4 Aug 2009
A rarity among today’s manufacturers, PG Cigars maintains a singular, unwavering mission: to blend and age classic-tasting cigars to meet the most discriminating of palates. That’s what they’ve been doing since the company launched in 1990.
But their dedication to traditionalism and disdain for slick marketing and gimmickry—documented in our Cigar Insider with Paul and Kevork Garmirian—hasn’t prevented this McLean, Virginia-based boutique from launching new lines from time to time. Such was the case when, in 2005, they celebrated their debut with a 15th Anniversary Belicoso Extra. At first they only made 15,000 available to the top 50 authorized PG retailers.
According to their website, however, “the response…was so great that the 15th Anniversary blend is now available in a new PG line composed of ten sizes.” These full-bodied cigars include Nicaraguan wrappers, Dominican binders, and filler leaves from the Dominican farms that grew tobacco for the inaugural PGs.
Back in February, I bought two Robustos (5 x 52) for $14.55 apiece at PG’s headquarters. They have been a sight to behold in my humidor since. The Colorado wrappers are toothy and oily, the feel is very firm from head to toe, and the pre-light aromas include notes of hay, earth, and cocoa.
When lit, according to PG, this blend “represents a kaleidoscopic range of tastes” that are “reminiscent of old style Cuban puros from the mid-1950s.” I may not be lucky enough to know the latter but I can certainly appreciate the former. And the Gourmet 15th Anniversary Robusto certainly features a balanced myriad of flavors.
While some of the tastes are common among cigars—including cedar, pepper, and dark chocolate—this base is augmented by more unusual flavors. Everything comes together in such harmony that it can be difficult to identify these rarer notes. But I was able to put my finger on a few of them, including cherry, melon, cinnamon, and pine.
This tremendous profile is complemented by good construction, which is especially welcome in a complex cigar like this because it enables the smoker to focus on the taste. I only wish the burn required fewer touch-ups.
That aside, this fantastic smoke is built to impress longtime cigar enthusiasts—and it comes through. While its cost is high, so too is the level of enjoyment it delivers. That’s why the Gourmet 15th Anniversary Robusto earns four and a half stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys