Gran Habano VL Maduro – Belicoso 6.1 X 52
Although Gran Habano is known for its #5 and 2002 vintage, the VL Maduro is a budget level maduro cigar that can fill an everyday void. It has been a while since I have had one and I remember thinking “not bad for a budget stick”. I am looking forward to see if my memory is upheld and capture the flavors that it brings.
Look and Feel:
This cigar is a Churchill sized cigar with a ½ inch shaggy foot. Medium chocolate brown with a little tooth to the wrapper. Minimal veins and tight seams but the pack is a little softer than I prefer. You get a nice leathery note off of the wrapper and the cold draw gives you woody notes. Draw is slightly more open than moderate but not too open.
To start you get a dark leather flavor with a hint of spice and coffee. The finish is a dark leather and a slight earth. The finish is fairly long right of the bat! Woody notes at times match the leather flavor and the retrohale offers leather, floral and a mix of spices. That mix is clove, black pepper, and allspice. The draw is too open and the smoke is fairly thin. (although there is a fair amount of it) The aroma of the smoke is really woody, almost like a campfire and the woody profile picks up throughout this third…draw and finish! Little dry on the palate but still fairly smooth. The burn is a little wavy and the ash is fairly tight but drops at ½ inch. Overall medium body and medium in strength.
This third kicks off with a little black coffee joining the wood flavors. The burn needed to be touched up and the burn time seems to be pretty quick. (Likely due to the open draw) Bitterness is present but currently more in a “black coffee” way. You also get a slight sweetness from time to time which is an interesting mix. The occasional floral notes pop up mainly on the retrohale. About half way through I needed to relight, probably due to the open draw and the maduro wrapper.
The woody notes have kicked up to start this third. The coffee notes are there for sure and any minor sweetness that popped up from time to time is gone. Any complexity is gone and I do find myself being bored with this cigar by the end. It is not unpleasant in any way but it simply does not hold up to some of the other Gran Habano cigars.
The VL Maduro by Gran Habano is more of a budget cigar and you need to know that going into the smoking experience. The flavors of wood (oak and cedar), black coffee, and dark leather provide this cigars profile. Notes of floral flavors and aromas as well as some sweet spices pop in from time to time. This cigar is medium in body and a little less than medium in strength with a draw that was too open. It did hurt the burn and flavors a bit. If you like woody cigars, this will be one to try. I think it is a good campfire, poker, or yard cigar. Not complex but is enjoyable for a period of time.
Look & Feel:
Flavor & Balance:
Review By: Matt
Look & Feel
Wrapper quality, smell from the wrapper, smell from the foot, box presentation, and color of wrapper.
Burn quality, draw quality, heat on the draw, quality of the wrapper, and cap construction.
Flavor & Balance
Overall flavor of the cigar, balance of flavors, strength to body balance, and complexity.
Value taking the quality vs. the market vs. the market price
Taking all aspects into consideration we rate based on the quality of the cigar and the quality of the experience.
70-80 Points - Poor to Fair 81-90 Points - Fair to Good 91-96 - Excellent 97-100 - Epic
Comprehensive Cigar Reviews
Gran Habano, created by Don Guillermo Rico, is made by the G.R. Tabacaleras Co. They are known for their smooth Nicaraguan and Honduran cigars. They make a wide variety of blends that are usually medium to medium full. Pick the right cigar for you and you will enjoy the smoke.
Review By: Matt