Origin : Cuba
Factory : El Laguito
Format : Canonazo
Size : 150 (5.9'') x 20.64 mm
Ring : 52
Price : $100+ each
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With only 5,000 boxes made, harvested from the best tobacco of the 2003 crop, the Gran Reserva signifies the best possible product from Cuba. Here's more about this special smoke: Habanos Press release. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to smoke a cigar of this magnitude, even at nearly a dollar per millimeter of tobacco.
As I take it out of my trunk humidor, I can't help but notice how unassuming it is. The wrapper looks like any other Habano, light brown and thin with very little visible veins - just a little more red in color. I expected it to be heftier than it is: most Cohibas are packed very tightly, but not this one. Upon clipping it, I notice the pre-light draw is very easy - different from most Sig VI's.
I toast the foot and begin to draw in the best that Cuba has to offer.
The first few puffs are milder than I expected, even given the tobacco's age. The flavors are slighlty woody with leather and white pepper that still manages to tickle the sinuses.
To say that this cigar is complex is almost a disservice, every puff yields a different note all the while maintaining a perfect balance and a long finish.
The pepper note picks up a bit an inch in paired with that wonderful earthy mustiness that makes Cuban tobacco so unique.
The burn is dead even and the aroma of the smoke is floral and intense!
Another inch in, the cigar gets richer and stronger, notes of espresso and anise abound.
Notes of tea are paired with the leather and wood with a hint of cocoa powder on the finish. There is also a surprising amount of mint present.
Halfway through, if you can believe this, the Siglo 6 Gran Reserva gets better. The retrohale is musty and rich and is better than anything I have ever smoked. The cocoa notes intensify and accentuate the licoricy finish.
As this cigar draws to a close I can only think of something I often hear from the cigar community, that Cubans aren't all they're cracked up to be, and that they've dropped off in the last decade or so. Really? I'd put the best of Cuba against what anyone in any other country could produce any day. This is simply the best cigar I have ever smoked. Really my only complaint is that this cigar smokes too fast, I would compromise the draw to make this cigar last longer!
Rating: 105 (A++)
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