Once considered one of the better-kept secrets in the world of premium cigars, JRE Tobacco and their Aladino line of cigars are now beginning to crop up in craft humidors across the country. This is, in no small part, due to the company’s recent push to expand the brand, adding extensions such as the Aladino Maduro and Aladino Corojo Reserva on a consecutive, annual basis.
The most recent addition is the Aladino Connecticut. First announced (and subsequently soft-launched) in the spring of 2019, the cigars help to round out the Aladino portfolio, offering smokers a classic take on the Connecticut blending style. Aladino Connecticut later made its national debut on June 29th at the 2019 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas.
Aladino Connecticut Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras
- Factory: Las Lomas Factory (Honduras)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 5″ × 50 (Robusto)
- Price: $7.80 (MSRP)
Like the Aladino Connecticut’s sibling blends, the cigar is built around a core of Honduran Corojo tobaccos—a signature for company founder, Julio R. Eiroa, and his Eiroa Tobacco Farm, located in the Jamastran Valley. But where many of the other iterations showcase a hefty body and a classic punch of spice (a profile praised for being uncannily similar to Corojo cigars from Cuba’s heyday), the Aladino Connecticut is unabashed in its differing, nearly opposite direction. The Honduran interior pulls back on intensity to better highlight the cigar’s signature ingredient: an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.
The cigars are rolled at the Eiroa family’s Las Lomas Factory in Honduras, being offered in four sizes at launch:
- Queens (perfecto): 5¼” x 46 | $6.80 | 20-ct box
- Robusto: 5″ x 50 | $7.80 | 20-ct box
- Toro: 6″ x 50 | $8.80 | 20-ct box
- Churchill: 7″ x 52 | $9.80 | 20-ct box
Aladino Connecticut is packaged in 20-count boxes, similar to the original Aladino cigar—only the exterior has been given a new coat of white paint. The interior features the same vintage, Cuban-inspired artwork that you’ll now find throughout the full Aladino series. It’s the same basic band used as well; only the colors have been swapped to showcase a clean white, chrome, and black layout. Personally, I find myself missing the nostalgic streak of yellow that has found its way into previous Aladino releases.
The robusto’s first call to attention is its new wrapper component. This Connecticut leaf is not bright, silky, and/or golden, as you may find (or at least see advertised) on other cigars of the Connecticut variety. Instead, the leaf appears dusty—hazy, if you will—looking like a cross between a Connecticut and a traditional Habano. It brings a velvet-like feel between the fingers, with a medium amount of veins and some imperfections (wrapper nicks, water spots) from head to toe. The cigar has a medium-firm bunch, with the construction being finished in a beautifully placed triple cap at the head.
On the nose, the wrapper shows light notes of barnyard, citrus, and Cuban-esque musk. The foot reveals added notes of raw hay, cedar, and white pepper. With a straight cut, the pre-light draw is medium-firm (slightly on the firm side), offering subtle flavors of hay and saltine crackers.
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Aladino Connecticut fires up with a good amount of smoke and a body well on the mild side. Flavors do not jump out at you, as smokers have come to expect; instead, subtleties require a bit of chewing and patience to be eked out. When doing so, nuances of crackers, sage, tart sourdough, creamy nougat, and even flashes of peaches can be found.
As the pre-light draw hinted, the smoking draw is slightly on the firm side. However, it’s not nearly as drastic as initially perceived; in fact, the smoking draw is nearly perfect, as a bit of resistance is typically desired (at least, in my opinion). The smoke output s more than adequate, aiding in the overall enjoyment of the cigar’s subtle character. And while the burn is uniform, producing solid chunks of ash, the robusto does seem to be burning quite quickly.
As the cigar progresses, the profile veers into territories of anise and floral perfume (which can be captured more in the aroma than the actual flavor). It is tart—as many Eiroa-made blends tend to be—balanced by a dusty smoking texture across the palate. Before the Connecticut begins creeping into darker territory, there are final glimpses of vanilla candy (like the vanilla stick in Fun Dip candy), as well as vegetal elements of grass and dried hay. As a bitterness begins to dominate on the palate (with the smoke interacting with the back center of the tongue), final flavors come in the form of roasted nuts and generic toasted bread.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I would and I will. This cigar does not fit the mold of today’s amped-up Connecticut—that does not detract from the experience that the Aladino Connecticut offers. As with everything JRE Tobacco Company does, Aladino Connecticut is old-school and authentic above all else. What this means is that the Eiroa’s have blended a Connecticut as they remember the style. It’s a mild blend that caters to the mild/bitter tendencies of the blend’s Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. The flavors, nuances, and complexities are there, but the smoker needs to be patient—plan a session with little distractions and there’s a good chance you’ll have a serious moment with this nostalgic Connecticut.
- Flavor: Mild-plus
- Strength: Mild
- Body: Mild
- Smoke Time: 45 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Cappuccino, Sugared pastries, Cream soda, Topo Chico mineral water
- Purchase Recommendation: 5-pack
- Fantastic draw
- Rewarding complexity when given the time and attention deserved
- Great value in today's marketplace
- Fast burner
- A bit too mild