Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Size: Churchill 7 x 50
Retail Price: $70-$80 for a box of 18
C & C Cigars debuted at the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show. The brouhaha about this cigar is that Joe Chiusano wanted to present a high premium cigar at budget prices. A lot of people have gone down this road….with not much success. The biggest issue is usually a cigar that takes months and months of humidor aging before it has any character. And we guys are an impatient lot. We want instant gratification. We want to be able to remove the cello from the stick, light it up, and go, “Ahhhh…..”
Well the Corojo comes close. I bought a box. This was not a sampler provided by the manufacturer. I opened and smoked a Churchill on the same day it arrived. I tasted great potential but a not ready for prime time cigar…quite yet. I tried again in a couple of weeks and magic had happened. A spicy, complex cigar arose from the ashes of the UPS truck.
And then two weeks later, Voila! An excellent cigar that would match any $10 stick I can think of.
Chiusano and his ex-Davidoff team of Jeff Aronson, Maurice Tisseur, and my new buddy, Shane Hays….cooked up 3 blends that are made in the DR. The line, beside the Corojo, is the Maduro and the Connecticut.
The Corojo is somewhat rustic looking. It has a nice orange-ish hue with lots of small veins. It has the traditional Cuban triple cap. The prelight aroma has a slightly sweet graham cracker/manure smell to it. At the foot, it intensifies.
I am smoking a 5 week humidor aged sample. At light up, I get a blast of spice and graham cracker. The first puff deals out some complexity immediately. There is a tad bit of oak, leather, and a red pepper tang.
Because I am smoking a Churchill, the complexity changes slowly as compared to a Robusto. But that’s what I enjoy….the slow, surprising changes in taste and flavor profile.
About an inch in, the spice is tamped down by a sweet molasses and then bread….no, toast. Yes, you can taste toast in a cigar. It has a long finish that has me smacking my lips.
The cigar is a hearty medium body. It starts there and ends there making it a perfect first cigar of the day or a nice change up from the very full body cigars I smoke.
Throughout the saga of the stick, which ended up being 90 minutes...the flavor profile changes oh so delicately and with delightful subtlety.
We were on tour for 6 weeks throughout Europe. For one of those weeks, we were on the same bill as Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House. For you audiophiles out there, you know that Larry is the father of jazz fusion guitar. He broke through commercially with a band you could die for. Alphonse Mouzon was his drummer. The Brecker Brothers was his horn section. Now who the hell thought it a good idea to put him on a bill with us….a progressive rock band with a violin, cutting edge synthesizers and a chick singer along the lines of Stevie Nicks. It was a crazy bill.
Even though the musicians in my band were world class classical musicians, they didn’t know squat about this new musical movement. But I did, because I was the only American in the group. Even Stewart Copeland, (The Police), our drummer, wasn't that familiar. I idolized Larry and his band mates so when one night after the gig he invited us up to his hotel room to shoot the shit and smoke cigars, we all jumped at the chance.
Violinist, with me on bass, behind him
I had been smoking cigars since I was 18. That’s because my dad smoked ‘em and so did his pop. It was DNA impregnated. My band mates smoked cigs and that’s it. They had no idea what was in store for them. I did and chuckled.
Larry passed around GIANT Cubans. Beer and wine was offered and Larry and I dug right in. The others watched our lead as they had never smoked cigars, including the chick singer.
I remember the bliss of that fine cigar and my eyes met Larry’s and we smiled big and laughed out loud. From the peanut gallery, I heard coughing and choking. Again, Larry and I glanced at each other and burst into raucous laughter.
The schmucks did not want to admit they had never smoked a cigar, let alone, a strong Cuban. So they puffed away, occasionally inhaling. They were real dumbasses. So in a matter of minutes I had a bunch of Kermit the Frogs in the room.
But the real funny part was that they began to interview Larry!! Not have a normal conversation; they friggin’ interviewed him because they were so intimidated. Meanwhile, I settled in my hotel chair and puffed away, savoring an expensive cigar.
Larry answered the questions politely, but one at a time, one of the dip shits excused themselves to go to the bathroom where we heard projectile heaving. Larry and I never laughed so hard.
Within 30 minutes, my band had retired to their own hotel bathrooms and Larry and I spent the rest of the night, til dawn, smoking, drinking and telling stories about the “road.”
What a night!
I’m down to the last third and I’m being pummeled by flavors. The spice is a delight. I am a big spice fan. I love the Pete Johnson, Garcia, Bradley, A.Castro stuff. They smack you with pepper. I love that.
The spiciness though in this fine stick never bowls you over. It’s solid. All of the earlier flavors have developed a maturity and depth. They intermingle and swirl around each other right to the end.
I predict big things for this company. Especially since the price point is ridiculous at $4 per stick.
I cannot think of any other $4 stick that comes close to this one.
Good on ya’ boys at C & C.