The inspiration for Old Powder Keg cigars, part of the Battleground Cigar line, owned by Connecticut Valley Tobacconist in the Hazardville section of Enfield, comes from Colonel Augustus Hazard, who owned and operated the Hazard Gun Powder Company which produced 40% of the gun powder used during the Civil War. Up for review today is the aptly named Howitzer.

Cigar Stats: The Old Powder Keg line was re-blended in 2011 and now sports a Dominican and Central American long filler, a Peruvian binder, and a Corojo wrapper. The OPK line was also re-sized and the Howitzer now measures 6.5x56, and retails for $10.

Appearance: The Howitzer is a big, bold beauty, with a medium-brown wrapper, a few average veins, and a toothy, leathery texture, making it look appropriately rustic.

The Smoke: The Howitzer lights easily and immediately produces copious amounts of smoke. The draw is a tad on the loose side but not so much that it affects the smoking experience. There is an initial blast of pepper before settling into a leather and cedar combination. The salt and pepper ash holds for almost two inches before we chicken out and use our ashtray. Roasted almonds and a mild creaminess dominate the middle of the Howitzer, while leather and cedar re-emerge to join the creamy flavor, making for a surprisingly smooth finish, but in the full-bodied range. This last fact we found out when we tried to stand up after finishing this review.

Verdict: You’ll need a full stomach and a fair amount of time for this stick, but we recommend you make the effort. To learn more about the Battleground Cigar line visit

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