My Father El Centurion H-2K- CT
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
I have been meaning to get to this review for a while now, but the incessantly lousy weather here in the PNW has made getting that done problematic. With a narrow window of decent – or at least not really crappy – weather breaking my way, I’m sitting down with the El Centurion H-2K-CT from My Father Cigars, so enough with the excuses.
First introduced in 2007 by Jose “Don Pepin” Garcia, the original El Centurion was a limited edition release that quickly took on legendary status. In 2013, My Father Cigars re-introduced the brand with a bit of a different blend of tobaccos and a lower price point. This year they have added to the brand with a line called El Centurion H-2k-CT, but where one might think that the CT signifies a shade grown Connecticut wrapper, it actually is draped in a Cuban seed hybrid Habano 2000 tobacco sun-grown in Connecticut. It comes in two box pressed sizes, a 5 1/2×48 Corona and a 6×52 Toro. My Father is apparently the exclusive owner of this particular leaf, and that in itself piqued my interest in it, so I picked up a few of them from our friends at Cuena Cigars to test drive.
Wrapper: Connecticut USA Sun-grown Habano 2000 (H-2K-CT)
Size: Corona 5 1/2x 48 box press
Price: $7.60; $7.10 by the box of 20
Smoking time: One hour, twenty five minutes
Pairing: Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale (8.3% ABV)
The El Centurion H-2K-CT comes in a uniformly medium brown wrapper with a slight orange tinge. The matte leaf shows minimal veins and slight toothiness and is a bit spongy in a few spots, leading to the signature My Father triple cap. The soft rectangular box-press is extremely comfortable in the hand. The ornate bands of gold, red, and brown on a manila background, as well as the dark gold foot band, coordinate very well with the color of the wrapper. It gives off a slight mossy barnyard scent, while the foot shows tobacco, wood, light spice and faint cocoa. A shallow snip of the cap results in an ideal draw with the right amount of resistance for me, and shows just a light sweet tobacco and faint cedar.
Right out of the gate, the El Centurion H-2K-CT displays a smooth mouthful of sweet cedar, light earth, and atouch of baking spices. There is very little, if any, of the trademark Pepin/My Father pepperiness on the palate, although it can be felt on the retrohale. The burn has started out at a slant, but is rapidly evening itself out, leaving behind a solid light gray ash, and by the three-quarter inch mark is razor sharp and dead even. Pepper does begin to show up in the now medium bodied smoke, as does a small amount of background char, and the ash taps off at a good 1 1/4”.
As the H-2K-CT enters the second portion, I am already forced to remove the secondary band, but one thing I have always appreciated about My Father is that their bands are always come off easily and cleanly. The flavors have deepened and a citrus-like tang has joined in to play nicely with the overall sweetness of the cigar. The main flavors bob and weave, in and out, back and forth, keeping things interesting, and pepper lingers on the back of the palate.
Entering the home stretch, the El Centurion H-2K-CT has bumped up into the medium-full range, while the strength is at a solid medium and inching up, and the flavors continue to intensify, adding a bit of leather to the mix. The pepper is now much more of a presence, but is not harsh, and things continue on their merry way down to the final inch.
I found the El Centurion H-2K-CT to be an enjoyable experience which affords some great flavors and decent complexity and transitions, and the price makes it very much affordable. There is definitely some nicotine there, but it is not overwhelming in any way. Construction was great, as I only had one very minor touch-up, which was more aesthetic than practical, and no thought of a re-light. I certainly plan to smoke more of this one.
Seattle’s iconic Elysian Brewing was sold last year to AB InBev (boo!), but is still putting out beers very much worth picking up on. Their winter seasonal strong ale called Bifrost clocks in at 7.5% ABV, and shows sweet orange zest, pine, and even a bit of apricot with a good bittering finish in a medium body. It would probably go better with the H-2K-CT if it weren’t so cold outside that it finished up even more chilled than when I poured it straight out of the refrigerator, lol, but yes, the flavors did match up well with the cigar.