Team Cigar Review: H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro

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Cigar Details: H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera de Garcia
  • Blender: Grupo de Maestros
  • Price: $8.60
  • Release Date: October 2018
  • Source: Altadis U.S.A.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

John-McTavish

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is light brown and has a few prominent veins that are slightly raised. The seams are smooth but easily visible due to some various shades of color along the wrapper. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap where the top cap is a much darker leaf of tobacco. There are two bands with the first being the traditional Altadis H. Upmann design but in a yellow and gold color combination. The secondary strip band has the same colors and denotes the line name. The aroma from the wrapper is a hay forward sweet barnyard note. The foot brings a wheat bread note. The pre-light draw brings a slightly spicy cedar and some of that spice is present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro has an elegant gold on yellow band, along with a secondary band in similar color scheme indicating ‘Connecticut’. The wrapper seems just under a shade darker than a typical Connecticut wrapper, and has a dark red, almost maduro end cap. Nosing the cigar, I pick up aromas of sweet cedar, and hints of hay and clover. In the foot all I get is sweet tobacco. The cigar has a very good appearance to it, and has me eager to light and cut.

First Third

The cigar begins with wood and this interesting musty cinnamon note. At a half inch in, the wood, mustiness and cinnamon are all at equal levels. The retrohale has the cinnamon with a slight lead over the musty wood. At an inch in, some hay joins the mix. At an inch and a quarter, the cinnamon is very faint and the profile is a bit drying with the wood, mustiness and hay at equal levels. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third begins with notes of dry cedar, baking spices and light white pepper to chase the draw. The pepper has a medium-long finish on the tip of my tongue. That pepper intensifies from light to medium-full on the retrohale. I’m immediately surprised by the amount of smoke production. Generally, this amount of billowing smoke is reserved for cigars with much darker wrappers. At the 10 minute mark, the pepper on the retrohale falls to medium minus, with cocoa joining at the 15 minute mark. The first third continues to evolve, bringing creaminess and nutty flavors. By the 1 hour mark, the pepper has fallen to a light level, but is still lingering on the tip of my tongue. The baking spices seem to have more complexity at the end of the first, and there is some sweetness accenting them as well.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the profile is musty wood and hay with a mild cinnamon in the background. At a half inch in, a faint cream joins the profile. At an inch in, the wood is up front with the musty hay right behind and some faint cream remaining in the background. Things are still a bit dry. The retrohale provides the same profile. No real changes as the third comes to a close. The strength remained at slightly below medium.

Second Third

There is mild char during the transition into the second third, it lingers on the post draw and tongue. That char subsides after a few purges, but returns as the cigar reaches the halfway point. At the end of the second third, some vegetal notes come in.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the wood gains some char while the hay and mustiness remain right behind and the profile is still a bit dry. At three quarters of an inch in, the cream picks up a little bit, knocking out most of the dryness. The retrohale consists of musty oak. As the cigar comes to a close, the wood has become more defined as oak and the cream has continued to increase to become even with the oak and mustiness. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Final Third

The cigar takes on a hay and grassy profile going into the last third. The char from the second third has completely fallen away. Once the final third has settled in, there are some mild wood notes.

Burn

The burn was razor sharp the entire way. Ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn is fairly straight through the first third, with a canoe at the bottom of the third requiring a touch-up. The cigar goes out in the second third requiring a re-light. No issues for the remainder of the cigar experience. The ash holds on well but is flaky throughout.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with wood and an interesting musty cinnamon note. That profile continued on until the cinnamon became very faint. Later, some cream joined in and the wood became more defined as oak. The profile was a bit dry most of the way. Construction was great and the strength was right around medium and below. The H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro carried a fairly traditional Connecticut shade profile with a slightly amped up strength level. While the flavor profile is pretty typical of many other Connecticut shade cigars, the price point for the vitola is attractive. I would smoke this again if it was handy, but probably wouldn’t search it out.

Aaron
John
GoodPre
Light
Very Good
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdAverage
AverageFinal
Third
Average
AmazingBurnGood
Very GoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverage

Draw

The draw was about a half notch into the tight spectrum but still in the acceptable range for an ideal draw.

Overall

I found the flavor profile of the H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro to be quite average. The first third was promising, but the middle and last thirds didn’t exhibit any of the same interesting complexity. The char in the middle third was a distraction, and the last third fell into a fairly typical Connecticut Shade profile.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.60

Cost/Point

$1.54

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.90

Cost/Point

$1.46

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros Toro

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5 comments

Join the conversation
  • Shlomo - February 17, 2019 reply

    Does this cigar have a similar flavor on the palate to the h. upmann connossieur a? That has been my favorite so far.

    Aaron Loomis - February 18, 2019 reply

    You can’t really compare any of the non-Cuban offerings of the Cuban marcas to the originals.

    Shlomo - February 19, 2019 reply

    Are the palates on the non-Cuban offerings a lot worse than the Cuban marcas or are they are just different and cannot be compared apples to apples?

    Aaron Loomis - February 19, 2019 reply

    The non-Cuban versions are very different than the Cuban versions so they aren’t really comparable. In my opinion, the Cuban versions are better than the non-Cuban versions the majority of the time.

    Shlomo - February 19, 2019

    Most of the time I smoked the Cuban versions they were plugged so I want to find a Nicaraguan version that is similar or more flavorful on the palate because they seem to have smooth and more consistent draws. If there is nothing out there, maybe it is just that there are a lot more inexperienced Cuban torcedors that need more training to make better rolls than in Nicaragua. Could be a matter of time till Cuba catches up.

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