Bite Size Review: My Father El Centurion H-2K-CT
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: If it has Pepin Garcia’s name on it or even his influence, it’s gonna be really good. Not only has he built one of the strongest brands, in only 15 years mind you, his influence is felt in almost every corner of the cigar cosmos – just ask the guys over at La Aroma de Cuba.
In 2007, the original El Centurion line was launched as a limited production run and was rarely seen outside of My Father special events. The blend was reformulated in 2013 with a Criollo ‘98 wrapper and is the version available today. Needing a test mule for his new hybrid wrapper, Garcia cloaked the El Centurion in a sun-grown, 2000 wrapper grown from a hybrid Cuban Habano seed in the land of insurance, Mystic Pizza and Yale University – Yup, Connecticut. Really, the first of its kind. Hence the acronym, H-2K-CT.
Garcia tweaked the original all-Nicaraguan El Centurion blend a bit to achieve the desired strength and profile and voila, the El Centurion H-2K-CT was born. Garcia launched the super secret box pressed blend at the IPCPR show in 2015. Keeping some of the original exclusivity, the H-2K-CT comes in only 2 vitolas, a toro and corona.
Once again, Garcia’s innovation paid off with the H-2K-CT scoring ratings in the 90s and a 2017 Top 25 Cigar nod from Cigar Aficionado. The Midas touch. I’m a personal fan of the original El Centurion, so it was a no brainer we were going to test drive the H-2K-CT. The banding is very eye-catching and typical of the Garcia brand.
Soft, seamless and solid our H-2K-CT highlighted the masterful Garcia roll in its milk chocolate hybrid skin. Lots of chocolate, honey and wood aromas delight the nose and palate, but the draw is on the tight side and doesn’t improve much over time.
The initial profile smacks of the original El Centurion blend highlighted by generous amounts of black pepper, a light spice and cream. The H-2K-CT adds in some leather and wood as well as a savory, smoky mesquite finish. There are nice intonations of graham cracker, oats and honey and while there is little complexity, the balance is solid.
Transitions feature more woody and earthy profiles with the predictable uptick in strength and body; however, the H-2K-CT retains an ultra-smooth character throughout. Combustion issues occur early on, but occasional uneven burns, while annoying, do not get out of hand and overall combustion improves over time. This is definitely a keeper, but even the H-2K-CT’s unique aspects can’t balance the shortcomings in draw, burn, overall complexity and higher price point. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The H-2K-CT wrapper is a hybrid Habano tobacco grown in the Connecticut River Valley.
- Profile: Med – Full
- Vitola: Toro [Box Press]
- Length/ Ring Gauge: 6″ x 52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Hybrid H-2K-CT [Habano 2000 Connecticut]
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Cutter: Colibri V
- Lighter: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $10
- Humidor Age: 6 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Corona [5.5′ x 48]
Build: Soft to touch; solid but not hard; seamless; light tooth; semi veiny; nice cap & press; strong ash.
Draw: Fair – on the tight side.
- Shaft – Milk chocolate, honey
- Foot – Cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – Honey, wood
- Initial: Black pepper, cream, light spice, leather and wood; long, smoky mesquite finish; hints of honey, oats and graham cracker on retro; more espresso on finish late.
- Transition: Smoky, savory woody profile highlighted by black pepper; charred brisket finish; caramel notes on retro; profile becomes more earthy.
- Transition: Heavy earth profile; cedar tang on finish with woody intonations throughout.
Touch ups: None
Combustion: Good initially – gets much better
Weaknesses: Lack of complexity for majority of smoke; mediocre transitions; tight draw
Recommend: 2. 5-packer
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- 3rd stringer (keep 1 on hand)
- Smoke a banana instead