Today we review the Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru.
Graycliff cigars are based out of Nassau, The Bahamas, founded in 1997 by the Garzaroli Family. There is a rich history to the Graycliff brand starting with their original blend – The Graycliff – which was created by Avelino Lara who was once Fidel Castro’s personal roller. Lara may be best known for his iconic cigar creations, the Cuban Cohiba and Davidoff.
Besides their world renowned cigars, Graycliff is also famous for the Graycliff hotel that dates back to 1740 when it was the mansion built by the renowned and feared Pirate Captain John Howard Graysmith. Over the past 275 years the mansion has seen numerous changes and was the host to many a famed character from Winston Churchill to Al Capone.
The Chateau Grand Cru are presented in a Regal Purple box and the each cigar is double banded with purple and gold bands. The primary Band has the Graycliff logo and the secondary band signifies it as a Chateau Grand Cru.
The Chateau Grand Cru is a multi-country cigar constructed from a blend of 3 country fillers from Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua all held tightly with a Ecuadorian binder and then wrapped with a smooth medium brown Costa Rica wrapper. The wrapper is very light in veins and has tight seams. They are rolled in the Graycliff factory in The Bahamas, as are all cigars from the Graycliff company, by master Cuban rollers.
They are available in 6 Vitolas:
- Scooter 4×30
- Robusto 5.25 x 50
- Pirate (Torpedo) 6×52
- President 7×48
- Salomon 7.125 x 48
Today I am sampling the Robusto which was provided to me by the Florida Regional representative for Graycliff.
Running the barrel across my nose and giving the foot a sniff, it didn’t have much of a scent, maybe a slight sweetness. I clipped the head and gave it a little dry draw. It was open for business, with a wide open draw and flavors of leather and black pepper. So not much on the pre-light scent but the dry draw said it was going to be enticing.
There was no waiting for this, so I fired it up. It delivered a full volume of smoke that was oaky with a touch of cedar and a hint of dry leather. The retro-hale had a delightful pepper burn that was not overbearing, just enough to awaken the nasal passage. After the first few puffs there was a licorice flavor on the tip of the tongue and aroma was delightfully nutty.
The burn has been perfect so far and the ash was just a touch flaky with a medium gray color. The smoke is full and creamy with a slight linger on the palate.
I am sitting in the stogie press smoking lounge listing to some reggae music on a cool January afternoon. There is a beautiful sunset tonight. Seems like someone stoked the fire as the Chateau Grand Cru is delivering some mouth filling puffs of smoke. So far is it a slow burning cigar, packed well with delicious tobacco and no soft spots.
Bob Marley is pounding out some sweet tunes as the Chateau Grand Cru burns down through the first third. The reggae bass is filling the airwaves intertwining with the smoke. It is a wonderful moment of solitude here as my thoughts run to vacationing in the Bahamas – white sand, crystal blue water, warm breezes and delicious rum-runners. Then I realize, hey I am in Florida, we have that too.
The ash is holding nicely with a slight turn, fairly even with thin burn line. The strength is medium so far.
As the Chateau Grand Cru approached the secondary band the ash fell but stayed nicely intact. So I picked up the ash and laid it to rest in the ash tray. At this point there was a sweetness developing and I start to get a cafe mocha like flavor – sweet chocolate and coffee. There was a tunneling that started here but a simple touch up and it was good to go. The aroma is shifting to a roasted almond.
The sun has set as a crisp breeze blows into the lounge. A stark contrast from the frigid north that my brothers and sisters of the leaf are experiencing. Bob Marley lays down some more sweet notes as the Chateau Grand Cru transitions to the final third. There is developing pepper with an added note of dry cherry. Other than the one touch-up the burn has been all but perfect. The cherry increases more as it finishes stimulating the left side of my tongue.
Overall, the Chateau Grand Cru is a very nice cigar. It was a pleasurably smoking experience and I would suggest paring the with some dark rum.
– Boston Jimmie
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