Some people are lucky enough to have the opportunity to blend a cigar once in their lives. I’ve had the absolute good fortune to do it twice. I am blessed. How many people have two chances to prove their ineptitude to the world?
The Reloaded is a gorgeous looking traditional CG rolled and blended at Drew Estate’s Esteli factory in January of 2010. I wasn’t on a Cigar Safari trip, per say, but did reap the benefits (and generosity) of staying as a guest of Jon Drew, courtesy of a Cigar Tourism trip.
I’m always perplexed by this cigar. It’s wrapped in a stunning Ecuadorian grown Connie. Why? It ISN’T a lonsdale or corona. Why? And it has no ligero. Why? I know I intended the blend to be more of a learning experience than a fun experience, but cramming three anomalies into one stick still to this day seems like a mistake. Nonetheless, I do sense clear influence from each of my choices.
The blend is unique. The aforementioned Connecticut sits upon a San Andres negro binder. The filler consists of five partial leaves: 2 parts Esteli corojo seco, 2 parts Esteli criollo-98 viso and 1 part Dominican piloto cubano seco.
Part one of my odd decisions was to forego the use of ligero in the blend. I didn’t want anything with much nicotine. If you’re a fan of the show, you know I really don’t tolerate the vile drug well. I had read years ago that no Cuban lancero is blended with ligero. They still “feel” strong but don’t pack the punch of being nic heavy. I was never really sure if that was true so I thought this a fine opportunity to test the theory: could a cigar still seem strong without an upper priming?
Part two of the experiment wrapped my blend in a wrapper I typically do not reach for, the Connecticut shade. The theory here was that I didn’t really want to impart “flavor” to the blend. I wanted it to stand alone. Listen up. I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to tell me that Connecticut tends to add a prolific sour crispness to a cigar. You’re right. The fact is, it’s so odd that it stands apart. It never really was meant to blend together.
The final anomaly is the vitola. Why, oh, why would I choose a ring larger than a 42? I preach on the elegance of coronas and lonsdales and their purity of blend. If I wanted to focus on that purity why change? The reason is simple. I didn’t want to increase the percentage of wrapper to filler. A Corona Gorda was a good compromise of size to purity.
This all plays together in a rather crazy way. The filler does truly stand apart from the wrapper but after nearly five years, both aspects of the cigar have grown into their shoes. The cigar still does feel strong, just as it always has. The wrapper is still tart. The thing is, this has become a marriage of opposite attraction. The “Frankenstein’s Monster” of cigar experiments has grown into a civilized member of society within my humidor. It is no longer just an experiment but also an interesting cigar.
Flavors danced around from dusty cocoa, to brown sugar to meaty char. All of those flavors paring well with a tart, almost lemon like crispness. The construction was flawless, including both burn and draw. Absolutely zero deductions.
- A Learning Experience
- Fun to Smoke
- Educational but boring
- Connecticut. Yuck!
Ok so here I am the survivor of not only the original Chigringo but now the Chigringo 2.0 (reloaded) as well!
I received the coveted corona from Craig with the agreement that I would review the cigar. I don’t confess to having the worlds best palette, but lets get started:
The cigar is a corona of sorts my Chigringo was 5.5x? I don’t know the diameter of the cigar and was kept around 60% humidity. The Conneticut (?) wrapper had a very faint smell of cheerios and the foot had a sweet smell to it. I cut into it with a V cutter and lit it up!
In the first inch the cigar was VERY mild ..to the point were I worried if I would be saying the cigar was just going to be hot air. (Appropriate for Craig but c’mon)
Fortunately I was able to pick out some light spice on the retro and the smoke had some creamy quality to it is all I can say.
Moving on towards half way the cigar became pretty much what it was for me. It picked up a coffee flavor (especially prevalent on the retro) and would have notes of toasted oats (there are those cheerios).
In all the cigar burned great with the dominant flavors being roasted coffee and toasted oats. As noted these flavors came in 1/2 way and stayed until the end. I should point out a lot of flavor came from this cigar on the retro and finish for me. The smoke itself was creamy but more in a whole milk way than true cream if that makes any sense. It really reminded me of having Farmer Bros coffee after putting cream in it as that brand sometimes tastes like cereal then. The cigar burned for an hour and I put it down with a little under an inch left as it finally started to get harsh.
Is the Chigringo Reloaded life changing? No, but it is a good cigar and I would give a buck or 2 to enjoy another corona in the morning or cutting the grass. I don’t have the fancy review chart the website has but admitting to saying I would spend cash on this should be positive review enough.