The CLE Connecticut is the third line to be launched under Christian Eiroa’s new CLE brand. Christian, formerly President of Camacho, started CLE (Christian Luis Eiroa) Cigars and launched several new blends at the 2012 IPCPR. At the trade show CLE launched two Honduran puros under the CLE brand, the Corojo and the Cuarenta. The Connecticut is the first blend from the CLE blend which is not a Honduran puro, featuring a Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. You can check out our thoughts on the CLE Corojo here, and the CLE Cuarenta here. Plus check out CLE’s new website, which explains the whole philosophy behind the company.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The CLE Connecticut carries the same simple style of band that the CLE Corojo and CLE Currenta have. The writing on the CLE Connecticut is in silver on a pink background and says CLE in bold letters on the front with Connecticut written in smaller letters next to it, and 2012 on the back in a slightly darker pink color. The wrapper is a beautiful light golden brown color with almost no veins, and a nice tight cap.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the CLE Connecticut has notes of sweet cream, nuts, and grass. The foot has a scent which is a blend of cedar, hay, nutmeg, and a little earth. To prepare smoking the CLE Connecticut I use a punch cut and on the cold draw the flavor is a combination of wood, grass, nutmeg, and a little earth.
Smoking Characteristics: The CLE Connecticut starts out with an excellent draw, providing a nice body of smooth, cool, thick, rich, creamy smoke. The CLE Connecticut kicks off with just a little bit of pepper, but after the first few draws the flavor rounds out. There are notes of grass, cream, nuts, and a rich nutmeg spice without any of the bitter flavor which one sometimes finds in a Connecticut shade cigar. The strength is mild, with just a little bit of spice on the retrohale. Each draw leaves a little creamy and nutty flavor on the palate with a bit of sweetness.
Into the second third of the CLE Connecticut, the quality construction is obvious, the ash holds to around the two inch point and is very firm. On the flavor spectrum, there is a wonderful evolution. The notes of grass, nuts, cream, and nutmeg all remain, but there is a new introduction of a rich citrus note, close to orange peel, and a nice woody flavor as well. The blend is well rounded, balanced, and very enjoyable. The burn line is very sharp, the golden hue of the wrapper provides a stark contrast against the white ash. The strength remains mild, not really increasing in anyway. The draw remains ideal, easily providing a full body of smooth, cool, rich, creamy smoke.
During the final third of the CLE Connecticut, there is another shift in the flavor profile, although not quite as significant as the first. The pepper reemerges as an undertone with a bit of a spice. The orange peel flavor strengthens and becomes the primary note. The notes of cream, wood, nuts, and grass all remain, but the nutmeg note has either faded or become lost in the blend of flavors. The ash still holds very firm and the burn line is still very sharp. The CLE Connecticut smokes cool to the nub without the flavor becoming sour or bitter at any point.
Conclusion: With so many Connecticut Shade cigars being introduced to the market, how does one select what he wants to smoke? In my opinion you look for the most flavorful cigar for the dollar amount you want to spend. With that objective in mind, you really don’t have to look much further than the CLE Connecticut. With the Robusto coming in at an MSRP of $5.95 one would be hard pressed to find a mild cigar with the same amount of flavor, balance, complexity, and depth as the CLE Connecticut. While the strength may be mild, the flavor profile is certainly quite bold.