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Greetings again dear friends! Below are a number of video reviews of cigars which I've termed 'uncommon' due to their discontinuation (or hiatus), premium exclusivity or simply for the fact that as cigar enthusiasts we're more unlikely to reach for them from our humidors! Again, like the 2017 Xmas Sampler Series, I'd like to say that speaking 'on-the-fly' about cigars is certainly a challenge and I will need to acknowledge errors throughout this series (so bare with me). Also, please feel free to share your thoughts on these cigars in this thread. If you have views or opinions contrary to what has been stated, please feel welcome to express your thoughts and say so, after all, my own views here is intended to serve as a guide.
Montecristo No. 2 2011 Gran Reserva Cosecha 2003 Siglo VI Review Vitola: Piramides 52 ring gauge x 156 mm or 6.1 inches This Montecristo No.2 Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005 dates from 2011. I wish to thank Trevor Leask for gifting it to me to review. The original press release from Habanos S.A stated the following:- The first Gran Reserva of Montecristo, a reference of flavor in the Habano. Habanos s.a. presents the first Gran Reserva of Montecristo, manufactured in which probably is the most widely appreciated brand of Habanos*, in the Montecristo No. 2 vitola, the most emblematic of the brand. With a limited production of 5000 numbered boxes of 15 units each, all the leaves have been aged for at least 5 years. Since its origins in 1935, Montecristo has consolidated itself as one of the most widely recognized brands of Habanos among the most demanding smokers. Now, Habanos s.a. is pleased to present Montecristo, considered for many as the reference of flavor of the Habano, the first Gran Reserva of this brand. This new Gran Reserva digs deeper into the unique character of Habanos as Protected Appellation of Origin. For the production of this Gran Reserva of Montecristo, the best tobacco leaves were selected from Vuelta Abajo, Cuba, harvested in 2005. All the leaves that make a Habano, filler, wrapper and binder, were aged during a long and careful process of at least 5 years. These were no less than 5 years of care, control of the evolution of the aging of these precious leaves that, finally, in the master hands of the experienced Montecristo cigar rollers in the H. Upmann factory take shape to create a unique Habano to satisfy the pleasure of the most demanding smokers. The emblematic Montecristo No. 2 vitola has been the one chosen for this unique production that makes the Gran Reserva of Montecristo. The whole production process of the Gran Reserva respects the selection criteria expected of a unique product: from the long and careful aging process of at least 5 years of the best tobacco in Vuelta Abajo to the panel of tasters, who have supervised the selected blend to guarantee a unique, harmonious, and consistent flavor. The Gran Reserva of Montecristo is a unique production, extremely reduced to 5000 numbered cases containing 15 units each. So what was it like? Well, firstly, it's not like your typical Montecristo No.2. This was more viscous, both in smoke and mouthfeel on the palate. Your standard Montecristo flavours of cocoa. coffee, nut and cream were replaced by chocolate, leather, molasses and nut, together with espresso and cream. El Pres has described the sweet nut in this as ginger nut, and I believe that is an apt description for the flavour that dominates the spine of this cigar. It's a quality cigar, but it's not like the standard Montecristo No.2, so don't expect that when smoking it, unlike the Cohiba Gran Reserva Cosecha 2003 Siglo VI, which was more like a standard Cohiba Siglo VI in its flavour profile, in my opinion. Below are some forum threads for your reference and Rob and Ken's Video Review from December 2012...
Cohiba Gran Reserva Cosecha 2003 Siglo VI Review Vitola: Canonazo 52 ring gauge x 150 mm or 5.9 inches I had the opportunity to smoke this cigar a few months ago thanks to our dear friend @Trevor2118. We smoked one together and both agreed it was the best cigar we've sampled, and having sampled some exemplary cigars over the years, this is quite a statement. What is it like? Well, picture eating a honey, vanilla and cream sweet shortbread cake, only smoking it. I read a review on-line in preparing this reference review that the Gran Reserva series are amplified versions of their blends, only more subtle and refined. This is an apt and highly accurate description of this cigar. Like the video below, where El Pres and Smithy are both echoing each other's phrases in exemplifying how good this cigar is, I too was lost for words in adequately describing it, hence my lack of a detailed tasting review through the thirds. No matter, below are other reference threads for you to consider... In conclusion, if you happen to be fortunate enough to be able to pick up a box of these, or even singles, do so, you certainly will not regret it!
