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Cigar Review: Paul Garmirian Gourmet No. 2 ’95

27 Sep 2017

Despite D.C., Maryland, and Virginia all having nearly comprehensive smoking bans, the DMV—as it’s sometimes called—is really a pretty good place for cigar smokers. There are a handful of good cigar bars, a dozen good cigar shops, and, if you know where to look, a good number of restaurants with non-indoor spaces where you can light up.

One of the frequently overlooked cigar shops in the area is McLean PG Boutique, which doubles as the headquarters for Paul Garmirian Cigars. If you are looking for a non-PG Cigar, the offerings are limited and a somewhat eclectic. Two-thirds of the shop’s humidor is dedicated to PG, which I happen to be a fan of.

Of those cigars, the boutique not only carries a full variety of sizes of all the PG blends, but also many vintage offerings, especially of the original Gourmet blend. Gourmet features a Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut wrapper around Dominican binder and filler tobaccos. Frankly, I doubt you’ll find a better selection of 20-year-old cigars in the country, especially considering most are priced under $20. (If you want to buy some, try calling their store because they very rarely pop up elsewhere.)

On a recent visit, they had just put out a box of the No. 2 size which had been rolled in 1995. The non-vintage version of the vitola (4.75 x 48) sells for $11 each; for only a few dollars more, though, you can smoke one with 22 years of age. It’s an easy decision.

Pre-light, after sliding the cigar out of its slightly yellowed cellophane, the Gourmet No. 2 exhibits notes of old tobacco, leather, and hay. Once lit, it starts out with a burst of spice and some wet cedar, paper, and white pepper.

As it progresses, it settles into a more traditional combination of hay, bread, honey, and a hint of fresh cut grass. The finish of the medium-bodied smoke has more cedar and black coffee.

The wrapper is slightly wrinkled, a sign of its age, but the construction is flawless. Particularly notable is the solid dark gray ash, which only needs to be ashed twice for the entire cigar.

For a cigar with over two decades of age, it has more intense flavors than I might have expected. Fortunately, that intensity does not negatively impact the balanced flavors. I’ve been fortunate to smoke a 1992 version of this cigar and, although I enjoyed that cigar (and a 1991 PG) slightly more, the PG Gourmet Series No 2 Vintage 1995 is a highly enjoyable experience. That earns it a rating of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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