Holt’s Cigar Company – Old Henry
The family and I have been in Texas for just over a week and we are enjoying every ounce of warm weather that we can before we return to the frozen tundra called the Upper Peninsula this coming Wednesday. Since I was unable to get a review up last week, I decided to take a break from my family vacation with a little alone time with an Old Henry from Holt’s Cigar Company.
Upon the passing of Holt’s mascot in 2006, a Bulldog named Old Henry, the Old Henry brand was created to remember the company’s best friend. Blended by Jose “Pepin” Garcia, Old Henry cigars have been available for the better part of a decade with four different wrapper options: Nicaraguan Corojo, Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, Connecticut, and Ecuadorian Sumatra (Pure Breed).
Available vitolas of the original Old Henry include: Runt (4 /12 by 42), Corona (5 ½ by 44), Robusto (5 ½ by 50), Belicoso (5 ½ by 52), Toro (6 by 52), Champion (6 ½ by 56), and Churchill (7 by 48). Thanks goes out to the Holts team for sending these our way to review. You can purchase your own by visiting their site here.
Samples Provided by Holt’s Cigar Company
Price: $5.50 per single | $99.95 per box of 25
Size: 6 by 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
The Old Henry wears a medium brown Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper that contains several medium to large veins, noticeable seams, scattered bumps, and a few color variations. From head to foot, the Old Henry is packed evenly and remains stiff as I pinch it between my fingers.
The wrapper gives off a combination of manure, earth, and cocoa, while the foot shows off a hefty pepper spice, chocolate covered cherries, and some deep earth notes. The triple cap does its job, but in a not overly pretty way. Upon clipping the cap, flavors of rich cedar, cinnamon, pepper, and cardboard greet my palate.
Opening with flavors on the low side of medium, the Old Henry shows off rich, sweet cedar, an earthiness, dark red fruit, and pepper. The spice heat is mild to medium allowing the smoke to be easily retro-haled at this point. A wavy burn with a couple of sharp edges is leaving behind a light gray ash. So far, the burn seems to be self-correcting.
Pulling into the second third of Holt’s Old Henry, the flavor remain consistent with the prior third with some development within the earth notes that have become more of a damp earth and a leather quality has joined into the mix. The sweetness is still holding strong and providing a nice balance to the deep earth notes. Earth and pepper lingers on the finish of the smoke. Right at the halfway point, a major shift takes places in terms of body and strength with both stepping up to medium/full. A portion of the wrapper required some assistance to get the burn back in-line.
Considering where the cigar began, I am surprised to find the strength creeping up on me. Once again, it is the earth flavor that had the most significant change becoming more diesel like. While the sweet woodsy notes are still around, they are getting pushed back. The retro-hale remains easy on the sinuses and an very enjoyable part of the experience. A second quick touch-up was required before closing out the cigar.
You never know what to expect from house brands even when they come from reputable companies. But seeing Pepin’s name behind the blend, my expectation were immediately high. And all those expectations were exceeded. The profile featured a nice mixture of sweet woodsy flavors that were easy and soft on the palate, combined with heavier flavors of earth, leather, and pepper. The play between the sweet and dark flavors created an excellent mixture that fit my palate. However, I would not classify the Old Henry as complex, but solid from start to finish. Two touch-ups were required throughout the hour and a half smoke, but with everything else working out for the cigar, fixing the burn a couple times didn’t really matter. For just over $5, this may be the best bang for the buck cigar that I have smoked all year.