Gran Habano Blue in Green | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 54 Gran Robusto
Strength: Mild/Medium
Price: $9.00 (Can be had for less than $6.00 online)

Today we take a look at the Gran Habano Blue in Green.
Samples were provided by Gran Habano.

BACKGROUND:
From Cigar Aficionado:
“George Rico’s Gran Habano brand has a new cigar heading to tobacconists this week called Blue in Green. The new smoke, which the company says is medium bodied, debuted at the IPCPR trade show last summer.

“Made at the Rico’s G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas, S.A. in Honduras, Blue in Green wears a Connecticut-grown wrapper over binder and filler tobacco from Nicaragua. It comes in three sizes: Churchill, measuring 7 inches by 48 ring gauge; Gran Robusto, 6 by 54; and Robusto, 5 by 52. The Blue in Green vitolas come packaged in boxes of 20 and retail between $9.00 and $9.50 per cigar.

“G.R. Tabacaleras Co. was founded in Danlí, Honduras, in 1998 by George Rico’s father Guillermo. In 2003, the father-son team launched the Gran Habano brand. Less than five years later, Gran Habano earned a place on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2007 list when its Gran Habano 3 Siglos Gran Corona was rated 92 points.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
Churchill 7 x 48 $9.30
Gran Robusto 6 x 54 $9.50
Robusto 5 x 52 $9.00

APPEARANCE:
The presentation is very nice. The cedar sleeve with gold ribbons at each end give the cigar some hint that this may be a good cigar…or not. The triple cap is on the money. The blonde Connie wrapper glistens with oil. And it’s as smooth as a baby’s tush. But the stick is hard as a rock. Which may mean nothing. Seams are tight and there is plenty of veinage. A smart looking cigar.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
I expect the usual aromas from the Connie; let’s see…Creamy caramel, butter, cedar, milk chocolate, malt, barnyard, black pepper, unidentified nuttiness, and a touch of café latte.
The cold draw presents flavors of…. uhh…The stick is so packed, that it’s like sucking on a flattened straw. Yes, my dears, out comes my PerfecDraw cigar poker to the rescue. Great. The cigar is so hard, that I force the poker too hard and it nearly pops out the side of the cigar midway. Out comes the PerfecRepair cigar glue and I successfully close the flapping wrapper.
Even now, the draw has a lot of resistance. I hope I don’t have to do the poker thing again. I can taste nothing from the draw. Let’s see how it smokes.

FIRST THIRD:
Hard draw. But flavors show up in the form of creaminess, banana, malt, black pepper, cedar, and a little milk chocolate.
The PR says it is a mild/medium blend. It starts off immediately at medium and totally bypasses mild. Get it? Got it. Good.
The spiciness takes over. It nearly obliterates the other flavors.
I was given a couple sticks by GH. The first one did not have this construction issue of being the Rock of Gibraltar. Figures. I picked the wrong one.

Generally speaking, I am not a Connie fan. But I definitely taste potential in this blend.

GH chose three sizes for this blend. Except for the Robusto, the other two are big cigars. I bet a Corona Gorda or even a Corona would have been a good 4th choice. Sometimes, Connies become real swingin’ dicks in those sizes.

At this early juncture, there are no flavor shifts. There is a hint of complexity lingering in the ladies’ room. The finish is surprisingly tasty with notes of flavors described above.

It is just damn impossible not to get your slobber all over a Connie’s cap. Which is OK if you are smoking for fun. But I find my photos of a dripping wet cap kinda’ gross. Don’t look at the cap in the photos. Promise?

The Gran Habano Blue in Green is much more interesting than expected. But since it’s been out for over a year, I’m surprised to see prices marked down by over 30% online. Sure, if it were a Ramon Bueso Second, I’d understand. But this is becoming a very good stick…especially if you don’t have to pay the MSRP of $9. I like $6. My buddy, Charles Lim sent me a 5 pack of Churchills that I look forward to digging into. (If you don’t thank your benefactors, they get angry and send you sticks saturated in LSD).

