I decided to review another Griffin's. A long time ago, I had a look at the Griffin's Maduro Toro and if I were to sum up that review, I'd say something like "good for beginners, predictable maduro". Today, we'll be examining the Griffin's No. 500 and I can already tell you that the conclusion will be fairly similar, we'll just replace "maduro" by "connecticut".
Origin : Dominican Republic Format : Robusto Size : 5.5 x 50 Wrapper : Connecticut Shade Filler : Dominican Republic Binder : Dominican Republic Hand-Made Price : ~$15+ each
Author’s Note: I am, and will always be, very biased to Kelner-made cigars. So bear this in mind when you read this review.
There are few things that excite me more than Limited and Special Edition cigars. This is where the big boys get to flex their blending muscles and real knock out a great small batch blend. In my opinion, there is no one better than this than Henke Kelner. Dr. Kelner is responsible for an quite a few major labels – Davidoff, AVO, The Griffin’s, Cusano, Cuvee, Alec Bradley Havana Sun Grown and Paul Garmirian to name a few.
Each year, Davidoff, AVO and The Griffin’s release a Limited Edition cigar. Last year, my favorite was The Griffin’s Special XXIII Edition over the Davidoff Puro Dominicano and the AVO LE7.
But I digress, I still have a few of the XXIs lying around from ’05 (that I purchased from Capital City Cigars) and I am very eager to try one on the eve of the Special XXIV Edition. From what I remember of the XXI, I felt it was very mellow and forgettable. My taste has certainly changed since then.
From the onset this cigar surprised with a bit of pepper I do not remember from my first encounter with this stick. The cigar was firm to the touch, a bit on the dry side, but drew easy, burned straight and delivered a metric ton of smoke with every puff. Can you tell I like this cigar already?
I get a consistent sweet wood note as well as the underlying pepper mentioned above and a very mild coffee flavor. Kelner cigars always have a very dry finish, much like a tannic dry red wine. I believe this is what consistently gives them lower than normal ratings in Cigar Aficionado (that and they don’t buy a lot of ad space).
Halfway thru, I hit the sweet spot and its licorice and oak for the last half of the cigar.
This cigar is absolutely sublime. I am in a Zen state of mind. This cigar has just put itself on The Top Zen (10) List!
The Griffin's Fuerte Robusto is a very decent cigar, it is mild enough to be had as a morning cigar with a cup of coffee but can also be smoked in the evening with a glass of wine. Creamy tobacco flavors with a little spice - a pretty nice bouquet. It is recommended to let this one sit in the humidor for a while for better results.
A nice cigar to start an evening with, this Toro is gentle and obedient and provides a pleasant flavor yet lacks originality. The Griffin's Maduro doesn't really surprise you, that's a stogie you can always count on.