While I am pretty well-versed when it comes to big-name cigar brands, Gran Habano is one that I have very little experience with. Having only smoked one of their sticks in the past (the powerful Czar Corojo #5), I selected the Habano #3 for today’s review partially to get a little more familiar with the brand, and also because the interesting mix of filler tobaccos from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico caught my attention. What can I say, I like diversity in my cigars.
Even before lighting up, I could tell this stick was solidly constructed, and evenly filled with a nice triple cap applied. The Nicaraguan Habano wrapper was veiny and clean looking, and the color was a consistent and even cocoa brown shade. It just looked good.I cut the cap and pre-light puffs gave off a nice swirl of cedar and baking spice, with just a bit of black pepper on the tongue. The Habano #3 officially had my attention and I put the flame to the foot.
I immediately got a blast of rich flavor similar to what I had detected in the pre-light draw, but with none of the pepper. The baking spice note was dominant here, leaning towards Nutmeg, and was nicely rounded off by a buttery note in the background and bold tobacco flavor throughout. Ensuing draws revealed notes of cedar and hay. The flavors were very distinct, and not at all subtle. After only a few puffs I could tell I was in for a tasty ride.
A little further in I was expecting a change in the flavors. I’m conditioned to expect a change-up in the 2nd third of a cigar, as so many stogies I’ve reviewed have displayed, but this one did not budge. The same bold flavors remained, but began to meld together in a way that really complimented the blend. The stick took on a new smoothness that was pretty awesome. I suspected that the nice, thick inch-plus ash that had been building might have had something to do with it. So, I proceeded to knock the ash off and purge the cigar, and then resumed tasting.
I hadn’t really heard much about this cigar before trying it, and at this point I was starting to wonder why. This was shaping up to be a great smoke. After the purge the stogie lost none of its smoothness, but gained a nice mellow sweet note, kind of like caramel. The nutmeg spice had morphed by now into a nuttier, woodier profile and I finally got a dose of the black pepper that the pre-light had alluded to. All in all I was impressed with how naturally the flavors seemed to work together without becoming muddled. With about an inch left I peeled the snazzy, regal-looking band off and put the nub down and left it to smolder out.
I have to say, I enjoyed this cigar a lot more than I expected to. It had an effortless draw and perfectly straight burn all the way down, and the simple, clean flavors held my interest for the duration of the smoke. It was definitely medium in body, which I attribute to the addition of the Costa Rican and Mexican fillers that probably help to off-set the typically potent Nicaraguan leaves. By far, the biggest compliment I can give this stogie would have to be in regards to the blending. This was without a doubt one of the most well-blended cigars I have ever smoked. The flavors seemed to match perfectly, and played off of each other better and better as the smoke went on. Even though I feel completely pretentious typing it, there is no better word than “harmonious” that I could use to describe the blend. This was some smooth, tasty stuff. I plan on stocking up on a few of these for myself because A) I want to smoke it again, and B) I think it would make a great introductory smoke to pass off to a newbie, because of its vivid, easily-read flavor and exemplary construction. I have to chalk this one up as a win for Gran Habano, and give the Habano #3 an A rating, as well as some shelf space in my personal humidor.