1/20/16

Kafie 1901 Ecuador Connecticut - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
I like words.
I like typography.
I like snark.

After a very recent and perhaps still on-going written conversation with a rather confused German gentleperson, it smacked/s me that snark is hard to type. Punctuation is most definitely the answer* to the ?.

Enter the SNARK MARK .~ I'll probably never use it.

*there are two (2) options for 'answer marks.'
1. A question mark with its hook sealed in an enclosed circle. Or,
2. A 'responnsobang.' An eclamation mark overlaid on a question mark**

**I feel this is too close to an interrobang.

THE CIGAR
Kafie 1901
5 x 50 Robusto
Ecuadorian Shade Grown Connecticut Seed wrapper
Honduran binder / Nicaraguan & Dominican fillers

Courtesy of Dr. Gaby Kafie

"This blend took almost 9 months to create. The difficulty came in finding a wrapper that would be suitable for what we wanted to achieve in a Connecticut Blend. The cigar features a medium bodied shade grown wrapper which we discovered in Ecuador. It is absolutely beautiful, in appearance as well as in flavor. The blend also contains a binder and filler from 3 different countries. The 4 country melody is well balanced, flavorful and very elegant on the palate from begining [sic] to end. We believe that the Kafie 1901 Connecticut is going to establish itself as a very special cigar in the industry. As with all of our cigars, it's about quality not quantity." - from www.KafieCigars.com
PRE-LIGHT
We all know the color of a Connecticut wrapper, gentlepersons. This particular one has a heavy green undertone which sits quite high and glows from an underneath goldenrod. Kafie 1901 nails its marketing via same band design/different color. This band is an interesting vanilla eggshell white with gold adornmentations and hunter green touches. As with the Sumatra band, the paper stock is nice enough and the embossing is somewhat mild, but adds to a nice understated and more classical vibe. Foot tobacco is a shock darker than I'd expect: auburn to brunette and lotsa brunette. Two measely small ticks of dirty blonde highlights. Looks to be packed to a medium+ density. On the opposite end, the cap is well-affixed all but in one slight spot, where is seems to want to lift. A scant some very lightweight veins. Nice almost damp sheen over-top of it all.

Hand-feel is good. Well-balanced and very smooth. Charmin squeeze is a bit on the soft side, a -medium -- but even throughout and offering a lively spring-back. Schnoz-wise, there are grass and hay notes on the shaft of this Kafie, a maybe herbal vibe. At the foot, a creamy floral nuttiness is added on-board.

I Old Timer pocket-knife off the cap and a -medium resistance draw greets me with grass, hay, sunlit earth, peanuts, caramel... all on a creamy mouth. Nice enough Genesis here, let's move to the fiery Exodus --

LIGHT
9:30am
Paper and blonde coffee beans form the aroma let loose by toasting the foot. First hot pull is a ballsier thing than expected. Some sharp notes which are up higher than the typical Connecticut offering. Still sweet, though, with nice touch of caramel and honey roasted peanuts. Backing is a blend of sweet grasses/earth/hay (in that order). Mouth-feel is a sweet thin cream. Second hot pull is retro-haled to show a greater vanilla into the cream, after a nice warm dose of finely ground white pepper with a coffee bean hint in it.Third hot pull is a thickening of the creamy mouth-feel and a coming down of those quite high notes. They seem to have been a coffee thing -- or at least that's what they are presently. Blonde brew, cream and sugar.

Burn is slowly correcting off my usual outdoor match light. Its line is a thin+. Draw resistance remains a -medium. Lots of smoke pours freely, it has a room-note of creamy hay and a slight floral aspect. Construction loosens about a 1/2" ahead of burn, but holds. 
ACT I
That floral aspect is a honeysuckle thing and it is now on the start of the finish. Finish is a medium+ legginess, and at the half of it, mainly a vanilla cream mouth-feel stuck nicely to the cheeks. Ash builds on in 70/30 salt/pepper fashion. Wide-spaced ladder rungs. Clumped well enough as to not flake and seems solidly attached.

Primary notes are honey roasted peanuts and vanilla cream. Secondary notes are a blonde coffee (cream and sugar) caramel, new light wood. Floral note begins to dash in and out and about. backing is hay and lesser grass; earthiness has left. White pepper remains on the retro-hale. I'd recommend an occasional retro in order to clean house a tick, of the sweetnesses.

