At last years IPCPR, George Rica and his Gran Habano Cigar Company expanded their portfolio with the introduction of the Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2012. This was a natural addition to the Gran Reserva #5 line which previously used leaf from 2011. The new 2012 line refers to the year that the cigar was made. Gran Habano takes the 10% best tobacco from what they use for the Corojo #5 and then age it 7-8 years . Once rolled, the final cigars are then aged for 6 years.
Gran Habano describes the blend as the same as the Gran Reserva #5 2011:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan and Costa Rican
Available in 20-count boxes, the Gran Reserva #5 2012 are available in the same 5 vitolas as the Gran Reserva #5 2011 variety:
- Corona Gorda – 5 5/8 x 46
- Gran Robusto – 6 x 54
- Imperial – 6 x 60
- Czar – 6 x 66
- Grandioso – 7 x 70
The retail price has been set at a MSRP between $8.00-$11.00 USD.
For this review, I sampled the Gran Robusto vitola which I received from the company to review on Stogie Press. I sampled two of these for the review and the 2nd was smoked today so it has close to 7 years of age on it.
The Gran Reserva #5 2012 is adorned with a large cedar sleeve that runs from the foot to the bottom of the bright red and gold primary band. The sleeve has the phrase “GRAN RESERVA 2012” printed in black on it and it includes a small red satin band, at the foot end, that states “2012” in gold ink. The primary band is simple. like the 2011 variety. and states “GRAN RESERVA No. 5 GRAN HABANO 2012” in gold on a red background.
The cedar sleeve slides of the barrel with ease and reveals a beautiful dark brown and glistening cigar that has a few veins. It has a satin feel to the touch. Construction is solid including a well applied triple cap finish and it is well packed and firm to the touch.
Running the Gran Reserva #5 2012 across the nose, I picked up a light cedar aroma along the barrel along with cedar and natural sweet tobacco notes off the foot.
I used my Lotus double blade cutter to give the cigar a straight cut right, along the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to take a few cold puffs. The palate is treated to a pleasant array of flavors including pepper, sweetness, and cedar. Rolling it about and taking a few more cold puffs, the pepper grows on the lips and palate.
I always like a cigar that has a cedar sleeve, as it invites me to ignite it with the cedar itself. But needing the sleeve for photos, I went with one of my cedar spills to warm the foot with a soft flame. The initial puffs pleased the palate with earthy and peppery notes.
Follow along as I break down the latest rendition of the Gran Habano Reserva No. 5.
Cigar Review Notes
- Earthy and pepper notes to start
- There is a distinctive Gran Habano flavor at the start of this journey – if you know Gran Habano, you understand what I am saying
- Solid white ash develops resting on a thin but wavy char line
- Cherry-like fruit aroma wafts off the foot adding the early smoking pleasure
- Spice and earth notes evolve after an inch of burn
- Settles nicely into a smooth, sweet & spicy, and aromatic smoke
- Ash is holding tight with fairly straight burn through the first third
- Citrus notes enter near the start of the second third
- Flavor have developed nicely as the sweetness begins to grow and blending well with the core spice
- Cedar notes join with the spice
- Aroma shifts to more of a floral fruit note with a nuance of nut deep into the second third
- Smoke volume has not grown more than medium
- Ash is still holding tight and finally fell after a long burn presenting a slightly off centered and pointed burn cone
- Cedar and sweet spice and earth are predominant moving into the final third
- Strength grew throughout the journey and hit full in the final third
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Gran Habano Gran Reserva #5 2012 was a pleasant smoke and what I have come to appreciate from George Rico. The flavor was not overly complex but balanced with a core of sweet spice and cedar and shifting aromas. From a construction perspective, it held a long solid ash keeping the smoke smooth through the journey. It did have a mild wave here and there and once the ash did fall there was a pointed and slightly off centered burn cone. Even with these minor issues I would certainly recommend picking up a fiver of the these to add to your rotation. They have been well aged and ready to smoke right out the box. I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy burn at times; (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Pointed Burn Cone (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke
Bonus Points: (+1) Long Solid Ash