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Cigar Review: Paul Garmirian Reserva Exclusiva Churchill

14 Aug 2014

Not long after I lit my first PG Reserva Exclusiva, I thought to myself, “I’ve found my newest favorite cigar.” It’s a smoke that you can get lost in and enjoy from beginning to end. And when you return for another, the journey begins again.

PG-reserva-exclusivaLike most Paul Garmirian cigars, the Reserva Exclusiva is created with well-aged tobaccos blended to bring out their flavors with just the right strength, which, in this case, I’d call medium. What set this cigar apart for me was the subtlety and complexity, along with a delicate finish that lingers lightly on the tongue.

The 7-inch, 48-ring gauge Churchills I’ve smoked were as consistent as a handmade product can be. Thick, rich smoke; fine, slow burn; even, deliberate draw. I paid about $11.50 for each one, a bargain, really, for a super-premium class cigar.

The filler is Dominican and Ecuadorian, with a Dominican binder and an Ecuadorian wrapper. According to the website, the tobaccos are 10 years old and they come in nine sizes.

Describing the flavors doesn’t do the cigar justice. It’s the way they intertwine and play off each other that creates the experience. Take just one component as an example: the grassiness frequently found in Dominican tobacco. In the Reserva Exclusiva it is never overpowering but rather comes and goes as a complement to the sharper and sweeter flavors, winding through them to produce something unique.

About seven years ago, one of my colleagues found the robusto (pictured) in this line a bit lacking. Perhaps he stumbled on a dud, or perhaps that vitola doesn’t match the Churchill. Or maybe our tastes for this line are just different. That wouldn’t be particularly surprising. After all, if everyone’s tastes were the same there wouldn’t be hundreds of different blends.

And, honestly, I’m not sure I would have been so enamored with the Reserva Exclusiva earlier in my cigar smoking days or later when I was drawn to ligero-laden powerhouses. I think I have become more attuned these days to smokes that repay attention, though I still enjoy a tasty strong cigar. Like the Opus I had the other week that beat me like a rented mule.

Right now, the Reserva Exclusiva is, for me, a great smoke. In fact, it gets my first five-stogie rating this year.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five-stogie rated cigars can be found here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Cigar Review: Paul Garmirian Reserva Exclusiva Churchill”

  1. Patrick Ashby Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    A couple of notes about this review from the editor:

    – This is the first time in history that we’ve had two five-stogie rated cigars in the same week, let alone back-to-back days. Of the hundreds and hundreds of full reviews we’ve published since 2006, only about 40 cigars have ever received the five-stogie distinction. Interestingly, this is the third time Paul Garmirian has made that list.

    – As the author of the 2007 Quick Smoke this review mentions of the Robusto in this line, it’s interesting to go back and read that. My tastes have changed considerably since then. Today, I really like this cigar. Just goes to show how dynamic our taste buds and preferences can be.

    – One thing I miss about the DC area (I moved to Chicago three years ago) is being near the PG Boutique in McLean, VA. If you’re ever in the area, you need to stop by. Not only do they have a great selection of PG smokes, but they also have stuff for sale that’s been aging for years and years.

    -Patrick A

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