I gotta say what everyone is thinking…why would you call a 6 x 54 sized stick a Gran Robusto? Help me Rhonda.
My gut tells me that the invertebrate state of the cigar undergoing frigid temps as the windows are open and snow and cold air pour in, is going to hold up bravely while it continues to impress.

This is the perfect cigar for newbies and those that just like what they like. Its tobacco is causing a total relaxation of my numerous cavities. My jaw is hanging open like a kid seeing Led Zep for the first time.
Some lemon zest enters stage left. Nice. It gives a big boost to the flavor profile with a tangy lean.

SECOND THIRD:
Flavors aren’t transmorphing into something spectacular; but it is consistent to the bone.
The burn could be better. I have touched it up a few times. Probably due to packing the sausage with too much meat.

And then the shrew turns on a web of lace and the flavors move to the next level. This is a very hearty cigar. Beefy. Significant. Morose. Didactic. Loose lips sink ships. 1969 Chevy Impala. Willy and the Hand Jive.

We have complexity. A nice legume festival containing notes of super creaminess, butter, big banana, coconut, lemon twist, cedar, malt, milk chocolate, nuttiness, earthy, but no real sweetness. If the Gran Habano Blue in Green can muster up a little pillow talk with something sweet, it will create a perfect balance. It’s on the verge but needs a little push.

This is a Connie of a different color. Much heartier than most of the Connecticuts you’ve smoked.

I get my first hint of sweetness with a touch of orange marmalade. Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir?

The Nic guts are giving the blend some real character. For $6+, you can’t beat it.

The cold is so bad here, like so many other places, that as I left my local B&M, I slipped on the ice as I opened my car door to go home. I dangled on the ground with one hand still caught in the door handle. No one to hear my girlish screams.
Wisconsin is where old people come to commit suicide. Spend one or two winters here and it is sure death. Every single winter we’ve lived here in the last decade, Charlotte and I break something. We now wear bubble wrap when we go out. Works like a charm.

I’m enjoying the shit out of the Gran Habano Blue in Green. Really. Good cigar. Perfect morning cigar with coffee.
Deep complexity settles in now. Damn. I believe I’ve had this cigar in my humidor for around 3-4 months. Don’t smoke it before then.
But because it’s packed so heavily, this is turning into a marathon. I started this review 9 hours ago.
The halfway point comes and goes in triumph.
The blend continues its path to semi-glory.

LAST THIRD:
No shift in the flavor profile. Steady as she goes. That’s OK. It’s a solid blend and doesn’t have to bloom into a flavor bomb to be enjoyed.
The blend is so close to flavor bomb status but no cigar. Still, its complex nature is increasing with each puff at this point.

The Gran Habano Blue in Green is a good everyday cigar…thanks to the drop in price online.
One thing about a Connie wrapper is that every flaw shows up…unlike a Maduro which hides everything. It looks a little rough, but it delivers.

I read a couple reviews and we seem to be on the same page. I can only recommend that should you purchase some, give them some rest before lighting up. Very few reviewers tell us how long the cigar was allowed to rest prior to the review. So, it’s always a crap shoot to compare opinions of any blend.
Still, this is a worthy cigar of your hard earned, wife hidden dough. I could smoke a Blue in Green daily.

RATING: 90

And now for something completely different:

There is a whole laundry list of things I did that led to my eventual demise in Curved Air. Things that really bothered the band leader, Darryl Way. One problem was that he was the most arrogant SOB I had ever met. Really. Yes, he was classically trained at some fancy upscale English university and was a brilliant violinist and composer…but still a big putz.

He was also very good looking and considered himself a ladies’ man. He proved it during my tenure with the band when he married a very famous French model. Oh my God, she was gorgeous and the first time she undressed in our dressing room before a show, I almost passed out. She had no trouble with nudity. Neither did I except for the passing out part.

One day, we were traveling and while I don’t remember the circumstances, it was just me and Darryl and his new bride. We were on the way to a gig. Darryl liked me at the time and then he didn’t like me and then he liked me…well, you get the picture.

Reporters hated Darryl because of his caustic nature. And he hated them back. And since he discovered how funny I could be and how I charmed reporters with my brilliant wit, he asked for advice. Now I remember why he took me alone with him on this ride without the other band members.

