Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Place of purchase: Famous Smoke Shop Online


SIZE: 7x48
APPEARANCE: very good to excellent: great looking stick, uniform wrapper on the veiny side, nicely applied, A LOT of oils visible, very elaborate band, well applied, two bands "suggest a pedigree" to this smoke, very nice flattened triple head, evenly colored colorado maduro wrapper
CONSTRUCTION: excellent: the stick is well filled with only a slight give, nice roll with tight seams and a flat triple head in a cuban tradition
DRAW: perfect
BURN: average to good, as usual, with problems
AROMA: good to very good
FLAVOR: good to very good
DOMINANT FLAVORS: compost, worn leather, pepper
AFTERTASTE: worn leather
STRENGHT: moderate to somewhat strong
SMOKING TIME: ~ 2 hours
GENERAL IMPRESSION: average to good (marked down for consistent burn problems)

CUT: table scissors
PRELIGHT: barnyard, dark earth, salty tobacco
LIGHT: torch flame lighter, easily
BEVERAGE: coffee with milk

Opening delivers ample amounts of bitter pepper notes, but on third puff bitterness is lost with only pepper and dark earth remaining. Nose blow paints the picture in non-sweet caramel and wood nuances on a hefty peppery side, but still very smooth. Quarter inch into the smoke pepper eases to the back, leaving dark earth dominating. Aroma is fantastic, sweet wood mixed with caramel and new leather. The burn is among the ugliest I have seen, thick with dark gray and black ash. Finish at this point is short, spotlighting salty, earthy notes. Body in the upper medium range.

Brings nonsweetened caramel with cocoa into the twist. Earth backs down a bit, but still is firmly planted in the show. Burn problems appear, bringing taste to its knees. Only charred wood with hints of caramel remain and ashing reveals a very tiny cone. At this point, a touch up is applied and the burn returns to acceptable. Nearing the final third, the flavor jumps back in the gear with dark, bitter chocolate and molasses taking centerstage, while heavenly caramel fills the aroma. Body in the lower full at this point.

Surprise, surprise... Burn is acting up again and affects the flavor - charr returns. Another touch up is in order. Things get back on track yet again, but pepper reappears this time around, complementing pronounced dark earth and worn leather. Body settles in lower full, burning qualities leave a lot to be desired.

Stick turns soft with bitter notes becoming more and more pronounced. Aroma is still nice spicy caramel. No tar build-up, nice fermentation. Finish long and spicy with charred wood on a salty side.

Gran Habano Corojos are a love-hate smokes for me. I love the appearance, taste and aroma of the cigar, but hate its physical performance and packaging (although I can live with packaging). These are very different from other Corojos and I LOVE Corojo tobacco. They have darker flavor profile, a bit less sweetness and caramel and a bit more black pepper and molasses. IMO the blend in these overpowers the beautiful, oily, silky Corojo wrappers. Not that this is a bad thing, just different. Now for the shady part: these cigars simply refuse to burn, so I constantly have to fight the burn. They are never plugged, but always seem to have some issues with the filler which constantly mess with the burn and form tunnels. Also, I suspect oil in the wrappers also adds to this problem. As my box is from January 2008, I hope this issue will be somewhat alleviated with more age. Until I resolve this, another box is out of the question for me, only fivers.

No comments: