Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gran Habano Cabinet Selection

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This is a single cigar review sponsored by Silo Cigars.

The Gran Habano Cabinet Selection is a new brand by GR Tabacaleras Unidas, run by Guillermo Rico. Mr. Rico uses tobacco grown on company farms in Nicaragua for this particular puro which includes a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper.

The construction of this cigar is quite handsome with it's neat box press and triple cap. The wrapper is oily and leathery in appearance with a smattering of some medium sized veins. Kevin over at Silo Cigars sent me the Gran Consul size to smoke, which is a hefty 60 ring gauge by 4.75 inches. The Gran Habano Cabinet Selection offers two other vitolas which measure 54 by 6 (Gran Robusto) and 52 by 5 (Robusto).

At 60 ring gauge, I would imagine this size would be a "Super Size Me" Gran Robusto. I have to admit that I really don't care much for 60 and up ring gauge cigars. Men, feel free to claim this vitola as your own. But since it was given to me to review, I can't help but oblige.

Cutting this large box pressed cigar was pretty awkward. I stuck the cap into my Palio as far as it would go and managed to just scrape the back of the cigar. The resulting draw was tight but free. Lighting this monster took more time than I was used to. My cheeks got a work out, but I managed to get it lit evenly. The initial smoke volume was disappointingly thin and the flavor level was surprisingly mild.

The first third of this cigar showed the most complexity with a hodge podge of interesting flavors. Floral and faint leather overtones laced with toffee, along with dash of white pepper and cumin. The taste was smooth and nicely balanced.

The second third introduced some powdered cocoa and a slight hint of raisins with a predominately sweet cedar body. The flavor was still mild to medium. The last third finished off the flavor profile by being solidly medium with strong notes of rich leather and aged tobacco. I also experienced a mild harshness to the back of the throat, but nothing too severe.

Overall, I was surprised at the delicate flavors of this cigar. By appearances, the cigar looked and felt powerful. It's heavy weight and my past experiences with the Gran Habano 3 Siglos gave me pause for concern that I was in over my head. Once I got to smoking it though, I had to laugh at it's lack of punch and bite. Have I worked up a tolerance to nicotine? Doubt it. If it wasn't for the awkward feeling of having a 60 ring gauge box press in my mouth, I could see myself enjoying this cigar as an anytime of the day smoke.

The price of these cigars is around $176 for a box of 20. It's definitely not a cheap smoke. However, if this cigar was available in a 50 ring gauge, I would seriously consider buying them because I enjoyed the mild yet complex flavors and quality construction. If you are a guy that likes large vitolas to pass the time with and are looking for something different, you should give this one a try.

Lo and behold, the Stogie Review does a blind tasting of the 52x5 Gran Habano Cabinet Selection!

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