This Weeks Cigars: Oliva Connecticut Reserve and Vegas de Santiago – Thursday April 29, 2010

Wednesday evening I dug into the Jason of Rock’s Smoke Shop stash again and grabbed an Oliva Connecticut Reserve Toro.  I didn’t see any info on Oliva’s website, and I was too darned lazy to Google further, so I dropped a Tweet and received this information from David Wagner, the National Sales Manager for Oliva:

“the Oliva CT Reserve was released last year. It’s an Ecuador grown CT Shade wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers.”

The cigar was beautiful, the Ecuador Connecticut Shade wrapper was golden and flawless.  It started out with very dry woody flavors.  It was a very nice medium bodied cigar, that went from dry to a bit creamy.  I liked it.  I have to admit to a bit of carelessness though.  I set the cigar on the corner of the ice machine when I went into the convenience store, which I do all the time, and when I came out the cigar had fallen from it’s perch!  It suffered some slight wrapper damage, but recovered nicely. It burned through the damage as if it wasn’t there, maintaining a razor straight burn the entire time.  Definitely a well made cigar.  If you like the Connecticut shade wrapper, this is a good cigar to try, it has the flavor one would expect from the wrapper, but there’s more substance to it than some other shade wrapped cigars.

Thursday I received a couple cigars from reader and former contest winner DJ.  The cigars were from Vegas de Santiago, a Costa Rican cigar maker whom I’ve worked with before on a couple of events my wife and I have hosted, but actually haven’t really smoked many of their cigars!  DJ sent a couple of  Don Luis “Secretos del Maestro”. One was a 6″ x 60, which I chose to smoke instead of trying to fit it into the humidor. Very nice looking cigars, the band on the 60 ring cigar actually had a little strip of white paper bridging the gap between the ends of the band.  The manufacturer says that these are two of their best sellers.  Here’s the blurb from Vegas de Santiago:

“VdS Don Luis our “Secretos del Maestro” – (*Trade Marked Black & Gold Band).
(Very Special and Top of the Line) A cigar we created, in memory of our late Cuban master, Don Luis Santana Lamas.Filler from selected and specially cured tobaccos… from  Costa Rica , Binder from the Caribe and Central America and a Connecticut wrapper from Ecuador .”

While not a huge fan of large ring cigars, this one was very flavorful and behaved fairly well.  I got a taste off the wrapper pre-light that was really good, and I usually don’t notice wrapper flavor. This is billed as a double ligero cigar, but it wasn’t the powerhouse that that description would imply.  I found it to be medium bodied, it started out fairly mellow and well balanced.  By the time I was ready to put it down it was developing an acidic flavor.  I’m looking forward to smoking the 6″ x 52 Canionazo and comparing it to it’s large ring brother. In the information I received from Vegas de Santiago, they also produce this blend with an oscuro wrapper, which sounds pretty interesting.  As I alluded to above, VdS has been quite generous in the past in their sponsorship of various events I’ve either held or been a part of.  They are a nice bunch of folks who produce some very nice cigars that are fairly priced.

A big thank you to DJ for sharing these cigars with me and for his participation and interest in the nonsense I frequently spew here.  I appreciate the thought and the chance to enjoy these cigars. Thanks also (again) to Jason for supplying me with a nice supply of cigars to smoke and review!  Variety is indeed the spice of life and I’ve been fortunate to have a great variety of cigars to smoke.

I sent out a five-pack of Hoyo de Tradicion Toros to Chris McCann who was kind enough to send his address after he won my last contest.  I hate to do it, but if I don’t hear from “Wallaper” by this weekend I’m going to have to select another winner.  I had mentioned when I posted the contest video that after shooting, one of the other cats started mauling one of the cards.  I held this particular card for just such an occasion.  One of the unwritten rules here is that if you enter a contest you run the risk of winning it and having to collect the prize!  Sorry, I didn’t make up that rule, I just enforce it.  Must be of legal age and must take the prize. I don’t ask much!  I’ll be announcing the May contest very soon, and it will be a really good prize!

That’s it for now, have a great weekend!


Update:  I received an e-mail with an address for Brian (aka wallaper) and his cap and cutter are going out tomorrow.  Thanks!



Filed under Contest, Review

4 Responses to This Weeks Cigars: Oliva Connecticut Reserve and Vegas de Santiago – Thursday April 29, 2010

  1. I’ve smoked several VdS blends and they have all been excellent. I’m glad to see that these cigars are getting more attention in the marketplace.

  2. Chris McCann

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the reviews. I tend to enjoy strong smokes, but I like to start off the day with an Oliva Conn. Reserve with my morning coffee.

    Also, thank you for sending out the cigars so quickly. I got home from Cigar Fest today to find them waiting for me!


  3. dj

    Looking forward to the other VdS review!

    I woulda sent more but several went to the troops in Afghanistan!

    I agree w/ Tom: it’s good to see VdS get some airplay. I root for pretty much *anything* from little Costa Rica though…

  4. dj

    Also: wow – nice pics! Those things look downright oily!

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