Back in July, Altadis launched an extension of its longstanding Montecristo White line called the Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut. Unlike White, which boasts a Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador, White Vintage Connecticut has a shade-grown wrapper from 2008 that was grown on Altadis’ own farms in Connecticut.
But the differences between the blends don’t end there. Whereas White has a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, White Vintage Connecticut has a Nicaraguan binder and a three-country filler blend of Dominican, Peruvian, and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Vintage Connecticut is also easily distinguished from its predecessor by two extra bands—one at the foot, and a large mid-section band with a picture of a red Connecticut tobacco barn. (These three bands combine to conceal the majority of the cigar’s surface.)
White Vintage Connecticut is made at Tabacalera de García in the Dominican Republic and offered in three sizes: No. 2 Belicoso (6 x 50), No. 3 (5.5 x 44), and Double Corona (6.25 x 50). Prices range from $10.50 to $14.50, which makes the line more expensive than White (which, at around $9-11 per cigar, was already considered to be on the pricier end by some consumers).
Once the mid-section and foot bands are removed from the Double Corona, the true beauty of the vintage Connecticut leaf is on full display. The exterior is silky, golden, and smooth with a few larger veins and some wrinkles at the seams. The pre-light notes, as expected, are faint with aromas of honey, hay, and sawdust. The cold draw is stiff at first, but opens right up with a little chewing at the foot.
After setting an even light, the initial profile greets you with flavors of cream, peanut, paper, butter, almond, and vanilla. The texture is bready and the aftertaste is short with moderate cedar spice. As you’d expect from Altadis and Montecristo, construction is perfect from beginning to end.
I’d wager the binder and filler recipe was concocted specifically to not overpower the 2008 Connecticut leaf, which is surely intended to be the showcase. As such, all the traditional Connecticut flavors come through with minimal interference. And that’s ultimately what keeps this cigar from reaching its potential. While it brings you the classic tastes you’d expect from Connecticut Shade—flavors you can get from many cigars for considerably less, mind you—it fails to really complement those flavors with complexity. Instead, you’re left with a cigar that tastes creamy and nutty at its best spots, but also papery and ultra-mild at its low points.
My recommendation? Pick up this cigar if you’re looking for a mild morning smoke to pair with coffee, want to taste a vintage Connecticut Shade leaf, and budget is not a major concern. In my book, the Montecristo White Vintage Connecticut Double Corona earns three stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys