Monday, February 11, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Caridad Connecticut & Caridad Sumatra


Today, I not only get to talk about my weekend cigar, I get to introduce a new cigar brand: Caridad. Well, Caridad is not exactly "new" in terms of the name. Famous Smoke Shop has been selling Caridad in its former bundle configuration for years. Quite honestly, it was not the brightest star in Famous's constellation of premium bundles.

But things change. Caridad cigars have been made-over into an affordable boxed selection offered in two wrapper choices - Connecticut and Sumatra - given new collars, and show a marked improvement in construction. Both versions are blended with Dominican Cuban-seed longfiller, and presented in boxes of 25 cigars and 5-pack samplers.

I sat down yesterday afternoon with a Caridad Sumatra Robusto and a Caridad Connecticut Robusto. I started with the Sumatra, which is a new blend, altogether. The cigar had a somewhat salty taste to it. The cap clipped-off nicely and the cigar drew easily. The foot lit evenly, and as the cigar burned down, formed a decently firm ash that held on for about an inch-and-a-half, and tapped off to expose a perfect cone. I'll get to the flavor in a moment.

The Connecticut is an upgraded version of the original bundle. Its cap was also well formed, popped-off neatly, and the cigar drew well. The wrapper did not have the salty aspect I found in the Sumatra. The cigar burned well, though the ash was not as firm.

Both cigars have an extremely mild and smooth flavor. The Sumatra was woody; earthier than the Connecticut, and a little flinty-tasting in spots, yet did not remain salty. The Connecticut was also woody, but toastier than the Sumatra, and suggested a note of sweetness on the finish. Just for fun, I smoked both cigars again this morning with coffee, and they faired much better than with the beer I had yesterday.

Frankly, I wouldn't recommend Caridad to anyone who has been smoking cigars for a while. But for those who are new to premium cigars, they'd make a good "starter cigar."

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