flavor to keep you playing
The CLE Connecticut is one of several cigars offered under the CLE brand and you’ll find several CLE Reviews on The Cigar Life. CLE are the initials of the famed cigar manufacturer Christian (Luis) Eiora who has a reputation for offering full bodied cigars. The CLE brand takes a step back from this with a line of mild yet medium bodied cigars.
I found the construction of this cigar to be very professional. It has a very smooth wrapper, it is tightly wrapped with a tight cap, the packing is solid and there were no veins to speak of. The wrapper was a light to medium brown. The label (pinkish orange) is small and somewhat plain which isn’t indicative of what the cigar really ends up being.
The initial smell before lighting was somewhat woodsy with a hint of hay or oats. The initial taste of the draw after punching was somewhat the same. There was an ever so slight taste of pepper there that really ends up becoming prominent towards the end of the smoke but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The cigar was very easy to light and draw. The construction was impressive. The first taste I got after lighting was again that of hay and oats but the pepper was definitely present. It gave it an enjoyable kick. It burned very evenly at this point and the ash was tight. The smell of the smoke was mild and not offensive, again woodsy.
Mellow Bourbon and a Mellow Cigar, What a Match
I like to smoke a mellow cigar with a mellow bourbon and this cigar worked very well with that. The bourbon I chose was Eagle Rare which is a fairly mellow bourbon. The taste of the cigar didn’t overpower the taste of the bourbon while at the same time it didn’t give way to the taste of the bourbon. A very mellow yet enhancing cigar and very mellow bourbon that worked hard in hand.
About 1” into the smoke the pepper taste started to become more prominent which I found delightful. It gave it a good personality. At the 1/3rd point the woodsy taste gave way to a slight spice flavor that I found enjoyable but hard to clearly define. The pepper taste seemed to settle down some which made the combination of the two flavors work well together. The ash was still firm and the burn even at this point.
As I got farther into the smoke the slight taste of pepper started to come back alive but very much in an enjoyable way. The center portion of the ash seemed to be a little more stable than the edges but nothing to really worry about. This was not a fast burning cigar at all. It burned slowly and evenly which again speaks for the construction.
A good place to make a first impression is about 2/3rds of the way thru a cigar. At this point I found the cigar to be mellow yet not bland by any means. You could smoke it in conjunction with a good red wine or a mellow bourbon and enjoy the experience of both the cigar and the drink. A good even burn (pretty much) and the cigar still felt firm to the hand and the ash was controllable. It would be perfect for a beginner cigar smoker. It doesn’t overpower you and the taste is not offensive at all therefor it’s not likely to chase a beginner away. For an experienced cigar smoker it works well if you want an easy smoking light cigar just to sit back and enjoy.
When I got to the final 1/3rd I began to get a very slight bite from the smoke itself and the pepper really started to come through. Neither was offensive by no means, just a rise in its personality. This might be where a beginner might decide bow out but they need to wait it out. It has a little bit of a surprise coming. For a seasoned cigar smoker this is where it usually starts to get interesting.
The last inch or so the firmness of the cigar gave way a little more than I like. It did increase the burn rate slightly which can be expected. The pepper really started to come through at this point which was really a treat. The burn got a little hot at the very end but the pepper taste kept me trying to hold out. It was definitely where the cigar started to show itself.
The CLE Connecticut Has a Great Personality
All in all I believe this was a very good cigar for what it seemed to be designed to do. It was reasonable priced, well-constructed, and evenly burning. The rise of the pepper towards the end makes it enjoyable for the intermediate and experienced smoker also. It would be good for the afternoon or evening as long as you’re not looking for a cigar that pushes you around with its taste. If you’re an experienced smoker looking for a mild cigar with a personality all its own this is a good choice for the price. If you’re a beginner just breaking into to the cigar world this is a cigar that is affordable and has enough flavor to keep you coming back.