Graycliff Casillero Privada | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatran
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 5 x 46 “Piccolo Extra-Corona”
Body: Full
Price: $9.50 [$3 on Cbid]…And for the Presdente 7 x 48…($16..only $4-$6 on Cbid) UNTIL WORD OF MOUTH GETS OUT!

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There is absolutely no information about this cigar anywhere. Not even on the Graycliff web site.

It is a rustic looking cigar while at the same time gorgeous in its eccentricities.
No two cigars look alike. They look like they were hand rolled without using a cigar mold.

Some are way out of round. Some are bigger ring gauge than the other. And the triple caps differ dramatically. Of the three I have, one ring gauge appears to be 50 while another looks to be 44. The amount of exposed shaggy foot differs as well.
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The cigar has more bumps and lumps than a Milwaukee road after a snow blizzard. Seams are either tight or invisible. Strangely, there are not a lot of veins.

The wrapper is a reddish tan. Almost the color of organic honey. And oily in the sunlight.
The cigar band is very simple and elegant. It’s a nice departure from the regular line.

All of the three have hard spots and soft spots. Picking which one to review is a conundrum.

And since there is no info on it anywhere, I have no idea what the humidor time should be. I hate wasting one. I got these on Cbid for $4 instead of the almost $10.

I clip the cap and find aromas of sweetness, honey, earthiness, molten chocolate at the shaggy foot, black tea notes, oak and leather.

Time to light up. Unless I am outside, I tend to stay away from big shaggy feet because once lit they can cause a fireworks show..Here goes.

The draw is perfect and there is no fireworks show. The shaggy foot is a real gentleman. The first puffs bring out a nice dose of red pepper.
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There seems to be a plug near the foot but I dare not clear it out for fear of cracking the wrapper. The cigar feels light in the hand as a result of hand rolling instead of jam packed using a mold. It feels delicate and fragile.
How the char line will burn is anyone’s guess.

The predominant flavors are earthiness, spice and some nuttiness. The cocoa has waned a bit. There is woodiness to the flavor profile. A manly cigar without a kitchen sink full of candy bar flavors. It seems to be a cigar designed and blended to be enjoyed on the merits of its tobacco mixture. As you can see from the leaf stats, there ain’t much there to inform the public as to what really went into the blend.
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While I am extolling the virtues of a manly flavor profile, creaminess rolls in. And the sweetness becomes stronger. But the earthiness is the main element. It is a great tasting earthiness.

At only 1-1/2” burned, the stick makes a surge. The strength started out at mild/medium and has now moved to medium/full in almost a blink of the eye.

It is an interesting cigar and unlike any Graycliff I’ve smoked. I am not a big fan of Graycliff. I’ve reviewed a few here and liked them but this is a whole new ball game. It seems like a push to replicate a good Cuban.
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It reminds me of a Havana Cohiba with its pants on fire.

I like this cigar a lot. I allowed it 2-3 weeks of humidor time. That’s it and it tastes like it was intended by the blender.

The woodiness is great. I’m not very good at picking out different wood flavors except for cedar, hickory and maybe oak…but that’s it. This stick seems to be a variation on a theme. Different wood. Different strokes. Ahem.

For such a light in the hand feel, the cigar is burning very slowly. I’ve been on it for a good 30 minutes and just now reached the second third start.

And as rustic as it appears, the construction is maintaining an even keel of structural integrity. The cap is tough and no loose tobacco touches my lips. The char line has evened out. And not a single piece of funky wrapper making a break for it.
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Here are the flavors as the second third begins: Earthiness, sweetness, creaminess, red pepper, wood, leather, molasses, and a touch of vanilla.

At this point, the cigar fools me and becomes a flavor bomb of intense proportions. This is by far, the best cigar Graycliff has made. As you know, most Graycliff cigars are expensive and to my palate, not worth it.

Clearly, the word is not out on these sticks yet and that’s why I paid less than half. But the word will get out and this stick will become a big seller that will give Graycliff some street cred.

The halfway point is upon me. The flavors are ginormous. Such a perfect balance of taste and texture that the palate can pick up on. The complexity is right here and now.
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The last third begins with the strength hitting full body. The spiciness increases fivefold. I love spiciness in a cigar. Without it, I feel like something is missing. Maybe that’s an amateur’s way of looking at things…then so be it.

This cigar is worth $10. The bigger sticks can go as high as $13. But Cbid will save your petootie. This is definitely a cigar one must have.
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Nicotine begins to kick in as my motor skills diminish.

