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Cigar Review: Curivari El Gran Rey Belicoso

10 Apr 2013

El Gran ReyCurivari began making cigars for the European market, introducing its Selección Privada in 2003. Going head-to-head with Cuban cigars on their turf obviously was a gutsy move for a Nicaraguan cigar maker. But in only a few years, the company’s reputation was expanding about as quickly as its lines.

Now available in the U.S., Curivari cigars are among the most fervently sought boutique smokes by those on the lookout for something new. I heard good things about the brand long before I saw one. I tried a couple of times to get to their booth at last summer’s IPCPR Trade Show, but couldn’t get through the crowds.

My introduction to them came in an order from Atlantic Cigar Co., one of a few retailers with a selection—often with limited supplies or on backorder—of Curivari’s small batch lines. If there’s a shop in my area that carries them, I haven’t found it.

I’ve had just three: the El Gran Rey Belicoso (5.4 x 52), a Nicaraguan puro with a $9 price tag. I’m eager to try the other two El Gran Rey vitolas, as well as different Curivari lines (like the Buenaventura).

Although Curivari describes it as a “full-bodied cigar,” I’d call it more of a medium, with what I think of as traditional flavors, such as leather and oak. I didn’t find El Gran Rey to be particularly complex, but rather an expertly balanced and exceptionally consistent cigar.

Construction was excellent, the burn was nearly perfect, and the draw about as even as possible. They produce good smoke volume and the finish is long and deep.

Even after smoking only three cigars, I can see why this small manufacturer has gained such a large reputation. I’d urge you to seek these out, in addition to Curivari’s other lines. I give this “great king” four and a half stogies out of five.

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

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Cigar Review: Curivari El Gran Rey Belicoso”

  1. Anderson Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Heck of a week. Three days in a row of 4.5-stogie rated cigars. Is that a record?

    • George E. Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      It could well be. And the one before that was a 4 stogie!

  2. Eric Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    I've never found these anywhere, but my dad's shop in Florida carried them and he sent me half a box about 2 years ago. They are really good! I hope the distribution of these expands so more folks can try them. I remember the finish being a bit dry, but in a good way. The finish really lingered and had an interesting range of spices. Held my attention.

    • Patrick Semmens Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      They are quite hard to find. The only place I know that seems to carry the full line is Atlantic Cigar. That's where George's samples came from.

  3. Darrel Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    The Tobacco Company in Lemoyne PA carries the complete line of Curivari