One full year after Matt Booth shocked the craft cigar industry by returning to the scene just weeks before the 2017 IPCPR trade show with Robert Caldwell (a man with an equally unorthodox approach to cigar marketing), the two have collaborated once more, releasing The T. Connecticut as a followup to the original The T. project.
As with 2017’s release, the cigars are a three-part collaboration between Matt Booth (of Room101), Robert Caldwell (of Caldwell Cigar Co.), and A.J. Fernández (of AJF Cigar Co.), being produced at Fernández’s thriving factory in Estelí. This year’s Connecticut-Shade-wrapped variety was first announced only days before IPCPR 2018, being displayed at the Room101 and Caldwell Cigar Co. booths simultaneously.
The T. Connecticut Short Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 4″ × 48 “Short Robusto”
- Price: $10.80 (MSRP)
As far as backstory goes, The T. Connecticut is fairly straightforward, being a milder expression of the original blend, attained through a slightly tweaked filler recipe and the notable addition of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper (compared to the Nicaraguan puro blend of 2017’s The T.). Interestingly, where 2017’s release was advertised as “limited edition,” this year’s offering will become a regular release. While the cigars don’t fall under any of the brand-runner’s companies, they are being distributed by Robert Caldwell’s Down&Back, LLC.
The T. Connecticut debuted in four sizes, none of which are identical to the formats from 2017’s release. These cigars began shipping to retailers in early September, with prices ranging from $10.60 to $11.80:
- Corona: 6″ x 44 | $10.60 (MSRP)
- Short Robusto: 4″ x 48 | $10.80 (MSRP)
- Toro: 6″ x 50 | $11.40 (MSRP)
- Double Robusto: 5½” x 54 | $11.80 (MSRP)
As far as packaging and presentation are concerned, The T. Connecticut is nearly identical to the cigar’s predecessor, swapping the green/mauve color scheme for an appropriate orange/cream (perhaps hinting at a citrus and cream-forward smoking profile). There are three keys used throughout the design, which tie into the three names printed on the cigar’s sub-band (MB – AJF – RC).
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The cigar itself is quite small; I was surprised to learn its actual dimensions are more in line with a Rothschild, having the impression that the length was slightly under four inches. This could be due to the cigar’s overreaching band real estate, with the two bands covering nearly the entire cigar. The wrapper is very vibrant in color (unlike the pale complexion of many Connecticuts), showing lots of orange undertones. There are well-placed seams and a few prominent veins (though nothing too distracting)—a nice looking cigar overall.
On the nose, there are notes of barnyard hay, garage sawdust, and cedar. The foot brings additional aromas of zesty white pepper and classic leather. The pre-light draw is dead-medium, showing a nice assortment of sourdough, white pepper, and petting zoo.
Through a virtually perfect draw, The T. Connecticut unloads with more intensity that your average Connecticut. Initially off-putting flavors of brushfire are soon replaced with white pepper, freshly cut barnyard hay, and a palate-awakening saltiness.
Every puff pulls in mouthfuls of smoke, offering an overall profile of medium strength, flavor, and body. The burn line tends to canoe from time to time, requiring a touchup or two. But when the cigar begins to settle in, it seems to consistently produce straight, slightly flakey chunks of medium-gray ash.
Eventually the fiery characteristics and pepper notes tone down, offering a fantastic contrast between white pepper and sweet cream. This cream is best described as cream cheese, an attribute that is soon joined by flavors of brown sugar, green tea, and sweet rock candy.
Nearing the cigar’s primary band, the profile transitions to become less cloying, replacing raw sugar with notes of graham cracker, buttermilk (complete with a touch of sourness, in a balanced, positive manner), and continued green tea. This sourness eventually evolves to become like the powdery coating of SweeTARTS candy, later joined by sweet caramel milk and an eventual harshness that signals the cigar’s conclusion.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Yes—I don’t know if I would quite consider this a breakfast smoke; more along the lines of brunch. There are a surprising amount of flavor transitions for the cigar’s short size, being much more flavorful than the traditional Connecticut.
- The T. Connecticut began shipping to retailers in early September of 2018.
- Love the size, like cutting a Churchill in half.
- As Matt Booth released two Connecticut cigars this year (The T. Connecticut and Farce Connecticut), he describes this cigar as being more fiery than the other.
- Between The T. Connecticut and the original The T. cigar, I personally prefer the Connecticut blend, finding that last year’s release seemed to require additional aging to perform their best.
- Two samples smoked for review.
- Has the unique factor of being a true collaboration, as the cigars are not branded under any single company; instead, it is marketed as a collaborative effort between three prominent figures in the craft cigar scene.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- White pepper
- Barnyard hay
- Cream cheese
- Green tea
- Smoke Time: 55 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Cheese Danish, Oolong tea, English-style grilled cheese, Cream soda, Latte
- Purchase Recommendation: 5-pack
- Near-perfect draw
- Mouthfuls of smoke on every puff
- More flavorful than average Connecticut
- Short smoking time
- Somewhat harsh start and end to smoking experience