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Staff Reviews

New World Connecticut Toro Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I am smoking the New World Connecticut from AJ Fernandez in a 6 by 52 Toro. New World is a core series in AJ’s portfolio, and it’s available in four unique blends: the original New World, Cameroon, Puro Especial, and the Connecticut I’m reviewing today. Connecticut-wrapped cigars command a substantial audience, even from cigar-makers who are known for producing cigars that are on the stronger side.

New World Connecticut is finished in a butterscotch-blond Connecticut Shade wrapper grown in the Connecticut River Valley. Inside, a well-aged blend of Nicaraguan and Brazilian long-fillers is cradled by a binder from San Andrés to create a genuinely complex profile. New World cigars are named for Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean which is illustrated on the boxes and cigar bands. Twenty sumptuous smokes come in each box, and they’re handcrafted in Esteli, Nicaragua, in a collection of round vitolas, as opposed to the box-pressed shapes of the other New World blends.  

A shiny pearl ribbon adorns the foot of each cigar, and when you open a new box, the top row exhibits an attractive, consistent appearance while aromas of fresh-cut wheat, cedar, and oak gather in the nose. The Toro I’ve chosen is firm to the touch and shows a few delicate veins. AJ Fernandez is regarded as a reliable value brand, and the New World Connecticut series starts in the vicinity of $7. The blend is pegged as a great morning cigar to go with your coffee and is equally enjoyable with a cold IPA in the afternoon. It’s versatile, and you don’t necessarily have to smoke it after a meal.  

The cap comes off clean and easy with a quick snap from my Xikar Enso cutter. Cold notes of smoked nuts and buttered toast accompany hints of pepper when I roll the cigar between my lips a few times before lighting up. New World Connecticut possesses a quintessential sweetness authentic Connecticut wrappers are known for. When I hit the foot with my soft-flame lighter and start puffing, the Toro delivers creamy and mellow flavors of fresh bread, pepper, and cedar. Traces of citrus linger on the palate, while the nose is moderately spicy in the beginning.

New World Connecticut engages the taste buds without conquering them thanks to the cigar’s overall creamy texture. The burn wavers a bit throughout the first ten minutes but straightens on its own, and the ash is stable. The cigar’s complexity is palpable because its tobaccos hail from four countries. Notes of dark cocoa and earth underscore core flavors of cedar, white pepper, and oak.

Halfway through, the Toro settles into a nutty progression. There are no big surprises, and the blend stops short of overpowering the wrapper, which can happen when makers of stronger cigars work with Connecticut wrappers. AJ effectively preserves the cigar’s sweeter nuances, and hints of vanilla bean and brown sugar mingle with notes of wood and spice after forty minutes.

When I peel off the band to put the nub away, AJ Fernandez New World Connecticut concludes with a tantalizing finish of white pepper and wood. It’s not over the top, nor is it bland. The Toro chews up close to an hour and tastes like an ideal cigar to share with your buddies during a barbecue or on poker night, especially for the price.

AJ Fernandez has risen quickly to become one Nicaragua’s biggest cigar-makers, and his burgeoning operation shows no signs of slowing. It’s not surprising when you factor in the value and quality AJ’s cigars deliver. Fire up New World Connecticut, and find out if it makes your list of the top AJ Fernandez cigars you can smoke today.

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