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The White Band Project 2010 is the second annual blind review project between Matt’s Cigar Journal and Zen & the Art of the Cigar. You can read about the project, its criteria and rules by clicking here.

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Cigar number 2 has a wrapper that is pretty easy to identify visually. It is a Connecticut Shade wrapper. I’m not sure if it is Connecticut grown or Ecuadorian. I measured the cigar and it is 6.5 inches long. The ring gauge appears to be about 44 or 46 which makes this cigar a Lonsdale. I guess it could be a Churchill but usually they are a full 7 inches and the ring gauge usually a little thicker so I am sticking with calling it a Lonsdale which just happens to be my favorite size. The wrapper is smooth and buttery looking. The color is uniform and it has very few veins on it. Looking at the cigar I immediately thought of an Ashton 8-9-8. Lets light it up and see what it tastes like.

It had a spicy aroma to it when I smelled it before lighting, which made me second guess the Ashton idea. The pre-light draw was perfect and delivered a light spice to the palate. The first draw upon lighting it was a nice hit of black pepper but it immediately mellowed out and was smooth and creamy. It had strong notes of cafe au lait and hints of leather. The flavors were strong and robust for a CT wrapped cigar. It was silky smooth like an Ashton but much more robust than I would would expect one to be. The flavors continued to build with notes of coffee, cream, leather and an occasional spicy bite. The smoke and the flavors felt buttery on the tongue. The smoke was thick with a rich aroma. The last third was almost full bodied with coffee and black pepper and leather yet it remained smooth and creamy at the same time. This wasn’t your typical Connecticut shade cigar.

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The construction on this cigar was superb. The burn was perfect as was the draw. The ash was firm and held for over two inches. It was a decently complex cigar, medium bodied with excellent well balanced flavors. I really enjoyed this cigar and I believe I smoked this one before. I have a suspicion on what it might be but I am going to hold off and wait until I smoke the next cigar before I come to any conclusions about it. Since I know that all these cigars are made by the same manufacturer I am hoping the next cigar will help me to confirm my suspicions. Of course it may only serve to confuse me but we’ll see.

Check out the review of Cigar #1 at Zen & the Art of the Cigar.

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