29 Oct 2014
About two years ago, Gran Habano—the Florida-based operation of the Rico family—added two new blends to its Gran Reserva series: Gran Reserva #3 2009 and Gran Reserva #5 2010. They joined the original Gran Reserva, which was the Gran Reserva #3 2008.
Made at Gran Habano’s GR Tabaqueras Unidas factory in Danlí, Honduras, all the cigars in the Gran Reserva series are produced in limited quantities. In the case of the Gran Reserva #5 2010, production was limited to 1,200 boxes of each of the 5 sizes, for a total of 6,000 boxes of 20 cigars (120,000 individual cigars). But at the time of publication of this review, there are still plenty of Gran Reserva #5 2010 cigars to be had.
Blended by George A. Rico, the Gran Reserva #5 2010 blend consists of a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper from 2005, a Nicaraguan Habano binder from 2005, and filler tobaccos from Jalapa. It is offered in the following formats for about $6 to $9 per cigar: Imperiales (6 x 60), Czar (6 x 66), Grandioso (7 x 70), Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46), and Gran Robusto (6 x 54).
Slipping the Gran Robusto out of its cedar sleeve (which covers almost the entire cigar up to the golden band), I find a thick, heavy, dense cigar with a neat cap and a tight cross-section of tobaccos at the foot. The veins are thin and minimal, and the surface is oily with moderate tooth. The cold draw is smooth and the pre-light aroma reminds me of milk chocolate and sweet hay.
According to Gran Habano, the Gran Reserva #5 2010 blend is sold as a “remarkably smooth, earthy, and spicy smoke accompanied by notes of sweet wood and espresso.” Upon setting an even light, I encounter a spicy profile of cedar and black pepper with background notes of coffee and leather. Quickly, a creamy peanut taste also enters the equation, which adds nice balance.
Into the midway point and the final third, little changes in terms of profile, save for a slight increase in intensity at the very end. For me, frankly, that’s a bit of a disappointment. This is a large, slow-burning cigar. More complexity and more variation in taste would go a long way towards better capturing my attention.
Still, with solid construction, a pleasant flavor, and sweet, aromatic resting smoke, the Gran Reserva #5 2010 Gran Robusto is a solid cigar at a fair price. That earns it three stogies out of five. I just can’t help but wonder how the blend would fare in a thinner format.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys