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Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale

When Altadis U.S.A. introduced the Henry Clay War Hawk in 2019, the company made it clear there were plans for more cigars. War Hawk is the first in what is supposed to be the Immortal Trio Series, which refers to three 19th century American politicians, one of which was Henry Clay.

The second line of those cigars came out in July 2020—the Henry Clay War Hawk Rebellious Limited Edition—and there was another new addition to the Immortal Trio Series earlier this year, though it’s not necessarily what I was expecting. Rather than rounding out the series, the company first created an exclusive vitola of the original War Hawk for STOGIES World Class Cigars of Houston.

It’s the Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale, a 6 3/4 x 42 parejo, that keeps the same blend as the original: an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over a Connecticut broadleaf binder and Honduran fillers. There are 180 boxes of 25 cigars being produced and the cigar carries a pretty affordable—at least by 2021 standards—MSRP of $7.75 per cigar.

  • Henry Clay War Hawk Corona (5 1/2 x 44) — 2019 — Regular Production
  • Henry Clay War Hawk Robusto (5 x 54) — 2019 — Regular Production
  • Henry Clay War Hawk Toro (6 x 50) — 2019 — Regular Production
  • Henry Clar War Hawk Lonsdale (6 3/4 x 42) — 2021 — 180 Boxes of 25 Cigars (4,500 Total Cigars)

I asked a representative from Altadis U.S.A. if the company had plans for more exclusive Henry Clay War Hawk vitolas and I was told not at this time. Also, the final release in the Immortal Trio Series has not yet been announced.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: La Flor de Copan
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Filler: Honduras
  • Length: 6 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $7.75 (Box of 25, $193.75)
  • Release Date: June 3, 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 180 Boxes of 25 Cigars (4,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

While Connecticut-wrapped cigars may not be for everyone, they sure are pretty. The Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale has a great golden-colored wrapper that is extremely uniform in color, though the vein structure is quite obvious. The aroma from the wrapper is medium-plus with four flavors standing out to me: barnyard, creaminess, peanut shells and something that smells like the aroma of dark chocolate. The foot is a bit more intense with a sweet chocolate sensation over black licorice, nuttiness and some herbal notes. While the cold draw is medium-full, the flavors I pick up don’t last very long time-wise. There’s a sharp wasabi-like pepper on my tongue, though the stronger sensations are black licorice and sweet chocolate. Underneath, I find touches of fruitiness, barnyard, earthiness and creaminess, though the latter only shows up a few seconds after I’ve pulled on the unlit cigar.

The first puff of the Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale is very similar to the cold draw: medium-full in intensity, though the flavors don’t last very long. I pick up flavors similar to French bread, earth and fruit. Eventually, the classic Connecticut flavors find their ways upfront with the two strongest sensations being nuttiness and creaminess. Underneath the pair is saltiness and a building amount of black pepper. It leads to a chewy finish with notes of creaminess, nuttiness, black pepper and hints of barnyard. Retrohales add both sweetness and sourness, though the main flavor is earthiness over some bread. I find the retrohales to be a bit mushier than the rest of the flavors, everything is slightly off and the individual flavors are more distant from one another. Retrohales finish with a sensation that reminds me of raspberry muffins, though there are some mineral flavors, saltiness and black pepper. Flavor is full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium. Much like other cigars of this size, the smoke production can be surprisingly plentiful so long as I don’t take too long in between puffs. Construction is otherwise great with a very dark burn line and even chunks of inch-long ash developing.

It takes a bit more than two inches, but eventually the War Hawk has a very noticeable profile shift. While there are some remnants of the first third—the nuttiness has transformed into a more distinct peanut shell flavor and creaminess remains—earthiness and something that reminds me of cheaper white rice take over as the main flavors. I also get leather and mushroom, though neither are consistent puff-to-puff. The finish has nuttiness, a distinct pizza crust flavor, and some white pepper, though black pepper is all over my throat, though not gaining in intensity. Retrohales are similar to the first third, though a bit more compact. There’s nuttiness, raspberry, cedar and some green pepper. On one cigar, I find something that reminds me of Lemonhead candy. It finishes with meatiness, bread, leather, saltiness and creaminess. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus. Construction remains excellent.

The compacting of the profile continues in the final third of the Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale. Things are a lot more similar to the first third thanks to French bread, cedar, nuttiness and a little bit more black pepper. The finish seems to have more cinnamon than black pepper, but my throat seems coated in black pepper due to a build-up throughout the cigar. Sometimes the finish is a bit fruitier, but the main flavors are white bread and creaminess. Retrohales have nuttiness, French bread and some darker meat sauce flavors. The finish seems to be a combination of what I found in the second third’s retrohale finish and the changes into the final third. There’s more lemon, some toastiness and nuttiness. To be honest, it reminds me a bit of cologne. The most notable sensation continues to be the black pepper, which seems to be building more and more in my throat. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus, though it’s getting close to medium-full. Construction remains great on two cigars, though one cigar needs some touch-ups to help with smoke production.

Final Notes

  • For those not up to date on their 19th century congressional history, Henry Clay, the man, served as both the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Secretary of State. He also received electoral college votes and served as a senator.
  • The Immortal Trio, also known as the Great Triumvirate, refers to Clay along with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. All three served as Secretary of State and in the U.S. Senate.
  • Henry Clay, the cigar brand, is one of the more dormant brands in the large Altadis U.S.A. portfolio. Not too long ago it consisted of a single blend, noted for its Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.
  • Given that a lot of manufacturers choose to make lanceros in 40 ring gauge, whereas many lonsdales are 44 ring gauge, this vitola could pass as either a lonsdale or petite lancero.
  • There are few retailers I associate with a specific vitola, but STOGIES is one of them. The store has commissioned over a dozen—and probably closer to two dozen—exclusive lanceros through its H-Town Series.
  • I mention this quite often when reviewing Connecticut-wrapped cigars, but this wouldn’t be the cigar I would give a new smoker. While the lighter wrapper cigars are oftentimes blended to have less nicotine strength, the flavors that emerge aren’t the easiest for someone looking for a “mild cigar.” Specifically, the combination of creaminess and black pepper seems to only extenuate the latter, making it seem spicier than it might be if there were was less of a contrast.
  • While I was pretty confident that this cigar had an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, I would have failed in guessing the rest of the blend. I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of blends, but this three country combination—in this order—has to be unique.
  • I seem to be finding a lot more saltiness in cigars than I have previously. I’m not sure what’s causing this as I don’t go into a cigar reviewing trying to find saltiness or any other flavors. My diet hasn’t changed, which would be another obvious cause.
  • Both Altadis U.S.A. and STOGIES World Class Cigars advertise on halfwheel.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 15 minutes, though I probably could have extended it out another half hour without trying too hard.
  • Site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars is the only place to purchase the Henry Clay War Hawk Lonsdale.

Overall Score

While this might be one of the simpler blends on paper, it delivers a ton of flavor. If you like the combination of nuttiness, creaminess and black pepper—this will be right up your alley. It’s a bit less earthy than I’ve found the regular production vitolas of this blend to be and seems to be a tad bit stronger, at least by the end of the cigar. I doubt this will be one of the cigars I think about when I think of a STOGIES exclusive, but if you put them all on the table and ask me to smoke them one by one, I’m guessing I’ll pick this one before at least half the cigars on the table. 

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