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Stogie Reviews: Paul Garmirian Gourmet II Robusto

16 Sep 2008

For former real estate entrepreneur Paul Garmirian, it all started with The Gourmet Guide to Cigars (1990). He spent nine years researching and writing the book, landing solid cigar contacts in the Dominican Republic and gaining the confidence to produce his own blend.

The very first PG cigars were officially released nationwide at a dinner in Chicago in 1991. Since then, according to U.S. News & World Report, they have become favorites among many politicians and celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Letterman, and the last three presidents.

Paul expanded his operations in 1991 with the introduction of Gourmet Series II. Offered in Torpedo and Robusto—and later in Connoisseur and Belicoso Fino—the blend features a Connecticut shade wrapper and Dominican binder and filler tobaccos, all handmade in Santiago.

The 5 inch, 50 ring gauge Robusto has a suggested retail of $237.50 for a box of 25 or $38 for a four-pack. Relatively firm to the touch, I found rich, salty notes off the head after a clean clip and conspicuous wrinkles and veins across the pale brown wrapper. The overall feel is one of quality and craftsmanship.

The opening puffs are salty with a parched oak flavor and some hints of cream. I was surprised by the overpowering dryness of the smoke, especially given PG’s commitment to balance, a running theme at their recent “Cut and Taste” event at Morton’s. Fortunately, after the first few minutes I found more parity with the additions of smooth butter and red cedar spice. The mild- to medium-bodied profile works well on its own, but I find is best enjoyed as a complement to drink and cuisine.

While the flavor is enjoyable, the $9.50 per cigar price tag is primarily justified by the cigar’s construction. I smoked two Robustos for this review, each with clear draws, solid ashes, and burns as straight as you’ll find on any cigar.

All told, my rather obvious conclusion is that this cigar isn’t a great choice if you’re trying to save money. But if you’re operating with disposable income to spare—or if you just need a special treat—this choice offers subdued elegance and balance. I give the Paul Garmirian Gourmet II Robusto three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Paul Garmirian Gourmet II Robusto”

  1. Padronnie Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    I'm sort of surprised this only got 3.5. I've heard fantastic things about PG cigars.

  2. Rixson Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    It's not like 3.5 is bad or something. Besides, I think what Patrick A is saying is this is a fine cigar–just maybe not an exceptional stick for $9.50. I like PG on occasion, just not as an everyday smoke.