Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut Gordo

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In 2012, Perdomo Cigars celebrated its 20th anniversary, and as cigar companies tend to do for such events, it released a cigar line, the aptly named Perdomo 20th Anniversary.

It was launched in two blends, one using a Nicaraguan Sungrown wrapper, the other using a Nicaraguan Maduro, both covering blends of Nicaraguan tobaccos grown on the company’s farms in Condega, Estelí and the Jalapa Valley.

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But as many fans of Perdomo likely noticed, there was one version missing, a Connecticut. The company has frequently released its new lines in variations that make use of all three wrappers, though not in this case. But after four years and a few additions to the other two lines, that would change.

To round out the line of cigars commemorating the company’s 20th anniversary, Perdomo unveiled a Connecticut-wrapped version at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. Unlike its Sungrown and Maduro counterparts, the Connecticut doesn’t get a box-press, as the leaf is too delicate to undergo the process.

The Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut comes in the same seven sizes as the Sungrown and Maduro versions: Churchill (7 x 56, $10), Corona Gorda (6 1/2 x 48, $7.75), Epicure (6 x 56, $8.50), Gordo (6 x 60, $8.67), Pyramid (6 1/2 x 60, $10), Robusto (5 x 56, $8) and Torpedo (6 1/2 x 54, $9).

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut Gordo
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Perdomo
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Vitola: Gordo
  • MSRP: $8.67 (Box of 24, $208)
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The wrapper of the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut is a butterscotch hue that has a golden aspect to it to help give it some visual pop. It’s smooth to the touch with just a bit of texture and a few darker spots. One of the things I’ve found interesting by this wrapper as well as some other Connecticuts used by Perdomo is the vein structure; for some reason it seems particularly distinct here, as there seems to be an abundance of small veins branching out from the larger ones and they are a bit more visible than on other cigars that use Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers. It’s similar if not identical to the vein structure you see on some Cuban cigars, though I’ve been seeing it on more and more Connecticut leaves from several countries. While generally well-rolled, I find the occasional soft spot near the head, but the consistency of these appearances is impressive. An aroma of buttered white bread is the first thing I get from the foot, from there it branches off into sweet cream and crackers. The cold draw advances the aroma into a heartier biscuit or toast note, depending on the sample. It’s chewier with a bit more of a flour base to it, shedding most of the sweetness from the butter, while air flow ranges from good to a bit loose.

Given the Nicaraguan binder and filler, I’m not surprised that by the pepper and earth that’s present in the first puffs, and while I hate the line this isn’t your typical Connecticut, it’s certainly applicable here. There’s a good mouthfeel from the smoke thanks to some underlying pepper and multi-dimensional body, a solid medium that will feel less so if you smoke full bodied cigars regularly or feel a bit more than medium if you stick to the milder side of things. Retrohales match up near perfectly in terms of intensity and provide a complementary balance to what the palate gets, an upfront profile of pepper and toasted white bread. A retrohale detects a slight shift in the pepper heading into the second third as it gets a bit crisper and brighter, adding a slightly floral take on it. Smoke production is solid, the draw has been excellent and the burn line razor sharp.

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Floral pepper isn’t a term I use much in cigar reviews, but the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut has me thinking of it as it enters its second third. In some ways, the aroma makes me think of sourdough bread in the way it hits the nostrils, though the flavor doesn’t quite hit the palate for a few more puffs. The sourdough bread note continues to build, thickening up a bit as pepper moves into a supporting role. The ash gets a bit flakier here as well, and just past the midpoint the cigar picks up an interesting sharpness that isn’t particular sour or metallic, yet is begins to be off-putting fairly quickly. There are a few lulls in the pepper, though they are infrequent, but when they come along they reveal the earthy undertone of the Nicaraguan fillers.

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Pepper has settled down at the start of the final third, leaving an interesting flavor profile that continues to show sourdough bread quite prominently yet has a characteristic that I just can’t place but continue to enjoy. At its cleanest, the cigar offers a flavor that is a mix of pepper and corn flakes with just a bit of sugary glaze, at its more gruff points the Nicaraguan terroir is more prominent and provides a bit of gruffness. The sourdough vanishes quite rapidly in the final two inches, and in its absence a peppery if hard to place flavor comes in that is a bit rough cereal grain, biting wood and varying amounts of earth. The one thing that is saved is the aroma, driven by a rich firewood smell that is comforting on a cool winter evening.

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Final Notes

  • Perdomo recently announced a price increase for 2017 due to FDA regulation and rising manufacturing costs.
  • I’ve been told that there is a Perdomo 25th Anniversary release in the works for 2017, though what that is remains to be seen. Conveniently, Perdomo operates a retail store in Miami Lakes, Fla., so to comply with FDA regulations, it could have been made commercially available there but very under the radar before getting a wider release in 2017. Please note, that is purely speculation on my part.
  • Without faulting this specific cigar, it was a welcome reminder as to why I dislike 6 x 60s so much.
  • I certainly don’t think I needed to smoke the 6 x 60 vitola to get the gist of this blend. I understand that this is a popular vitola, but it is a lot of cigar.
  • Picking on the sizes of this release a bit, calling a 5 x 56 a robusto is silly, in my book. At least call it a robusto gordo.
  • The first cigar smoked developed a crack in the wrapper a bit beyond the midway point, bursting spontaneously before the burn line met it and caused it to split a bit more.
  • Speaking of wrappers, a while back, Nick Perdomo, Jr. put a video on Facebook addressing the question of when to take the band off of a cigar. He argues that it should be done as late in the smoking process as possible so as to prevent any damage to the wrapper, while I am more inclined to take it off as soon as possible.
  • For what it’s worth, I equate leaving the band on a cigar while smoking it to leaving the tag on a suit while wearing it. However, in the case of a thin wrapper like the one used on the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut, I’m a bit more inclined to make an exception. I don’t completely disagree with Nick’s approach, though.
  • Perdomo updated its booth at this year’s trade show, keeping the same theme as previous years but making it bigger and refreshing the look. It ended up winning the best large exhibitor award.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was three hours and 10 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsor Cigar.com carries the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut.
87 Overall Score

Releasing a cigar four years after the event it celebrates seems a bit odd, but in the case of the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut, I'm inclined to say that better late than never is certainly applicable. Each of the three cigars was remarkably consistent, showing the same general strength, progression of flavor and high level of construction. I certainly don't think this 60 ring gauge vitola affords the blend the best format by which to shine, but allows it plenty of room to show what it has to offer.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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