This week’s group review is of the Gran Habano Cabinet Selection. Gran Habano has established themselves as one the better value cigar manufacturers, which fits Straight Up Cigars perfectly. Let’s see how this one smokes. This one has a sweet cedary smell to it and the pre-light construction is good. After lighting up we got creamy and nutty flavor with some pepper and spice on the finish. Near the end of the cigar it developed a coffee flavor. The construction was perfect on all three of our sticks. Overall, the flavor profile left us wanting more. It was fairly one dimensional and did not pack the bold flavor profile we expected. This is one of the most expensive GH cigars, but I would actually prefer several of their other cheaper sticks. This one wasn’t bad, but the price tag had us expecting something better.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 16/20
Price Point: 8/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Terry1: Is it me or does this cigar have a slight box press to it?
IamDarren: it might, i just noticed that the pictures on the various websites showed a much more pronounced box press than what these have.
IamDarren: did you find yours Matt?
Terry1: Yeah I’m ready to light up. The wrapper feels and smells great. Nice barnyard and sweet tobacco notes off the oily wrapper.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Mine has a nice sweet cedary smell. The draw is a bit tight, but should be fine. Veiny, but attractive wrapper. Ready to light!
IamDarren: yeah im a big fan of Corojo wrappers, i love the reddish brown hue.
IamDarren: just got er clipped, draw is pretty good. ready to light up.
Terry1: Mine is drawing good, getting a fruity note on the cold draw. Very nice. Lighting up.
IamDarren: lots of cream and spice on the first few puffs
IamDarren: also a very light pepper note on the finish
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Nice flavor. I am getting toasty and nutty flavors with some pepper and spice on the finish. Good start!
Terry1: Great smoke production. Getting the cream, nuts and a mild pepper zing. Very smooth start.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Really dry smoke to this one… I am close to getting the hiccups!
IamDarren: this is supposed to be Gran Habano’s strongest blend. Its been awhile since i smoked one but i didn’t think they were that overpowering. There is a defenite pepper zing but its complimented well by the creaminess.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Mine is getting a little sweeter now. I think that is the cream you guys mentioned, my first few puffs were very different.
IamDarren: do you normally toast your cigar when you light, i have always wondered if it made a difference?
Terry1: I’m picking up more of a sweetness too. Burning great so far but slow. I have a feeling this is going to be a two hour cigar.
IamDarren: im probably in a good half inch and the pepper seems to be mellowing a little, definitely more sweetness now. Burn is great and its producing lots of smoke.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I always toast it, I don’t puff while lighting
Terry1: Is that the difference? I didn’t know what Darren was referring to. I always light first then puff. So I assume I toast my cigars.
IamDarren: i didn’t used to care but i tried toasing a diesel one time and it seemed like the cigar started out tasting more mellow. I had gotten used to ciars being very strong and peppery at the start.
IamDarren: lately i have been letting the flame kiss the foot until it is completely black before i even think about drawing.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: It could make a difference. The cigar will start off cooler, I guess.
Terry1: I recently tried to light up using matches. Took forever and almost a full box of those little matches they throw in your order once in a while. I didn’t notice much of a difference for the effort. Butane torch for me. I don’t have the patience.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I think I did it once out of necessity. It’s a pain!
IamDarren: i have to use a torch outside, its always windy here. Sometimes when i go inside i will use a strip of cedar i get off a cigar or in a box, they work pretty good.
IamDarren: just tapped my ash off at an inch. Really enjoying the flavor at this point. Nuts, cream, spice, and a pinch of sweetness.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, my first ash dropped of a minute ago. I guess you are going to avoid dropping them on the computer this time, huh?
IamDarren: not taking any chances this time. Although i had to tap pretty hard to get it to drop.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: So you think Chade is commenting on his own comments?
IamDarren: well you should know from the IP, correct?
IamDarren: i just thought it was a little fishy
StraightUpCigars – Matt: True, I’ll give it a looksie in a minute. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me at all. As long as you don’t post links you can be as schizo as you want
Terry1: I like the idiots that post on closed contests. Can’t they read!
IamDarren: lol, i suppose
IamDarren: lol, so true Terry
StraightUpCigars – Matt: What is up with that? I started putting in bold CLOSED and they still post!
IamDarren: almost makes you wonder if they heard about it somewhere else and are just linking to the page to comment.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: That could be. Looking at an old post on Puff or something.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: My second ash just fell off. This thing has a huge bright orange cherry, I’m going to let it cool.
Terry1: I’m liking this cigar but I really thought there would be more to it. Plenty of mild flavors. Maybe when we get into the final third it will strengthen. It is an easy smoking cigar.
