For the past three years STUDIO TOBAC has had a sampler that was only available at STUDIO TOBAC events during its yearly tour. During the tour events, box purchases of STUDIO TOBAC cigars got you a sampler along with various other swag, including hats, t-shirts, branded lighters, ashtrays and other various items. Except for a couple of cigars from the samplers that were later released, the only way to get these cigars was from the sampler.
This year the STUDIO TOBAC sampler has taken a little different format, including three previously available cigars and three all new ones. Just like the previous two samplers there are prototypes included; one in the 2011 sampler, two in the 2012 sampler, and two in the 2013 sampler. Today we’re going to be looking at one of those prototypes, the CTP-013.
The prototype blend this year included the CTP-013, which has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, and the SGP-013, which has an Ecuadorian sun grown wrapper. The full list of cigars included in the sampler are:
- Cain Daytona NUb 460
- Cain F 550
- STUDIO TOBAC CTP-013 Toro
- Padilla/STUDIO TOBAC Figurado
- STUDIO TOBAC SGP-013 Toro
- Cain FF Lancero
This is the second year of a Connecticut-wrapped test blend in the sampler. The two are:
- STUDIO TOBAC Prototype Connecticut ST-EFG01 (5 x 50) — 2012
- STUDIO TOBAC CTP-013 (6 x 50) — 2013
The boxes of the samplers are similar to the previous two years and look like this:
- Cigar Reviewed: STUDIO TOBAC CTP-013
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: n/a
- Date Released: April 4, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The wrapper is a beautiful solid raw almond color, smooth with very few visible veins. There is only the slightest give when squeezed and the seams on the wrapper are virtually nonexistent. STUDIO TOBAC prototypes always feature a plain paper band with the name written on them. The simplicity and added touch of what appears to be actual handwriting and not just a copy adds to the feeling of an actual prototype and not a cigar anywhere near regular production. Bringing the cigar to my nose, the aroma coming off the wrapper is sweet grassy notes with a touch of floral notes. After clipping the double cap the cold draw consists of sweet vanilla, more bright grassy notes and the slightest bit of pepper.
The first third of the CTP-013 begins with notes of rich tobacco, more fresh grass, very minor pepper and a touch of vanilla. As I’ve found with almost every Oliva/STUDIO TOBAC product I’ve smoked, the draw is great — right in the middle of the ideal range. The burn isn’t perfect to start out with, but still very even. An inch into the cigar the same flavors persist, with the grassy notes dominating the profile.
The second third continues much as the first, with grass notes at the forefront and a touch of pepper and vanilla in the background. A new light note of caramel has presented itself rounding out the overall sweet, herbaceous profile. The burn has evened up noticeably throughout the second third. Combined with the light grey ash that falls off between half an inch and one inch is proof of the great construction.
We finally see a little more of a shift when we hit the final third of the cigar. It has moved away from the herbaceous grassy profile that has been so dominant throughout. The vanilla and caramel are still there with the slightest bit of pepper, though a new strong note of a light roasted coffee has developed to add nicely to the profile. The cigar continues to be slightly sweet, though perhaps a little less so than previously. With the latest change in flavors and a complete lack of harsh notes I’m able to smoke the cigar to well under the last inch.
- For those that aren’t aware, STUDIO TOBAC is part of Oliva. It represents the Cain and NUb brands.
- Brooks Whittington mentioned that there was not a lot of smoke in his review of the SGP-013. I experienced plenty, though not overly much.
- As I mentioned above, half of the sampler contains cigars that were previously released in some form or another. They include the Cain Daytona NUb 460, the Cain F 550 and the Padilla/STUDIO TOBAC Figurado.
- Unintentionally, since some of these were released well before this sampler, it appears that with this cigar I will have reviewed three out of the six cigars in this sampler.
- I’m honestly not sure why I don’t smoke more Connecticuts. Every time I pick up a good Connecticut wrapped cigar I find myself enjoying it, though most of the cigars I buy seem to have darker wrappers.
- The CTP in the name refers to Connecticut Prototype and the 013 refers to the year, 2013.
- Interestingly, STUDIO TOBAC seems to have changed the exact name of last year’s Connecticut prototype. When we first reported on it, it was “ST-003,” it got released as “ST-EFG01.” The actual size of the cigar seems to be the same.
- Last year’s blend was supposed to be released some time this year as a regular production release, that has not happened yet.
- This is the last cigar in the sampler that has yet to be reviewed.
- If you are interested in picking up a sampler, the list of events is here. You can also leave a comment for a chance to win one we are giving away.
- This cigar was provided by Oliva/STUDIO TOBAC.
- Final smoking time averaged just under two hours.
Let’s start out with the good news - this is an enjoyable cigar and if you can get your hands on a sampler then I’m going to guess you’ll enjoy it. Unfortunately, the bad news is that right now the only way to get these is in the sampler. The construction of the cigar was fantastic, which isn't a surprise given Oliva and STUDIO TOBAC’s track record. The flavor profile of the cigar was not only full of specifically good flavors, but they all meshed together nicely as well. I can’t say this is cigar of the year, but it’s definitely a good one and if I could get my hands on more I would smoke this fairly regularly. So, if you have a STUDIO TOBAC event coming up in your area, drop by, pick up your favorite box of cigars and try the sampler out for yourself.