Wrapper:  Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder:  Ecuadorian Corojo and Jalapa Habano (2 binders)
Filler: Dominican CorojoCondegan Criollo ’98 (Nicaragua)
Brand:  PDR Flores y Rodriguez
Factory:  PDR Cigars
Price Range:  $15-$19
Availability:  Somewhat limited (27,000 cigars)
Was this review helpful?  [ratings]

Connecticut Valley Reserve – First Thoughts

I smoked one of these back when it was cold and my thoughts were somewhat mixed.  I had heard great things about it and really wanted to enjoy it, but couldn’t help feel that it was overpriced.

The cigar itself is nothing short of beautiful.  Everything is working for it, including the foot band that I want to dislike but can’t.  Seeing these cigars on the shelf in a lounge is also impressive – saw it for the first time at the Underground last week and the box is it’s own showcase.

v

The look, feel, and smell of this cigar is pure quality.

Connecticut Valley Reserve – First Third

Earth, Cocoa Powder, Spice, Coffee, Wood, Earth, Nuttiness, Charred Meat, Burnt Popcorn, Chocolate, Cherry

The very first few puffs are of earth and cocoa powder.  Mild spice lingers between draws with a subtle sinus kick through the nose.

Several things are happening at roughly half an inch into this cigar.  Coffee, wood, earth, nuttiness, spice, and charred meat come together to form a semi-interesting experience.  There’s an underlying sweetness that I can’t quite pinpoint but milk chocolate resonates if I had to label it.  Charred meat quickly establishes itself as the dominant flavor.

Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve Review First Third

The smoke output of this cigar has to be my favorite quality so far.  Thankfully I’m outside, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see for this review.  The mouthfeel of the smoke is also noteworthy.  It’s slightly oily and coats the palate.  And yet, while the smoke is billowing on the porch, it doesn’t translate into the draw.  I keep feeling like it’s moments away from going out.

At an inch in, the chocolate factor begins developing more relevant flavor to combat the charred meat and, sometimes, burnt popcorn notes.  Towards the end of the first third, hints of cherry come and go also. It started with an odd “wtf” moment as something sour came through, then evolved to tart cherry, then more of a subdued cherry flavor.

Connecticut Valley Reserve – Second Third

Charred Meat, Ammonia, Raisin Bran, Bitter Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Whipping Cream, Bread

After dropping the ash, I just tried removing the secondary band by sliding it off.  Nope!  Just like the foot band these little bastards are stuck like chuck.

The second third hasn’t began like I wanted it to.  Initial puffs were of charred meat with a slight ammonia presence.    The charred meat with intermittent burnt popcorn linger for a while.  Eventually a raisin bran sweetness develops on the finish.

Bitter black coffee is emerging as well.  Reminds me of breakfast in high school:  coffee and raisin bran.  And just like that, our out-of-place sour note comes back in.  Those memories were short-lived, though, as bitter coffee quickly takes the wheel.

Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve Review 2nd Third

Relight.  Smells like hotdogs on the porch. 

Surprisingly, this cigar just got better after a relight.  Now we’re talking dark chocolate, heavy whipping cream, and the faintest trace of some sort of bread.

Connecticut Valley Reserve – Last Third

Soft Chocolate, Cream, Peanuts, Oak

Oddly enough, the last third may just may be my favorite.  Immediately I’m hit with soft chocolate notes, cream, and a tiny bit of weak coffee. Bitterness, for whatever reason, has exited stage left.  Thankfully.  Right this moment it’s like smoking a homemade latte.

Peanuts work their way into the mix right before I have to stoke it back to life with more flame.

On a side note, I’ve paired the Connecticut Valley Reserve with a Chocolate Stout, Rum, Coffee, Water, and Bourbon.  Coffee seems to be the best choice even though I would’ve guessed that the Chocolate Stout would perform the best.

Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve Review Last Third

Relight.  Again.  The last third seems to be having serious issues staying lit and seems consistent with the only other Connecticut Valley Reserve I’ve smoked.

It’s no surprise that we’ve taken a bitter turn again.  Through the cloud of bitterness, oak emerges and plays off bitter chocolate, other nuances of wood, and cream until the end.

Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve Robusto
7.8 Reviewer
6.9 Cigar Noise Network (2 votes)
Pros

Beautiful Presentation

Cons

Priced out of it's League

Multiple relights

Summary
I wanted to like this cigar. It's a favorite in the CigarNoise app and looks like a million bucks. But at the end of the day, the Connecticut Valley Reserve has failed to deliver twice. The last third, my favorite, would likely never have been experienced if I wasn't smoking for review purposes.
Value
Burn
Draw
Flavor
Enjoyment
What Other Folks Are Saying: 2 Make some Noise
Flores y Rodriguez Tamboril Connecticut Valley Reserve
Is Lumpy bumpy oily Maduro wrapped robusto with an initial cold draw flavor of chocolate and Band-Aid. The draw is too firm and it takes several strong Puffs to get much smoke. what smoke I do get tastes of chocolate cinnamon Earth and iodine. The smoke is Rich, full-bodied and creamy. The burn is somewhat ragged owing I'm sure to the firm draw. The ashes firm, those somewhat flaky. At 1 3rd Way, the burn is straight though the draw is still too firm. A toasted bread flavor enters at the half and the smoke thins out. The burn waivers again. Pepper enters the flavor palette now and smoke increases. This cigar has potential but issues with construction Hold It Back. I'd like to try another to see if this one is an anomaly.
September 23, 2018, 10:26 pm
Value5
Burn7
Draw4
Flavor8
Enjoyment6
0
0
Enjoyable smoke
The is cigar is a great blend all around. From the oily dark maduro wrapper. To the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua blend. This is a Medium-bodied stick with flavors of cinnamon, cedar, leather, and dark chocolate. (from what I can taste) This cigar is not an every day smoke for me because of the price, but it's good to treat yourself every once in a while.
March 30, 2016, 11:56 pm
Value6.3
Burn8.2
Draw7.1
Flavor7.9
Enjoyment9
0
1
Make some Noise

Lets Connect

Dave West

Editor and Contributor at CigarNoise
Identifying as a Cigar Enthusiast more than an Aficionado, I enjoy trying new cigars and attempting to annotate my experience. Disclosure: As of June 2017, I began writing for SmallBatchCigar.com and will no longer be reviewing SBC exclusives
Lets Connect