A couple of weeks ago reader JoshK left a comment on my review of the Griffin’s XXIII 2007 asking how it compared to the regular line. Today I decided to review the Griffin’s Classic No. 500 to answer that question. The Griffin’s website has the following to say,
When Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1492, he wrote with great revere: «This island» (which he later named «La Hispaniola»), «is a wonder of nature. The mountain ranges and the hills, the valleys and rivers, the meadows and fields, all hold a unique beauty and charm. The grounds are unusually fertile. Anyone who sees it once, will never want to leave». Later, Spain gave this land the name Santo Domingo; today it is called «Republica Dominicana».
The tobacco plants for the Griffin’s cigars are harvested in the Cibao valley, the most fertile area on the island. For over 500 years the tradition of tobacco cultivation has been carried on and thanks to the excellent climatic conditions, guarantees impeccable quality.
The name «The Griffin’s» is a guarantee of fine premium cigars from the Dominican Republic. The superior quality is ensured through careful checking and selection processes covering everything from the tobacco seeds to the finished cigars. The cigars from the Cibao valley sporting the characteristic griffin logo, with their filler consisting of three different Santo Domingo tobaccos from different harvests, are hand-rolled by torcedores. Cigar compositions from The Griffin’s exert a fascinating attraction – just like the mythical heraldic beast on their band. A warranty seal on the boxes vouches for quality and authenticity.”
Cigar: The Griffin’s
Size: 5.16 x 42 (#500 / Corona)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Appearance and Construction (18/20): The Ecuadorian Connecticut seed wrapper on this cigar has changed over the years in my eyes. When the wrapper was originally grown in the USA I remember the color being a bit more tan. Now is has a rich golden brown color with some visible oils. There are very few veins present here and not one of them stand out as an eye sore. The roll is excellent and the cap is well placed. The foot of the cigar is slightly spongy and there are no soft spots on the rest of the stick. The band reminds you of Davidoff which isn’t surprising since these are made at the same factory. Its colors of white, gray and gold with the Griffin logo give it a luxury feel.
Flavor & Notes (26/30): The pre light draw has some buttery notes with a touch of earth. The foot of the cigar is earthy to the nose. Once the cigar is lit you quickly realize that even though this is a mild cigar it is very flavorful. The first third reveals to the smoker some earth, but that serves as a canvas in which cedar and nuts are dominant. As we smoke through the second third the cigar has a creaminess to it and earth takes hold as the dominant note with some nut notes as well. The final third of the cigar continues to be smooth and a couple of times I picked up a note that reminded me of popped corn (that is a new one for me!). The finish was a nice combination of cedar and nuts.
Smoking Characteristics (23/25): The Griffin’s No. 500 offers a wonderful burn never once wavering. It burned nice and slow with its medium colored ash holding strong despite a little bit of flake. The draw was flawless and it produced a nice amount of smoke even when resting.
Overall (22/25): These cigars are a bit pricey but that is because you are paying for the fact they are made by Davidoff. There are some other mild cigars out there for cheaper but when it comes down to it they really don’t compare. A very enjoyable smoke that should sell for less but then again we do not live in a perfect world.