Cigar Review: Gran Reserva Gran Habano #3
It seems like this year Gran Habano Cigars got the first new stick on the market with the Gran Reserva Gran Habano #3 cigar. The stick features a wrapper aged 8 with the binder and filler aged for 7 years. According to a local retailer he said each year the company will release a limited production cigar. Today’s stick was rolled back in 2008 where it sat aging two more years in its finished format before reaching stores. He also added that there was a familiarity to the stick which he compared to the Gran Habano 3 Siglo and I couldn’t agree more. The Siglo 3 is no longer available due to General Cigars/Swedish Match owning the name Siglo.
Being a fan of George Rico the person and the brand Gran Habano I was curious to what he cooked up with his father Guillermo Rico and was eager to try this cigar, so without hesitation I picked up a few of them this week. Today’s review is the 3rd stick I smoked and from a different box and store then the original 2.
Cigar: Gran Reserva Gran Habano #3
Size: 6 1/8 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan, Aged 8 Years
Binder: Nicaraguan, Aged 7 Years
Filler: Columbian & Nicaraguan, Aged 7 Years
Appearance and Construction: Underneath the cello of the Gran Reserva Gran Habano #3 is a stick wrapped in Cedar. The foot of the cedar has a foot band which is a personal favorite of mine. As stated in the past a cigar with a foot band is such a cigar saver if choosing to age long term. The band prevents damage to the foot as you work your way through your humidor. The GRGH #3 features an 8 year old wrapper that has been aged an additional 2 years after the cigar was rolled. The result is a stick glistening with oils. The veins on the wrapper for the most part are non-existent with the exception of one that stood out. The stick itself is rolled to perfection right down the the well placed cap. There are no soft spots and this cigar has some density to it. The label has a great combination of tan, brown and gold.
Flavor & Notes: Prior to lighting up the foot of the cigar had some notes of cedar and spice and was vaguely salty to the nose while the cold draw served up some notes of earth, cloves and a faint spice. I used the cedar that enveloped the stick to light up and from the get go it was incredibly smooth. The first third of the cigar has a slight sweetness that reminded me of cocoa along with a subtle spice that worked well together. As we enter the second third the cigar the notes of cocoa and spice remain but are joined by a cherry note that comes and goes but is very faint. The final third of the cigar the spice beings to kick it up a notch while remaining incredibly smooth. There is no back of the throat spice here, just a well defined spicy taste with some cocoa on the finish.
Smoking Characteristics: Carbon lines. For those who don’t know the carbon line is that black mascara type line right above the ash. What does it mean is only something I was told recently by a well known cigar manufacturer. Generally speaking the thinner the line the more aged the tobacco. But now I wonder how accurate that is. The carbon line on this aged tobacco was thicker then I expected it to be. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things, I guess not but I am intrigued to why it was so wide on this smoke. Other then that the cigar burned a little bit jagged with a solid medium to dark gray ash that held on strong. The cigar produced a nice amount of smoke, and the aroma was a tad floral at times while sweet the rest. The draw started out perfect but as the cigar worked its way down the resistance increased some and felt a tad cumbersome.
Conclusion: 2010 was a banner year for cigars and perhaps the best since I have really begun to pay attention to new releases over the last few years. I wonder how the cigar manufacturers can improve on such a banner year and if the the Gran Habano Gran Reserva #3 is a sign of things to come 2011 can be even better. Definitely worthy of a purchase if you are a fan of the brand, and it is a nice starting point if you are new to it.
Price: $7.00 in NJ.
Disclaimer: As always all spelling, typographical and grammar mistakes have been left in place for you amusement and/or to annoy my good friend Gary J. Arzt.