During the second hour of The Cigar Authority episode titled, “What is the TAA?” we smoked a cigar called NPD-52S. The only person that knew what it was when we started was David Garofalo. By the end of the show both Ed Sullivan and Barry Stein figured out what the cigar was. We also found out what NPD-52S stood for thanks to a representative for the company who informed us it was “New Product Distribution”. In the end we were all in agreement this was a really good cigar with a lot of flavor to it, and it was something we wanted to smoke again.
That cigar is the Henry Clay War Hawk. Named after Henry Clay, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives. The line War Hawk references how he was the leading voice among several young members of Congress who pressured President James Madison to defend our nation by declaring war against Britain in 1812. Clay believed strongly that military force was the only option left to fight the British. The term War Hawk was coined and is now used in political circles to describe one who favors war as an ultimate resolution of a conflict.
Cigar Review: Henry Clay War Hawk
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: The packaging of the Henry Clay War Hawk is pretty unique with the lid on a track that slides giving it an antique feel. Inside the blonde looking cigars stand out with a dual band. The first being a new take on the traditional Henry Clay band using a nice linen stock paper, while the secondary band denotes with War Hawk in black on a metallic gold background. The Ecuador wrapper is flawless with excellent color and only a few thin veins. In the hand the cigar is hefty with no voids of tobacco.
The Notes: Once we clip the cap there is a nice buttery richness present on the cold draw with a subtle cedar and spice. The foot of the cigar has a subtle apricot note that is almost overshadowed by the amount of pepper present that makes me sneeze. Once the cigar is lit the cigar takes on a nice nutty note of almonds a subtle pepper. Moving further into the first third, the cigar is rich and buttery with continues notes of nuts and a subtle sunflower seed component. The pepper notes from the cold draw barely materialize during the first third.
In the second third some anisette aromas begin to emerge from the cigar as it rests between puffs. The cigar has a subtle cocoa to it, with continues almond notes. It’s rediculously smooth and smokes like a cigar that should be twice the price. The retrohale has a touch of anisette, more almonds and a growing pepper intensity that moves the cigar between mild and medium in perceived intensity.
As we finish the journey the last third sees notes of earth develop with a continued almond sweetness and cocoa. On the retrohale of the Henry Clay War Hawk continues to see some pepper and a touch of anisette remains. The finish of the cigar is smooth, buttery and moderate in length.
The Finish: When we first smoked the Henry Clay War Hawk on the show my initial thought was that this was made at Nestor Plasencia, but it comes from Fabrica La Flor de Copan in Honduras. The cigar is one of the most balanced cigars I’ve smoked and is incredibly flavorful. It’s absolute winner for the brand and is one of my favorite releases for 2019.