Named after a state senator, Speaker of the House, and Secretary of State, Henry Clay was a big proponent of American expansion by using tools of war, hence the nickname #Warhawk. Henry Clay cigars have been around for some time. Originally a Cuban brand, it is now owned by Altadis USA. Their Warhawk version is a stronger iteration in their line with a Honduran filler, a Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and a smooth Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper.
Initial Light and first 3rd
As most Light or Claro colored cigars, its outer leaf shows quite a bit of its seems and veins. As delicate as the leaf may be, it has a nice texture to it. Prelight ventilation is right at an 8, not too tough nor too easy. Early on taste of roasted nuts…even nutshells, grassiness, and a slight earth note. With about an inch left, I get a wonderful transition into sweet creamy almond, vanilla, and oak in the first 3rd that smooths out those earlier flavors.
The Warhawk amplifies those earthy and nutty notes and adds coffee to the profile here. The back end taste has notes of some spice that is a light black pepper; not too hot. The retrohale hits the nostrils with white pepper that gently gives the cigar an uptick in strength. Here you have a duality of sweet pie crust and savory coffee, wood, and spice. The burn is even but I had to relight twice.
The creamy notes are still very present, however, this portion is different than the creaminess mentioned in the first 3rd. The smoke is buttery and smooth but the flavors are moving towards dark tartness. The cigar is heavy in coffee and earth now. In addition, I’m also picking up salty notes. All in all, this is a surprisingly layered smoke with complexity and medium to full strength. Good with a strong coffee or an aged whiskey. We all know the common stereotype that light in color means light in flavor. Well, that’s just freaking wrong