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!