Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Prominentes
Size : 6.5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $9.50
More info about purchasing Curivari El Gran Rey cigars...
Curivari is another brand I was introduced to by Pedro at Good Karma Cigar in Amarillo. These were included in a sampler pack of new smokes that included Forcade, Monte Pascoal, and some Di Fazios. The Curivari brand has gained some momentum, especially here in the state of Texas. Through word of mouth these have become quite popular and some around these circles even swear they use tobacco from the “forbidden” island. Whether they do (good for them) or not (oh well!), the Curivari line is a promising young brand.
The El Gran Rey is medium brown colored with 2-3 gnarly veins traversing its length. It has a nice little Cuban triple cap. This is a big cigar but feels very light in the hand, is solidly packed and without soft spots. When looking really closely the wrapper is covered in many fine hairs. Light leather aromas come from the wrapper and black tea comes from sniffing its foot.
The prominentes has a good draw with some minor tightness to it after clipping the end with my guillotine. The burn produces a nicely packed, fine white ash. The draw opened up nicely after torching the foot. The seams on the cigar looked a little loose, but this may be from the heat during transportation. It is quite hot down here in Texas. Nevertheless, the cigar burned straight as an arrow all the way to the nub with no touch ups needed.
The initial flavors brought no peppery kicks, but just smooth smoke with bright leather and floral flavors. After the first few puffs, some bitterness started to accentuate the smoking experience which I didn’t like. The smoke was very dry, causing some cotton mouth and making it difficult to find the flavors of cocoa powder and leather in the first third. 2 inches later, the smoke loses the bitterness thankfully, and becomes smooth and medium bodied. Interestingly enough, the retrohale hardly brings out any kind of aroma or flavors. The second third is mostly characterized by woody flavors and that continues over into the last third. The last third also layers on some more leather, dry cocoa powder again, and a touch of wet paper,……..not liking the wet paper all that much.
This stick will cost you around $9.00 to $10.00 depending on what retailer you find them out. I believe the entire Curivari line is priced just a tad bit high. It makes me wary of buying the cigars by the box, but I will definitely keep singles of their cigars around though. If they were in the $7.00 to $8.00 range, I would be smoking these like crazy, but at this point they are just too high for what you get.
Overall Rating :
The El Gran Rey was an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, this particular cigar didn’t do much to separate itself from the pack of other premium boutique cigar brands. I have smoked several other sizes of the El Gran Rey line and I do take a high liking to the belicoso. The belicoso has really good cubanesque flavors and makes me think that maybe they do put some ISOM (island south of Miami if you didn’t know) tobacco in their cigars. Anyways, I see great potential from the few cigars I have smoked from Curivari, but I just can’t recommend the prominentes all that much. They got several lines of cigars so there is plenty more to experience from this brand.