Gran Habano Gran Reserva #3 2008 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (8 year old aged tobacco)
Binder: Nicaraguan (7 year old aged tobacco)
Filler: Nicaraguan (7 year old leaf from “La Santa Cruz” farm), Colombian (7 year old leaf from “La Joya del Valle” farm)
Size: 6.125 x 52 “Piramides”
Body: Medium
Price: $7.10 MSRP
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The cigars were rolled in early 2008 and then aged, rolled, for an additional two years. And released in 2010.
The cigar comes in three sizes: 7 x 50, 6.125 x 52, and 6 x 54.

The tobacco was grown on, father and son, George and Guillermo Rico’s many farms throughout Central America and South America.
The tobacco output is so great that the Ricos sell their tobacco to other blenders.

The cigar is virtually covered by the cigar band and cedar wrap so that only 1-1/2” is visible. I remove the cedar to check out the construction.

The wrapper is a medium brown with loads of oil. And some mighty big veins. The cap is sort of lumpy but nicely executed. The wrapper is very slick.

The cigar band is a color you don’t see often….a very light yellow with indentations of cross hatching. The band is trimmed at each end with gold bands. The lettering is simple and classy.

At the foot, a small gold ribbon is placed around the cedar. Plus the words: “Gran Reserva” are printed on the cedar wrap.

I clip the cap and find aromas of just cedar and spice.
Time to light up.

Loads and loads of caramel and butterscotch. And a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream.

I did something that 99.9% of the time I don’t do. I got the sticks yesterday and reviewing them today.
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Why? 7-8 year old aged tobacco, another two years of aging after being rolled, and another four years after that in boxes.
If a cigar ain’t ready to smoke after all that aging, it will never be ready.

And my instinct was right. A beautifully flavored cigar right from the get go and moments away from becoming a flavor bomb.
The draw is spot on. Some spiciness appears but I don’t expect much as all that aging probably tamed the hell out of it.

There is a fruitiness and tartness of a green apple and the sweetness of both the caramel and butterscotch. I’m back as a child at the world famous Nu-Pike in downtown Long Beach eating junk food but first getting a caramel apple.

By the half inch mark creaminess and cedar reveal themselves. There is some baking spice. I can taste a very buttery crust.
If you love Curivari like I do, then this is your cup of tea. Very close in blending styles.

I bought a five pack of these cigars from Atlantic Cigars. The 5 pack goes for $31. A ridiculously low price for this quality. I’d love to tell you what I paid for it because I pay Atlantic $60 a year to be a VIP member but I did that once and Garland, the manager, ripped me a new one. And they only have 2-4 sets in stock of singles, 5 packs and boxes for all three sizes. So one must hurry. This is not a regular production cigar. It was rolled in 2008, and released in 2010. That’s all folks.
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And it doesn’t matter which size you choose because the cigar is aged so perfectly that even the big torpedo I am smoking, and reviewing, is booming flavors like a corona or robusto.

At the middle of the first third, I get some salty pretzel notes.

I just stopped writing and bought a box. Fortunately, it is none of that 15 stick nonsense. A box full of 20 cigars. The MSRP on this box is $142. Atlantic is selling them for $96.

One thing I really love about Atlantic. For $6-$9 (depending on size of order), they send your package second day USPS so you can even get your sticks on Saturday. They’ve never failed me once.
Other stores are selling them for a lot more.

The cigar is a flavor bomb as it moves to the second third.
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Man, it is delicious. The smoke pours from the foot. The char line is razor sharp. And the flavors are making me wet my pants.

This is one of those cigars that I wish we lived 50 years from now and I have Taste-O-Vision and you could taste what I taste.

There is no significant change to the flavor profile. Other than they become more intense and defined. The balance is perfect. The finish is long.

Complexity digs its heels in at this point. The cigar is the absolute definition of smoooooth.

I am getting a different fruitiness. Some black cherry, blackberry, and currants. Nice.

I’ve torn apart just about every cigar I’ve reviewed lately so it is a very pleasant surprise to be able to gush all over this cigar. And remember, no one gave it to me so I’m not beholden to anyone for a good review.

Over the last couple of years, Rico has put out some really great sticks. He has his inexpensive line which is just OK. And he has a high premium line that includes George Rico S.T.K. Miami American Puro, Gran Habano STK Zulu Zulu Habano, and the Gran Habano STK Barracuda. Click on the names to read my reviews.

At the halfway point, the flavors are slightly subdued. The complexity makes the flavors roll up in a big ball and spin at the speed of my dog having a bowel movement and spits out flavors in intense, random order.

The missing component shows up: Creaminess. Now I go grab a Diet Coke for the NYC egg cream experience.
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Here are the flavors, in order: Sweetness, creaminess, caramel, cocoa, fruit, cedar, nuts, and baking spices. And of course, the earthiness is to die for. You can taste the subtlety of aged tobacco doing its job.

If I chose to do so, I could probably go through the torturous rigmarole of allowing the ash to burn right down to the nub.

But I don’t. I knock it off. I tip my hat to the reviewers that go through that but I’m too old and delicate.

The last third begins too soon for my pleasure. The strength has been a static medium body. Even though that is what the cigar is described as on the Gran Habano web site, I kind of thought that with all this aging, it would be closer to mild. But it ain’t. Dead center medium body. And not a lick of nicotine kick.
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95% of the spice is gone now.

My wife is going to kick my ass when she finds out I bought a box. She doesn’t give a shit how limited or how aged the cigars are. Or how great a deal I got. And that I saved some serious shekels by being a VIP member. She won’t talk to me for a day or so. But then it passes and I still have my cigars. Sound familiar to anyone out there?

Just a tad bit into the last third, the flavors make a huge push forward and blast the door off its hinges.

The cigar finishes out perfectly. No harshness. A bounty of flavor. No heat. No bitterness. And a perfect char line to the end.

If you don’t try these before they are gone forever….well, your Uncle Katman will just have to buy them all up.
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3 replies

  1. Phil, your description was so good that I ordered a 5-pack to give it a go. If I like them as much as you I hope I can pick up a box before they are all gone.

    • I checked around Bryan and a couple of the big stores carry them too. I buy from Atlantic because of that big VIP membership discount. I should have checked before warning people. I thought this was a really limited cigar. Or maybe it is just a clearance item.
      Smoke one the second day you get them before you’ve smoked any other cigar. Enjoy.

  2. Great review as always. Have you tried the 2009 or 2010? You might have a 2010 on hand.