Brand: Henry Clay
Line: War Hawk
Size: Toro (6 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Cigars for this review were provided by: Altadis USA
Quick note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system
The Henry Clay War Hawk is the first in a planned three part series of cigars that is being called the Immortal Trio. War Hawk is a nod to Henry Clay’s role in spearheading the movement that eventually lead to the war of 1812. Clay was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the early 1800s. War Hawk was a term that emerged during this period of American history and is now used in political circles to refer to someone who favors war as the ultimate option to resolve any conflict. The cigar is available in three different vitolas: Corona (5.5 x 44), Robusto (5 x 54), and Toro (6 x 50).
The wrapper was a khaki brown color that appeared a bit darker than the typical connecticut shade wrapper. There were some noticeable veins but the cigar retained a very smooth overall appearance. The prelight draw had notes of straw/hay with some sweetness and a slight musty barnyard quality. There was also some natural tobacco notes that carried a touch of spice. The draw on this cigar was just where I like it with some resistance but not too much.
After lighting the cigar the first puffs had a surprisingly strong amount of black pepper spice. There was a dark earthy flavor profile that I don’t normally associate with connecticut wrapper cigars too. The retrohale had a strong level of black pepper spice but there was also a very creamy quality at the same time. I found that the finish of the cigar was similar to a mild hot sauce lingering on the palate. About half way through the first third the spice level backed off giving way creamy and cedar wood flavors that are more traditionally associated with connecticut wrapper cigars. The first third was medium plus in strength and had medium to full flavors.
The transition into the second third was very distinct as the cigar moved firmly into the creamy and cedar wood flavor profile. That dark earthy component from the first third was gone now, and replaced by some baking spice qualities with a touch of cinnamon. These flavors reminded me of fresh baked bread and pastries. There was still some spice at this point but it had more of a warming quality on the palate compared to the first third. The retrohale was very creamy while retaining a touch of black pepper spice. The second third was medium strength and had medium flavors.
Going into the final third many of the more distinct flavors from the second third start to fade. The overall flavor profile of the cigar at this point was very creamy with wood and cedar in the forefront. The baking spice and bread qualities form earlier were barely noticeable but also provided for a nice background note that helped balanced everything out. The final third was medium strength and had medium flavor.
Total smoking time was about 1 hour 40 minutes.
I enjoyed this cigar very much. I thought that the first third was particularly impressive followed by a very enjoyable middle third. The final third was very much in line with my expectations for this type of connecticut wrapper cigar, making it a little less interesting, but still very enjoyable and provided a very easy going end to the smoking experience. Overall, I think this cigar is one that most people will enjoy, and I look forward to smoking more of them.
Jason’s rating: 92 (AKA “Box Split”)