With 1-1/2” to go, I’ve spent almost 90 minutes with this cigar.

The flavor profile has not changed. It becomes more intense though with each puff.
I highly recommend this cigar.
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And now for something completely different:

Some sad things have happened in the last couple of weeks and I don’t much feel like talking about rock n roll blow jobs.

I would like to tell you about why music made me happy. I know, I know…snore…

I had to sell my only bass in order to make a down payment for my wife’s cancer surgery. Happily, it sold in 2 hours on eBay. I cried most of the day after it sold.

It symbolizes that I am now done. I haven’t played out in a couple of years because Brazilian Rose wood is one of the heaviest and most dense woods out there. Playing four sets with that anvil around my shoulder put me in bed for two days after a gig. Not to mention lugging my gear and helping with the other band member’s gear…and the sound system…and the light system…etc.

When I was young, there were a ton of friends who followed the band that felt it was an honor and a duty to help lug that gear. When you are in your 60’s, your friends are in bed when you start playing. And they can’t lift anything heavy either. So it’s just the band doing the roadie work.

When my wife got home from work last night, we hugged for an eternity. Happy that the looming money issue was solved but feeling terrible I had to give up one of the most perfect basses ever made.

I know you are thinking to yourself that when I get some dough, I can go out and buy another bass…a lighter bass like a McCartney Hofner. Hofners are actually very expensive running in the $2K range.

I discovered from a bunch of musicians that contacted me as a result of the bass being on eBay that the bass is going to a fine musician and one worthy of it. A bassist that will appreciate it and love it like I have for 34 years.

I spoke to the buyer, who owns an online store that only sells one kind of guitars. Apparently, he does very well. He told me that the bass is going to a friend by the name of Marcus. I’m hoping that the reference is to Marcus Miller…a giant in jazz.

“Marcus Miller (born William Henry Marcus Miller, Jr.; June 14, 1959) is an American jazz composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known as a bass guitarist. Throughout his career, Miller worked with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianist Herbie Hancock, singer Luther Vandross, and saxophonist David Sanborn, as well as maintaining a successful solo career. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist and also plays keyboards, saxophone and guitar.” From Wikipedia.

I hope this is the man. If not, it’s OK.
marcus

It hit me last night in bed that I have a great combo amp I should sell. Line 6 is a revolutionary brand. They make both guitar and bass amps. The revolutionary thing they did was put all the effects you could think of in the amp. You can pick a guitar sound from a long list like Stratocaster, Gibson, etc. And you can pick the amp sound like Marshall, etc.
schecter (2)

A good friend did me a real solid when I got downsized in early 2009. He contacted Line 6 and told them of my plight. Line 6 graciously gave me an $800 combo amp for free. With the stipulation that they could use my name or photo in any of their ads. How could I refuse?

So today, the amp goes on the selling block.

I suppose it is hard for anyone not in love with something for over 50 years to understand the attachment one gets to a discipline.

My parents forced me to play accordion when I was 9. Most of my friends deserted me. Ever see the bumper sticker: “Use an Accordion-Go to Jail!”

That led me to picking up the ukulele. My first string instrument and I got pretty good at it. I was only 13. At the age of 15, the folk scene was at its zenith. So my dad bought me a Gibson 5 string banjo. I loved that instrument but man, is it hard to play correctly. My teacher at McCabe’s in Long Beach was John McEuen. He told me one day during a lesson he could no longer teach me as he was joining a new band called the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Meanwhile, my buddy Skip picked up the guitar. And he made me play bass lines on the banjo. Lol.

So at the age of 15, I saved my money and bought my first bass: A used Hofner from a pawn shop in downtown Long Beach. Right on Ocean Blvd.

My father wouldn’t buy me an amp for 6 months. He wanted to make sure I would stick with it. And of course, I did.

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3 replies

  1. My heartfelt hopes and wishes towards a happy outcome for the wife and you, and my condolences for having to part with such a cherished element of your life. It sounde like it has gone on to be equally cherished and will hopefully contribute to creating another lifetime of joyous sounds.

  2. Amen to what D. Nelson said. I really can feel and relate to your pain as I had to recently divest myself of some great and cherished equipment when my hearing started to go (i.e. a 1963 Fender Jazzmaster and a 1967 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, among other equipment). Again, best wishes for your wife’s recovery.