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Cigar Review: Pinar del Rio Small Batch Reserve Habano Gran Toro

18 Apr 2012

Fans of Abe Flores and his highly acclaimed boutique cigar outfit, Pinar del Rio, were excited in January when it was announced that Flores would be introducing a new line.

That line, Small Batch Reserve, was due out some time ago, but it is only now hitting tobacconist shelves. And while you won’t find any information about the cigar on the PDR website, the online cigar community has been abuzz, and PDR’s Facebook page is starting to rack up wall posts about the line.

As it has been documented thus far, Small Batch Reserve employs the entubar bunching technique to combine corojo-seed viso, seco, and ligero tobaccos from Estelí and the Dominican Republic as the filler. The binder is a Dominican criollo ’98 leaf. Three sizes are available: Gran Toro (6 x 54), Robusto (5 x 52), and Torpedo (6.5 x 52). Each comes in two different wrapper varieties. The first is Maduro, which features a dark Brazilian ligero leaf. The second is Habano, which sports an oily, reddish Brazilian Habano leaf.

I sampled several Gran Toro Habanos for this review. Each came complete with a beautiful cap, a silky wrapper with a roadmap of thin veins, and a tight cross-section of tobaccos at the foot. The faint pre-light aroma smelled of milk chocolate and caramel, and the cold draw was easy with hardly any spice on the lips.

After setting an even light with a few wooden matches, flavors of sweet wood, coriander, and just a touch of leather emerge. I often find that leather, when present, can be the dominant taste, many times to a fault. But this profile relegates leather to a secondary, complimentary role, which contributes balance and allows the other flavors to shine.

As the slow-burning cigar enters the midway point, notes of chocolate and cream join in to add depth. All the while, the interplay between sweetness and spice and leather and cream makes for an enjoyable experience. Even though I would characterize the body as decidedly medium, the strength of the cigar—specifically the nicotine kick—is more intense, particularly as a few meaty notes come in the final third.

The Gran Toro Habano sells for $6 to $8, depending on if you buy a single cigar or a 24-count box (I hear the boxes are ribbon-tied and gorgeous). That’s a fair price, especially since the construction qualities are excellent. I think Pinar del Rio fans will be pleased with this new addition to the brand’s portfolio, and I look forward to trying the Maduro in the near future. For now, the Small Batch Reserve Habano Gran Toro is worthy of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

4 Responses to “Cigar Review: Pinar del Rio Small Batch Reserve Habano Gran Toro”

  1. stogiesontherocks Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I've been hearing a lot about this cigar as well. I think its interesting they are using two different wrappers but the same filler / binder. Very cool idea. Look forward to reading the review on the Maduro and see if that wrapper brings out any other flavors from the filler / binder leaves.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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    […] Latest Cigar Review News Posted on April 20, 2012 by admin Tweet Cigar Review: Pinar del Rio Small Batch Reserve Habano Gran Toro Fans of Abe Flores and his highly acclaimed boutique cigar outfit, Pinar del Rio, were excited in January when it was announced that Flores would be introducing a new line. That line, Small Batch Reserve, was due out some time ago, but it is only now … Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine […]

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