Due to either limited distribution or limited retailer/consumer interest, Temple Hall Estates lived in the shadow if its big brother Mac—despite being a slightly better smoke, and at a noticeably lower price. It was a treat to find a box of these back in the day.
Packaging is attractive and up to date. Since this was basically a forgotten niche brand to begin with, most folks will probably think it's entirely new. Branding aside, it doesn't look that much different than the old line either. However, construction is a little sloppier than what we've seen in the publicity photos. Check out that cap in the photo above...sure it does it's job, but oy vey is it slapped on without much finesse.
The sizes have been tweaked to better match today's tastes. They also don't have names, at least not yet. There's a 5.5x49 robusto, 6x50 toro, 5.5x54 toro extra and a nice traditional 7.5x49 double corona that should interest fans of the Macanudo Prince Phillip. Unfortunately, these cigars are no longer bargains, coming in just a nickle or dime less than their Macanudo counterparts at between $6.99-$8.49 each. Oh well.
Here's all you need to know. The pre-light aroma is mostly hay. The cigar fires up easily and burns very well requiring little in the way of touch ups. There's just a quick hint of muted zest up front but it immediately settles down to a woody, creamy, buttery smoothness with a slight hint of nuts and a little bit of earth. It's on the mild side of medium, and it's the perfect next step for those looking to baby step from Macanudo to something just a bit more interesting. A bit. If you want something in the same ballpark for 1/3rd the price, try these. If you want to spend twice as much, hit up your local Davidoff store.
As mild cigars go, this is a nice one. Little wonder. General Cigar invented the formula decades ago and is still applying it well to this day. This is a pleasant new take on a classic, if neglected, old brand that has been brought right up to date under the auspices of General's Foundry umbrella.
W: Connecticut Shade
F: DR, Mexico
A very good example of the classic mild, Dominican, Connecticut Shade cigar. A little bumpy and lumpy in appearance but pleasant for the beginner.