He asked that I coach him how to talk to reporters. Now this had a sinister back story. Word got out how funny I was and the reporters began to ignore Darryl and Sonja after a gig and would interview me instead. This infuriated Darryl. Stew Copeland and I were like Abbott and Costello. A very funny guy and we played off each other beautifully and monopolized all the radio interviews.

I was, and am, a huge Marx Brothers fan. So, I started to teach Darryl shtick. He picked up on it quickly. His wife, who barely spoke English, kept interrupting with brilliant repartee like, “What? What?”

We laughed for two hours til we got to the gig somewhere in Europe. We worked out routines that Groucho and Chico did. I kept telling him, “Faster, faster!” Our timing was perfect.
On that day, Darryl liked me.

So that night, after the gig when reporters were allowed into the dressing room, we were ready.
As they had done in the past, they came to me or Sonja. No one else.

Darryl sauntered over to me to join in the interview and I gave him a straight line. And then…nothing. He had completely forgotten everything in the moment of pressure. I gave him another straight line. Nothing. He stood there like an idiot. We kept trying until I started to make fun of our mentally challenged band leader. His face turned red and stomped off. He didn’t like me that evening.

Then at the next gig, he decided to get even. He was being interviewed in the dressing room by a few reporters. He told them I used to play with Elvis. Now Presley never played England. And he has some of the biggest fans of all time on that island.

The reporters went nuts and I had to affect a phony southern accent and tell them stories I made up on the spot about Elvis. This happened a couple more times and I was having a good time. Darryl saw this and put the kibosh on the whole thing.

In the music trades the next day, the whole thing was reported. They made Darryl out to be the fool.
We tried to hide the papers from him but to no avail. He damn near fired me on the spot but the rest of the band calmed him down. Darryl had no sense of humor.
But Stewart Copeland, our drummer, did.

Stewart was wittier than Darryl. Shit. A beaver was wittier than Darryl.

Stew and I completely manipulated the interview with jokes and stories.
And then it happened. One day, we get a call from Miles Copeland III. He said that from now on, only Stew and I were to do the radio interviews. Oy vey.

This was the real beginning of the end for me.

Stew and I became the Groucho and Chico, the Abbot and Costello, the Laurel and Hardy, the Burns and Allen of the radio interview.

I had a couple stories I used when an interviewer asked how I got into music. My response was clever and dry.
Years later, when I saw The Police in Santa Barbara as they kicked off their gold album tour for their first album, I sat in the dressing room with Miles and Jerry Moss. Moss was the partner of Herb Alpert (the famous player of trumpet with many gold albums under his belt with his Tijuana Brass.)

Miles goaded me to tell one of the stories I told from 6-7 years ago. I couldn’t believe he remembered so I told it to a stone-faced Moss who didn’t laugh.

A bit later, I told Miles about my latest project of a band called The Attitude. We had a single climbing the American charts. It was a remake of “Hound Dog.” And Little Richard played piano on it. It was a kick ass version. We even did our own music video.

Miles feigned interest as I handed him a PR kit. He looked next to him where his assistant sat and told him, right in front of me, “You know what to do with this.”
Later, I found the whole PR kit in a trash can in the dressing room.
What a bastard!

The music business is not for the squeamish. Or sensitive. It’s a nasty, horrible, and political industry that spits out great talent in lieu of something mundane and popular.

I was in the big-time music industry for 10 solid years before I just gave up. I continued to play bass in cover bands that played clubs because my roots were in the music; not the business. I continued to play until I was 64 when the harm done to my body from a 2001 skydiving accident really took its toll. I could no longer hang a 12lb bass around my neck for four sets. Nor could I lug around my bass gear and help with the set up and break down at a gig.

So, I’ve returned to my roots as a teen as a bedroom bassist. That’s OK. It was a good ride.

One last thing…I received another unexpected Curved Air clipping from Martin Stassen of the Netherlands. He sent me a news clipping from Melody Maker after I was canned from the band. Fucking Miles Copeland took my little ‘rabbi’ story and bastardized it to make me look stupid and foolish. A real asshole…to this day.

Advertisements


Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s