Stogie Guys Free Newsletter

Subscribe today for a chance to win great cigar prizes:


Presented by:

Stogie Reviews: Tesa Series Gran Cru No. 2

27 Apr 2009

It wasn’t so long ago that I named Isla de Cuba, Cuban Crafters, and Bucanero as my favorite boutique manufacturers. Well, after smoking a handful of exceptional cigars from Tesa’s Series Gran Cru line—one of nine blends from the Chicago-based producer—I’m ready to add that company to my short list of top boutiques.

Tesa Series Gran Cru No. 2Located in a shop on the Near North Side of the Windy City, Tesa cigars are “meticulously blended by Chicago area resident Chris Kelly and crafted in the Tesa Cigar factory in Estelí.” Their naked, tiger-endorsed blends make use of a variety of enticing wrappers and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua.

The criollo ’98 maduro-wrapped Gran Cru line is no exception. It was created to fill the need for a cigar with balance yet full flavor “without the in-your-face strength,” according to Tesa’s website.

The six inch by 54 ring gauge No. 2, a torpedo-shaped vitola with a beautiful cap, features hearty pre-light aromas of espresso and cocoa. It manages to command attention without flash (or a band for that matter) due to its oily sheen, dark and textured wrapper leaf, and solid cross-section of filler tobaccos. Veins are plentiful but not a cause for concern.

Right off the bat I could tell this cigar had little in common with the Series Finos F500 I reviewed (and loved) earlier this month. While that Connecticut shade  smoke is mild and creamy, the Series Gran Cru No. 2 starts with a flavor that instantly reminds me of a 601 Green—specifically, a rich and well-rounded profile of black coffee, roasted nuts, leather, and cocoa bean.

I would say that this cigar, however, is better balanced, complete with subtle nuances that drift in and out. If you pay attention and smoke through the nose, for example, it isn’t difficult to detect a sweet flavor that’s akin to moist chocolate cake. Delicious. And with a fairly straight burn that requires just a few touch-ups, a smooth draw, and a solid ash, the combustion qualities are fine.

One drawback of this outstanding smoke is its limited availability and relatively high cost. As far as I can tell, the only way to get it is to either visit the shop in person or purchase it from Tesa’s online shop for $11.70 per single. Before you dismiss trying this cigar for those reasons—a huge mistake in my opinion—consider that Tesa donates 10% of its profits to benefit the housing, education, and sustenance of the Nicaraguan people.

Still, I realize that’s a lot to pay for a cigar you’ve probably never heard of. Despite that likelihood, I have no reservations about wholeheartedly endorsing the Tesa Series Gran Cru No. 2 and giving it four 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

15 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Tesa Series Gran Cru No. 2”

  1. steve Monday, April 27, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    Sounds tasty, but at that price I’ll go with a Padron Anni anyday.

  2. Da Bulls 1 Monday, April 27, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    As a resident of Chi-city and a fan of Tesa, I can tell you Patrick A’s review hits the nail on the head. What a fantastic cigar! Padron Anni or not, I pity the fool who doesn’t at least give one of these a try.

  3. Marc E. Monday, April 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    Man I can’t wait to try one of these. I love my Padron 64s and 26s but am always open to another cigar that approaches their quality at a cheaper price.

  4. Lou B. Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 2:16 am #

    it'll be a lot of work getting a couple of cigs here to Ontario but they do sound desirable. how do you feel about "no bands" at all??? personally i want at least the minimum. i need something to glue into my cigar diary for referencing latter on, don't i ??? what is everyone's take on bandless cigs??? again, great job boys!!!

  5. Free FX Programming Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    If you take nothing else away from this article, remember that the best way to learn a skill is practice, practice and practice some more, so don't expect to become an expert overnight. Remember that programming is not something that can be learned overnight

  6. justin Monday, April 22, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    Sounds tasty, but at that price I'll go with a Padron Anni anyday.kids birthday parties on long island

  7. joostabner Friday, May 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Sounds tasty, but at that price I'll go with a Padron Anni anyday.
    cig 2.0 electronic cigarette

  8. williamjones Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    As a resident of Chi-city and a fan of Tesa, I can tell you Patrick A's review hits the nail on the head. What a fantastic cigar! Padron Anni or not, I pity the fool who doesn't at least give one of these a try.
    v2 cigs electronic cigarette

  9. james addin Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Man I can't wait to try one of these. I love my Padron 64s and 26s but am always open to another cigar that approaches their quality at a cheaper price.
    v2 cigs electronic cigarette

  10. alvin Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    If you take nothing else away from this article, remember that the best way to learn a skill is practice bottleless water coolers

  11. white hat SEO Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Man I can't hold out to try one of these. I really like my Padron 64s and 26s but am always start to another stogie that techniques their top quality at a less expensive cost.

  12. visit my blog Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    If you take nothing else away from this content, keep in mind that the best way to understand a expertise is exercise, exercise and exercise some more, so don't anticipate to become an professional instantaneously. Keep in mind development is not something that can be discovered overnight

  13. Kjonmarket Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    In today's world of the Internet , SEO is something that can not be ignored. Online marketers and entrepreneurs who do their business and its importance is even greater. SEO Company in ChicagoThey believe that the causes of their business is successful SEO . For those who would oppose its importance, but also a lot of time, and feel that it is a little more complex. However, a good SEO company knows how to work effectively in the short term. SEO Company in Chicago

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Stogie Reviews: Tesa Vintage Especial Rothchild - Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    […] I checked out the Series Gran Cru No. 2 back in April, I said I was ready to add Tesa to my short list of favorite boutiques. Today’s […]

  2. Stogie Reviews: Tesa Cabinet 312 Series R - Monday, July 12, 2010

    […] impressed me like Tesa, a boutique manufacturer run from a fashionable lounge in Chicago. From the Gran Cru and the Havanitas to the Vintage Especial and the Series Finos, I’m a big fan of these naked, […]