Terry1: I’m noticing more of an earthy note as I start the second third.
IamDarren: many of other review also put this cigar in the mild to medium category. They must have done a good job blending this puppy to keep that Corojo wrapper from overwhelming everything else.
IamDarren: i think i read somewhere that it either has a criollo binder or in the filler.
IamDarren: mine seems to be getting brighter… Less cream and possibly a little cedar.
IamDarren: the spice seems to sill be the dominant force though, which i really like.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’m surprised how mellow mine is too, Terry. Creamy and earthy, but not as much spice as I would have thought at this point in the cigar.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Still good, though. Just waiting for a transition.
Terry1: The flavors on mine keep fading in and out. It’ll be earthy then a few puffs later a blast of sweetness then the spice takes over then back to earth. Not sure if I’m overheating the cigar or if it’s just the blend.
Terry1: And this cigar has one of the strongest ashes I’ve seen. I had to really tap it to get the ash to fall off.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Slow burner too. I’m still just past halfway.
IamDarren: my second ash just fell off in the tray, it was at least an inch long. So far A+ for Construction, burn and ash.
IamDarren: just removed the double bands, they were easy to remove.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, we has not mentioned construction at all yet. That’s a good thing! Perfect.
Terry1: My bands popped right off and, I agree, the construction has been near perfect.
IamDarren: some other reviews said they had poor construction and burn issues. I think that these mail order cigars really need a lot of rest. I know we like to review the new sticks but i think several months in the humi have done some good.
Terry1: I’m struggling with the question, would I purchase this again? It’s been a good cigar but for $7-$8 there are plenty of cigars I liked better and would buy over this one.
IamDarren: That is very true, however they are going on cbid for about 3 bucks a stick
StraightUpCigars – Matt: For $3 I think we have a great grilling cigar here. For $8, I’m going to have to pass based on my experience thus far.
Terry1: Agree, for 3 bucks I might buy them again. Eight is a stretch.
IamDarren: that might possibly be why they were going to stop production on these. Thier website does not show them so im wondering if CI made a deal to keep getting them.
IamDarren: http://www.examiner.com/article/gran-habano-discontinues-two-lines that is the article i read around the time i started looking into getting some. But since CI still has them in inventory they either bought up a truckoad or they are still getting them.
[Gran Habano discontinues two lines – National Cigar | Examiner.com]
Gran Habano discontinues two lines – National Cigar | Examiner.com
Terry1: I’d bet CI bought the remaining stock. There’s obviously some good tobaccos in this cigar and I can’t believe Gran Habano would keep making these to sell for three dollars.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Well said
IamDarren: i suppose it would make sense then that they are marking up the price, or at least not lowering it becuase they aren’t getting any more.
IamDarren: im now into the last third, starting to detect a little hidden strength sneaking up on me. Flavors have not changed much though.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’m into the final third too. Mine is building some flavor. A much needed change. It has a robust coffee flavor to it now.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: The burn has gone wonky as well. That’s almost to be expected at the 1.5 hr. mark, though.
IamDarren: have you guys seen the packaging on these, very elegant. Probably a few bucks per stick right there.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: No, I’m going to look it up.
IamDarren: its funny though, CI and Cigar.com show two different colored boxes for this stick…
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Elegant indeed: http://www.stogiereview.com/images/brianh/gran_habano_azteca_gigante.jpg
IamDarren: lol, yeah they need to punch about 100 holes in that sucker, hook up a bunch of hoses and light er up!
Terry1: LOL. I forgot they built that massive cigar. Do you know if they actually smoked it? I heard they were developing an end cap to fit it so it could be smoked.
IamDarren: how in the hell would you get a good tight pack on that “bale” of tobacco.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: No way! I would not want to share that with 100 people.
Terry1: That would be one giant hookah!
StraightUpCigars – Matt: The draw is probably about as good as most Alec Bradleys.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Before I forget, I want to do that CAO La Traviata next week.
Terry1: Sounds good to me.
IamDarren: sounds good to me also
Terry1: I’m setting mine down. Stength built a little in the last third. I’d say a solid medium.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, mine is about cashed too. The wrapper came a bit unraveled, but that won’t affect my review as I have been rough on it… an hour and a half of chewing is a lot!
IamDarren: Same here, i have at least a half inch left but im ready to put it down. I was hoping to get more coffee but it just didn’t happen.
Terry1: I’ll clarify the price point is at $3 not the $8. I’d score it lower if I had to pay $8.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Same here.
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Great yard gar IMO. Not one I would have for a special occasion.
Terry1: It would work well on the golf course. Good mild flavors, solid construction, long burn time.