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Stogie Reviews: Gran Habano #3 Churchill

19 Jun 2008

This has all the makings of a great golf course cigar: generous dimensions, a pleasant but simple flavor, above average physical properties, and a sub-$4 price.

So why haven’t you heard of Gran Habano before? Its manufacturer, GR Tabacleras Unidas, has kept a relatively low profile since its inception in 1995. The “love child” of third generation leaf growers with outfits in Columbia, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, the company introduced three blends in 2003—Connecticut #1, Habano #3, and Corojo #5. I guess they don’t like even numbers.

Habano #3 is their “classic cigar,” sporting a “medium body with a smooth and balanced taste.” The wrapper and binder are Nicaraguan habano, and the filler is a three-nation blend from Nicaragua, Mexico, and Costa Rica. The Torpedo vitola earned a rating of 4.3 in the Summer 2004 issue of Smoke Magazine.

The 7 inch by 48 ring gauge Churchill is a slender, tightly packed stick with a few veins and almost no seams. It certainly doesn’t look like a cigar you could buy 20 for under $70 or five for under $20.

The taste is a festive one of cedar spice and pine nuts—satisfying, albeit a little dry and a tad mild. Despite the long, narrow format and the solid feel, each easy puff produces a lot of thick smoke from the get-go. The flavor moderately intensifies midway with hearty, meaty undertones, but I’d say the profile is mostly consistent from light to nub with few subtleties.

One characteristic you’re sure to notice regarding the even burn is a bulging black mascara between the coarsely layered ash and the wrapper. That ash, by the way, holds very well for up to two inches. My only construction complaint is that tiny flakes of the delicate wrapper had a tendency to tear away at the end of one of the two Churchills I smoked for this review.

All things considered, I recommend you pick up a few of these for the next time you hit the links or participate in any other activity where the primary focus is not on the cigar. The Gran Habano #3 Churchill may not have what it takes to be an after dinner centerpiece, but it no doubt makes for a worthy, inexpensive companion. I give it three and ½ out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Gran Habano #3 Churchill”

  1. furious Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    I'm always in the market for larger format sticks worthy for the links or the fishing boat. This one sounds like a winner to me.

  2. Patrick A Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    Me too (only for golf, not fishing). It's always important to have a stock of decent but inexpensive stogies for these activities just in case whatever you're smoking happens to fall in a bunker or a lake. The Gran Habano #3 Churchill definitely fits the bill.

  3. Chris V Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    No fishing Pat!? We're gunna have to get you down to Hilton Head… and MAYBE I'll let you golf too… we'll see.

  4. Craig Friday, June 20, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    The Gran Habano #3 is ok. The Corojo #5 blend is much, much better. It needs a good 3 month rest in the humidor, though.

  5. Marcus Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    You are dead on with you flavor profile statement. I like this cigar in any size but the churchill. I seemed to have had four out of five with either burn problems or with subpar draw issues. I have ordered a five pack of these again but in the larger ring size.

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