Gran Habano announces its newest release from their Gran Reserva line, the Gran Reserva #5 2011.
The Gran Habano Gran Reserva line offers a bold new experience in full-bodied premium cigars made with vintage tobaccos. Expect a remarkably smooth, earthy and spicy smoke accompanied by notes of sweet wood and espresso of this aged smoke. The Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2011 comes in boxes of 10 cigars with a brand new look to its packaging. It is the fourth installment to follow the #3 2008, #3 2009 and #5 2010 vintage blends.
Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2011 : Cigar Stats
Country of Origin: Honduras Factory: G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas, S.A. Distributor: Gran Habano Body: Full-bodied Wrapper: Nicaraguan Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Size: Corona Gorda 75 5/8 x 46, Gran Robusto 6 x 54, Imperial 6 x 60, CZAR 6 x 66, Grandioso 7 x 70 Box Count: 10 MSRP: $7.50 - $10.00 Release Date: Available Now
A couple years back I reviewed the Talisker 10 Year Old, a Scotch whisky with flavors of peat, seaweed, fruit, spices, wood, and … peat. Lots of peat. Just what you would expect from a Scotch whisky. I enjoyed it quite a bit, so when I found out that Talisker released a new whisky earlier this year called the Talisker Skye, I knew I wanted to try it. While I enjoy peat in my whisky, I can see where a lot of Talisker whiskies might be overwhelming for other drinkers. The Talisker Skye has been aged in refill and toasted American oak casks so that it will have a milder peat flavor.
The Talisker Skye is named for the beautiful island of Skye where the Talisker distillery is located. You can see an image of Skye on the box as well as on the label. It looks like cold, beautiful, rugged country—a stark kind of paradise. Is the Talisker Skye paradise in a bottle? Let’s find out.
This whisky is exactly the same in appearance as the Talisker 10 Year Old, with a warm golden color. On the nose, I am picking up peat (as expected), honey, spices, toffee or caramel, and orange. There is a smokiness to the scent. Taking a drink, a lot of the flavors on the palate are similar to what I remember from the 10 Year Old. There is orange and spice in there, probably cinnamon and nutmeg. The toffee or caramel I smelled actually tastes more like chocolate with a hint of vanilla. There is a long peppery finish. The orange lingers on the tongue for a while. The peat is definitely there, but as I expected, it is a lot less pronounced than I am used to with Talisker. In fact, if I didn’t know it was a Talisker, I might not have been sure.
Like the 10 Year Old, the Talisker Skye sells in the $45-$60 range. This puts it in the somewhat expensive price bracket, especially if you cannot get it at the lower end of that price range. Should you get it? Overall, I found it a very enjoyable whisky, well blended with some delicious flavors. Your expectations definitely should play a role in your decision, however. If you are a big peat fan and that is why you usually flock to Talisker, you may be disappointed by the Skye. If you enjoy peat whiskies but wish they were a little less overpowering, the Skye may be exactly what you have been searching for, and a very good purchase.
Talisker Skye : Summary
Colour: Bright, rich gold.
Nose: Smoky honey, peat, spices, caramel, toffee, and orange.
Origin : Nicaragua Format : Toro Size : 6.5 x 54 Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano (Colorado Maduro) Filler : Nicaraguan Binder : Nicaraguan Blenders : Hirochi Robaina, Omar González Alemán Hand-Made Price : ~$75 for a 4-pack sampler More info about purchasing HR Hirochi Robaina cigars...
Avid cigar smokers are never bored. We keep busy by “trolling” for information that could lead to our next great cigar. Searching the Internet, reading cigar reviews, or simply word of mouth can point us in the right direction. Over time, we learn to recognize names and brands we associate with cigars we’ve liked. Recently I became aware of a new cigar made by someone whose name I recognized… Robaina. In this case it was not the legendary Alejandro Robaina, the master Cuban tobacco farmer, but rather his grandson Hirochi.
Zander-Greg, Inc., is celebrating its twenty years as a national distributor of tobacco products with a new, special edition New World boutique cigar line. The circumstances in which this cigar is offered are a rarity … it is a brand manufactured and owned by AJ Fernandez, but with a slightly “tweaked” blend that is solely Zander-Greg’s.
The New World/20th Anniversary cigar is manufactured by the Tabacaleras Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The company is operated by third-generation tabacalero A. J. Fernandez, whose grandfather first grew tobacco in pre-Castro Cuba.
Zander-Greg’s 20th Anniversary is available in the same four shapes as the New World … all are classically Cuban, but with 5/64” larger diameters. They are: Robusto (5" x 55), Belicoso (5½" x 55), Toro (6½" x 55) and an extra-brawny Gordo (6" x 60). The cigars are Nicaraguan puros … dark Nicaraguan wrapper, Jalapa binder, and a filler of Nicaraguan Ometepe, Condega and Esteli. The cigars are full-bodied, and have a flavor profile that includes coffee, pepper, wood and chocolate notes. An extraordinary shifting of nuances throughout the smoke reflect the complexity of this five-tobacco recipe.
All shapes are box pressed, even the tapered-head Belicoso. An eye-catching gold “20th” adorns a second band below the Fernandez “New World” band. The cigars are presented 21 to a traditional Cuban dress-up box. Manufacturer’s suggest retail pricing falls between $5.00 and $6.00, and they will appear in tobacco retailers’ stores this September.
Room 101 Cigars, the well-known luxury brand maker based in Los Angeles has recently come out with a new cigar line that is named Ichiban. With this series of cigars they will be awarding exclusivity of each vitola to only one retailer. A high honor to say the least. This third addition to the line is called the Ranfla, resembling a bit of a cross between a perfecto and a salamon, and has been awarded to Doc James Tobacconist located in Shrub Oak, NY and Mamaroneck, NY.
In addition to its exclusivity, this line is also a limited run, so if your interest is peaked after reading this it is time for you to stock up your humidors. Now on to the review…
This cigar caught my interest because it’s a Nicaraguan puro, but I heard that it was a lot milder than most. It’s also part of a “certified” organically grown and cured line, and those were both points of interest. It comes in seven different sizes: 6×50 (Toro), 6.25×44 (Corona), 6.25×52 (Piramide), 4.75×52 (Robusto), 7×48 (Churchill), 4.5×36 (Nesticos), and 4.25×40 (Tins). I gave the Robusto a try to see if it would be as interesting as I hoped. And guess what—it was.
The Quesada Tributo Alvarito is the smallest cigar you can purchase in the Quesada Tributo line. It’s a Petit Corona, measuring just 4 ½ x 40, and costing only around $5.00. It was designed as a tribute cigar to Alvaro Quesada Jr., and is only the second blend by the Quesada family to bear their name.
Cigar breath … also called cigar mouth. One of the few drawbacks of smoking stogies, it’s something all of us have experienced at one time or another. It’s bad enough when that taste sticks in your mouth after you smoke, but even worse when you brush and floss and use your mouthwash, wake up the next morning, and it’s still there. And worse, you lean over to kiss your wife and she turns the other way and gags.
Why Does Cigar Breath Happen?
First things first. Let’s talk about why cigar mouth happens. I’ve actually heard a number of theories on the topic. It’s my guess that each of them is a contributing factor. For starters, let’s say you smoke a badly made or poorly aged cigar that has a lot of bitter flavors and ammonia. A cigar like that is going to leave some unpleasant flavors lingering on your palate. So what you smoke is a factor.