Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Belicoso
Size : 6.25 x 54
Wrapper : Corojo
Filler : Peru, Nicaragua
Binder : Indonesia
Price : ~$8 each
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Today we have a dual review of a Garo Aniversario X Belicoso, done by Stephen and Jason. Thanks to Garo Cigars for providing us with a sampler!
Stephen: Garo's new Aniversario X cigars offer four Cubanesque shapes (Salomon, "A", Belicoso and Toro Gordo). Aniversario X is listed as a full bodied cigar. I have had these resting in my humidor about a month. I smoked two for this review.
Jason: Garo Habano is a small boutique cigar company headquartered in California that started in 1996. The Anniversario X is one of the company's more expensive lines. There aren't many reviews out there on this cigar so I wasn't sure what to expect.
This cigar had a rustic looking wrapper medium brown in color and it had several large veins in it. The wrapper also looked a bit rough in places where it overlapped. It had an expertly applied triple cap. The band was attractive featuring a red fleur de lys in a black background and gold trim with the name Garo in gold.
There was a couple of nicks in the wrapper, but looked to be well made overall. It had a nice Colorado shade wrapper and had a slightly sweet and toasty smell.
The sun-grown Corojo wrapper finishes a blend of Seco Cubano/Lijero from Peru, Criollo 98 & Cubano Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The binder is Indonesian. It was packed very tight with no soft spots. While there are several veins they really could not be felt to the touch. The prelight draw was tight but it wasn’t a problem.
On the first one I smoked I had numerous problems with the wrapper. First it developed a split with at the foot about a quarter inch. I seemed to be able to smoke past it. Then about half way through the wrapper developed another split. This one about two inches long. Eventually the wrapper started to unravel and I put it down about 2/3 of the way through.
My second smoke went much better. It had a good burn line that was a little wavy and only required one minor touch up. However a tiny split also developed about 1/3 of the way through. This time it did not affect the burn but it was a concern. The ash was very white and held on well over an inch.
This cigar was well made overall. It had a good draw, but experienced an eneven burn at times. Part of this was my fault though, as I should have lit it better to begin with. So I am hesitating on docking it points.
The prelight smell is of sweet tobacco and left a slight burning sensation on my lips. I thought I might be in for a very peppery cigar. The cigar lit easily and the initial taste was slightly peppery but diminished quickly leaving just the taste of tobacco and a little cedar flavor. It had a long aftertaste and the smoke, while copious, left a very dry burning sensation in the back of my throat. The cigar was very mild on the retro-hale with just a hint of spiciness. I found the flavors to be exactly the same through the entire cigar.
I didn't know what to think when I first lit this cigar, as it tasted very unique. So, it took me a couple minutes to process the flavors. At first I didn't like it, but once I got used to the taste I began to enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is. The best I can describe it is a roasted peanuts taste with some grassyness mixed in. The smoke had a smooth and creamy texture, while being medium bodied. The flavors stayed pretty consitent from beginning to end.
At $8 a stick this cigar is just okay. There are other cigars I would like more in that price range.
This cigar is available on the Garo Habano website for $210.00 per box of 25, which comes out to $8.40 each. This price point is a little too on the high end for me. I think it should be in the $6 - $7 range.
This cigar is listed as full bodied on the Garo website but I found it to be mild to medium. This was just an average cigar and frankly I found myself bored. If you are looking for an easy smoke that is consistent in flavor, then give it a shot. If you are looking for a power house cigar, it will not be your thing.
I found this cigar to be an interesting experience, as I don't think I've really tasted anything like it. It isn't something I would smoke all the time, but I found it pleasurable enough to mix in the rotation every now and then. The creamy texture of the smoke was the highlight of this cigar, as it's a characteristic I'm partial to. It's definitely worth a try if you get the chance to pick one up.