Cigar Review- Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2010 Corona Gorda by George A. Rico
Nearly a decade in the making, the Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2010 is a special release cigar blended by George A. Rico using a very careful selection of aged tobaccos. Featuring a dream team of blend components- 2004 Jalapa Valley Habano Ligero and 2003 Esteli Habano ligero fillers beneath a 2005 Habano leaf binder and a 2005 Corojo wrapper, the cigars were then rolled in 2010, allowing a few years for the vintage tobaccos to age even further and “marry” properly before release. With an elaborate creation process like that, I couldn’t even imagine what kind of smoke I was in for today when I pulled out a sample of the Corona Gorda(5 5/8 x 46).
The Gran Reserva #5 wore a slick, clean and leathery wrapper with a few thin veins and a slight oily sheen. Construction was evenly solid, topped off by a neat triple cap at the head. Pre-light draws gave off some sweet cedar with a touch of lemony citrus.
The cigar opened up to a relaxed taste of cedar and soft black pepper. I was pulling out thick plumes of creamy smoke with each draw and the profile expanded to include notes of baking spice and cocoa with a tinge of the citrus I had tasted in the cold draw. As the pepper cooled off a bit about an inch or so in, the smoke became buttery smooth. A neat grey and black-striped ash was accumulating nicely.
After an eventful intro the profile shifted to notes of earth, nutmeg, leather, and a tea-like flavor with a spicy-smooth finish. It occurred to me that this cigar was a wolf in sheeps clothing- if I wasn’t aware of the ligero-heavy blend within, I wouldn’t have expected the strength I was feeling from this stick based on the array of laid-back and balanced flavors I was tasting. The burn-line was razor-straight, and as it grew closer to the final third the flavors began to fuse together creating one smooth and unique taste.
In the last third the flavors remained mostly consistent with an added element of cream that made for a fantastic finish. My last few puffs were punctuated by a bit of caramel sweetness, ending the smoke on a high note.
The Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 was definitely of a different caliber than most of the cigars I review. You only get this particular kind of smoothness and complexity when dealing with well-aged, high-quality tobaccos. This smoke had an heir of elegance to it; I now understand why we haven’t been able to keep these on the shelves very long since their release. Despite its refined taste, this stick packs a serious amount of power, even after having a few years to mellow. Hands down, the Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2010 gets an A grade. This is one to relax with and enjoy slowly to take in all it has to offer.