Review: Cohiba Gran Reserva (Siglo VI) Release: Grand Reserva (Tobacco from 2003, released in 2009) Vitola: 52RG * 150mm (5.9”) Canonzao aka Robusto Extra Production: 5000 boxes of 15 cigars made. (75,000 cigars) Box Code: Unknown http://www.cubancigarwebsite.com/brand.aspx?brand=Cohiba#190_Gran_Reserva_Cosecha_2003 Date: Saturday June 21, 2014 Start Time: 4:10PM EST Reviewers Notes: My style of cigar reviewing is “open”. I try to jot down what I’m experiencing with every draw. When you see a “/” consider that a break in between puffs. What I leave out in fancy prose is made up with observation. Consider each segment a play by play. This style works for me. I hope you enjoy it. Background: In 2009 Habanos S.A. releases the first of it’s Gran Reserva series. And to ensure some “buzz” they went ahead and chose Cohiba to kick off this party. The release consists of 15 Siglo VI’s to a box. The tobacco within is from the 2003 harvest. The filler, binder and wrapper has been aged for five years, then rolled into cigars. At over $100/cigar upon release, they were an expensive proposition. Nonetheless, they sold out. Expect to pay at least double on the secondary market. Pre-Light Notes: Visuals: Gorgeous. light Colorado wrapper, firm roll, excellent triple cap, wrapper has a very low grit to it, almost smooth with a nice shine to it too. Aroma at cold: The wrapper has a sweet , honey like aroma with a touch of cocoa. Holding the foot close to my nose, the aroma is similar, only more pronounced. A clean punch reveals a classic divot style cap.. Good evidence that this was rolled by a skilled individual. The draw is firm I shouldn’t have any problems. Time to light this up. 1st Third The first puff is toasty and bready with a hint of sweetness / trademark Cohiba grassiness with a cocoa finish the next few puffs / tasty tangy notes ensue, rich nutmeg, I’d say / the draw is excellent / hints of cocoa really pleases the palate / tangy tobacco notes again, slight hint of chocolate on the finish / smoke output is good, not overly present / cocoa flavour more prevalent now, this is a really great start / so tangy / nice hint of cinnamon / a hint of spice now / more cocoa / medium bodied at this point / very smooth and refined on the palate / savoury notes appear, almost “meaty” / more bready notes / slight hints of nutmeg and some cocoa / flavours are more on the rich side 2nd Third opening puff is dry nuttiness, almost dusty / savoury notes / more nutty flavours / cocoa reappears, I welcome it back / it continues for the next 3 draws / rich tobacco flavour now / a few tangy draws, slight citrus note on the finish, never had that in any Cohiba / very tangy flavours on the next draws, almost similar to how tannins in wine behave on the finish, it’s good mind you, it adds to the overall profile and balance of the cigar / more dry nuttiness / a slightly fruity note for change, interesting / more fruit, almost like the fruit notes you get in a nice red wine / a hint of sweetness mixed with oak/woodsy flavours, has a bit of sharpness to it, very cool / Reserva band takes a hike / back to some nutty flavours, hazelnuts I’d say / the aroma off the cigar is almost like sauteed mushrooms though I don’t taste that at all / some more tangy tobacco / a few more puffs to finish off the third results in dry, nutty flavour 3rd Third some tanginess to start off the third. This has been very different from all the Siglo VI’s I’ve smoked. The oldest ones I’ve smoked are from 2009. I found them to be full of honey sweetness, on the palate and in the air. I haven’t had that in this / wow, some very strong tobacco flavour comes out of nowhere, not sure if that’s the blend or some kind of tar buildup / I do a bit of a purge, flavours are not as strong, but certainly stronger than the 2 previous thirds, still enjoyable / more nuttiness with a cocoa finish, not a bad thing IMO / nice, really rich flavoured draws now, cedary, meaty. / nutty flavour is stronger, the finish is tangy / just getting better on this third, it’s become very rich smoke, the previous two thirds while tasty, were more subtle in flavour, discernible, but subtle, its ramped up big time / more of that “red wine” finish / rich toasty tobacco / a quick swig of water to cleanse the palate, let’s see what the next few puffs bring / beany flavour, similar to what I taste in the BHK54 / beany again / tangy, cedar notes now / more beans, slight anise finish, this third is really delivering the goods / beans again, slightly meaty flavour too / tangy tobacco / Both bands are off at this point / nutty flavours with a hint of sweetness, sadly, not honey / nuttiness again / more nuttiness, a cedary flavour lingers on the finish / dry nuts / the tobacco has been sneaking up on me, feeling a bit of it now, not head swimming strong, but definitely there / correction, I do feel it, the cigar has taken on heavier flavours now / going to end up nubbing this / the flavours / some more anise / beany notes / starting to feel the heat from the burn / tangy notes, really changing it up at this point, not a boring cigar / a quick swig of water / slightly tarry taste, might be pushing it at this point, the aroma is very meaty / tangy tobacco hit / one last puff yields another tangy hit / done Finished at 5:53PM EST Final Words I’ve smoked a fair amount of Siglo VI’s over the past few years. They’re either been super sweet or just “decent”. The majority I’ve smoked have come from two different 2009 cabs. Both have yielded cigars that performed differently. This is my second CGR. My first ever was smoked in Havana, Sep 2012. The first half was super rich and flavourful, the second a disaster, which I believe had to do with a lot of wind resulting in a weird burn and too many relights for my liking. My second foray into the CGR was a far better experience. The first half though was the polar opposite. It was subtle and refined. Not until the final third did the cigar really ramp up. Side note. As I type this, the nub is giving off a dark chocolate aroma and I can sense that in the aftertaste. Very interesting. Given the exclusivity of this cigar, the expectations are high. Is this the best I’ve smoked? No, early 70’s Davidoff’s and Sir Winstons trump this stick. But given the difference in age, it’s hardly a fair comparison. Come November 2014, my 2009 Siglo VI’s will be officially 5 years old. That still puts them 5 years less the age of the tobacco which comprises the CGR. I’d love to fire up a 10 year old Siglo VI to see how it compares. The CGR is technically 10 years old by now. Overall, this was an excellent cigar. It did not exhibit that honey sweetness I’ve come to love in my Siglo VI’s but it was still a very enjoyable experience. This is definitely a refined cigar. It’s a great roll, great tobacco and smoking it was a pleasure. On it’s own merits, without considering the cost of entry, I’m going to give it a good score. Price / performance wise though. I’m torn. There are a lot of cigars out there that can give a similar experience. The basic Silgo VI, the BHK54, the Esplendido a Sir Winston, etc. You’ll spend considerably less for a very similar experiencere. However, this is a Cohiba, it’s limited and it apparently contains the best tobacco harvested in 2003. Therefore, people will want it. I really enjoyed the CGR, though I would prefer to chase down aged cigars. With that said, I have no regrets other than being a bit “poorer” for putting this one to flame. Score: 94