Blog > Rambling Session - Connecticut Shade (02/16/2024)

Rambling Session - Connecticut Shade (02/16/2024)

Rambling Session - Connecticut Shade (02/16/2024)

This morning I smoked a Foundation Cigar Co Charter Oak Especiales Pegnataro. You can see my review here. Let me tell you - this was one of the best smokes I have had in a while… I smoked one of them shortly after I brought them onto the site, and it was solid. However, the little bit of rest really did them wonders. I won’t go into much detail since you can read that in the review. I will say that this is one of those cigars that a non-Connecticut smoker should smoke.

Oftentimes Connecticut cigars get a bad rap amongst many smokers in the cigar community. They’re considered boring and mild because traditional Connecticut cigars can be that way. I argue that the “traditional” Connecticuts that are often referenced are not necessarily that way because they’re Connecticuts. They’re that way because of the brand portfolio they belong to. Many of the traditional Connecticuts that have that reputation belong to traditional brands - think Montecristo or Hoyo De Monterrey, for example. 

For me, many of these traditional, or legacy, brands, Connecticut or not, are blended to please the masses. They fall in the mild-medium spectrum on flavor and strength because that’s safe. It’s smart really. These brands have been around the longest, produce the most cigars, take up the most humidor space at cigar shops, and bring in the most sales. Furthermore, the majority of people that smoke cigars are not cigar nerds. They aren’t on the lookout for the new and exciting, the small and boutique, the unique and rare. 

If you are reading this, you are more than likely a cigar nerd. You get excited by purchasing and smoking cigars that a non-nerd probably has never heard of you. You probably smoke more cigars than the non-nerd (if you exclude the 70 year old fella that has been smoking non-cuban Montecristos for 40 years). However, you probably started out smoking the same cigars that the non-nerds do. 

Once you crossed the chasm between non-cigar nerd and cigar nerd, you began smoking “boutique” cigars. When it comes to boutique cigars, you find cigars that aren’t meant to appeal to the masses. You find cigars that focus on delivering full, unique flavors. You’re met with a sea of brown (Habano, Corojo, San Andres, Broadleaf) speckled with yellow (Connecticut Shade). You naturally will focus on the browns because there are more of them. They’re the largest departure from the mundane. They deliver the big blasts of flavor that make the “traditional” Connecticut Shade cigars seem flavorless and disappointing. 

However, you can’t overlook the specks of yellow. Those are the exact Connecticut Shade cigars you MUST try. They’re the Charter Oak Especiales Pegnataros, the Lampert 1675 Edicion Rojos, the School Bus 2s. They’re the cigars that will change the way you look at Connecticut Shade. Once you are open to the idea of smoking them, you will expand your options, your palate, and your passion for the world of cigars will deepen.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.