Update: here is our review of the J. Grotto Reserve.
Paul Joyal, founder and president of Ocean State Cigars, Inc., describes his new J. Grotto Series Reserve boutique premium cigar line: “Above all, it’s an intriguing, memorable smoke. Unlike many one-dimensional cigars, it displays a complexity and depth, with a unique spectrum of flavor and body profiles. For the first inch,” he continues, “J. Grotto Reserve gives the impression of a mild-to-medium smoke. But then, the powerful, flavor-loaded nature of the cigar announces itself, augmenting its complexity, thanks to the J. Grotto Reserve’s five-leaf recipe. In addition to the tobacco’s three-year aging, we rest the finished cigars for three to four more months, to allow their tobaccos to meld and mellow. It rewards the connoisseur with pure opulence ... rich and full-bodied, but refined.”
Based on the success of Ocean States’ premiere introduction in 2009, the J. Grotto Series, Joyal developed the Reserve, to satisfy an entirely different palate. “If you like spice and medium body, the original J. Grotto is for you; the Reserve has power, but no spice.”
Reserve owes its performance to a Nicaragua-grown Criollo 99 wrapper and Criollo 98 binder, plus a filler of Honduran-grown ligero and Jalapa leaves. Four shapes ... a Gran Corona (5-5/8" X 46), a Gran Robusto (5" X 52), a Gran Toro (6" x 52), and a new shape, a 6" x 60. The last, not a Cuban standard size, is rapidly becoming a most popular shape with veteran smokers ... its size carries the power and richness handily. The Reserve’s suggested retail pricing settles at $8.50 to $9.50. Reserve’s presentation measures up to its boutique stature. The cigar’s striking band and lush artwork on the substantial Spanish cedar boxes catch the eye on retailers’ shelves. All shapes are presented 20 cellophane-sheathed cigars to the box.