I roll off 3/4" of ash, nicely oiled and dense. I do so in hopes of facilitating a further evening out of burn. Two puffs post -- it works.

ACT II
We begin the second act with a slight recurrence of that high note from the opening of act one, though it's not as obvious. The ash darkens a tick. Honey separates from the peanut flavor and heads to the vanilla in the cream. Cream is toasting nicely -- a bit of a creme brulee vibe there. That high note triggers my senses to think the wrapper leaf may be having all it can handle to corral its guts.

The note comes back after a couple/few puffs, just as it did the last time, and again proves to be the coffee flavor pushing the profile's boundaries. Now it is a bit deeper of a note-- a diner cup of joe. The grass/hay backing rises higher. With the falling of the high note, and rising of the underneath, there is a compressing of the notes in-between. This offers a greater focus. Caramel, peanuts, and flowers are there. A Connecticut sandwich. Served with a side of creme brulee. Such a fancy diner, epus! That floral note is now a mainstay. Light wood comes and goes.

A touch-up is needed as a bit of leaf refuses to burn. It responds well. Draw resistance is up to a medium, which is nice in that it should prevent over-smoking. There has been no further softening of the pack since the first mention on this Kafie's opening light. Ash is getting more and more salt-complected now. Room-note is even kinder and a bit of white toast is there and on the draw. Profile-wise, we're looking at classic medium, as said, a ballsier rendition of a Connecticut affair. Strength is not really on the meter, in this, it's a classic affair.

ACT III
CRACKER JACKS. Caramel meets the peanuts and the toast can be viewed along popcorn lines and play ball! It seems we went from the diner to the ballpark. A bit of seam loosens ahead of the burn. And who the heck takes creme burlee to the ballgame? Meshugah!

Just as the ash was prettying up, it's now erring to fercockt. Anther touch-up is required and the burn-line thickens to medium. Oils release from the toasting cream and a creamery butteriness is now in the mouth-feel. This dampens the flavors a tad as it bleeds into them. However, all draw notes are still on-board and delineated. On the retro-hale, the white pepper has left and toasted vanilla beans reside. The re-touch is readily accepted and I know who brings creme brulee to the game -- a fella who can afford great seats. I can see and taste each blade of manicured grass. The baseball bats. The Cracker Jacks come to me first and are still warm. The prissy lady next to me has a flower in her straw hat. It's all there. It's all here. The diner cup of joe is on my shirt, just another part of my charm.

A very fine representation of Connecticut leaf. This Kafie Cigar is an All-American. Born back in ballsier times. Speaking of: strength is up to a -medium. Profile is a medium, a quite solid one. Construction holds unchanged. Classic and a step above.
NOTES
Now I wanna watch a ballgame. In a month or so, pitchers and catchers will report. About a month after that -- I'll lose interest.

Oh, the cigar? It won't 're-invent' Connie the way everyone seems to want to; but it does allow it to represent itself quite well.

PAIRINGS
Coffee or tea. Cream and sugar in each. Have it post supper with Manischewitz.

FINAL GRADE
****B+****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK
Smooth/Coarse? Smooth
Sweet/Spicy? Sweet
Mouth-feel? Flavored cream and butter
Strength? 4/10
Draw? Goes from medium+ to medium. Good draw
Burn? I could kvetch. Won't
Construction? Nicely done
Primary Note(?)? Sweet cream 

[Please to note the newly re-vamped LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK section.]
EPILOGUE
10:50am
Here's something. I'm now 2/3 of the way through the Kafie 1901 line-up, with only its acclaimed Maduro offering left. I shall smoke it post supper tonight. I went this way because I began at the end, with Kafie's newest blend, the Sumatra, and the plan is to work my way back in time -- a forensic approach to a company's evolution.

I'd have preferred the Maduro in the morn and Connecticut in the evening.

I understand that this is not the common approach. Commonly, folks will do a mild something over morning coffee and a brawny something as a burning digestif once away from and done with the dinner table. Although, tradition be told -- my way is not without its support. So why not give it a shot, gentlepersons?

As always, thanks for reading. If you liked what you read, how's 'bout sharing its link?

No comments: