A while back one of the Stogie Review readers asked us to review some more high-end cigars. Well, as luck would have it, I recently came across a great deal on a cigar with a normaly big price tag and an equally large reputation: Graycliff. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? 😉 The question is, is that reputation earned? To find out the answer that I lit up a few Graycliff Professionale Series PG’s for this week’s review. So let’s see if they live up to the name!
Size: 5 1/4 x 50 (Robusto)
Filler: , ,
Smoking Time: 1 1/4 hours
Price: $16 MSRP
Usually I start off the pre-smoke section by discussing the most visually striking aspect of a cigar. But in this case, what I found the most striking in this cigar was the feel of the cigar. The wrapper had a soft, delicate, almost velvety feel to it. Instead of smoothing out the terrain of the binder leaf, the wrapper seemed to lay on it like a high-thread count bedsheet.
In spite of the feel of the softer feel to the wrapper, the cigar itself was nicely firm, though a bit lumpy. Unlike most of the cigars I’ve smoked recently, these Graycliffs actually appeared dry. Additionally, one of the cigars I smoked had some water spots on the wrapper.
A big water spot in the middle of the second third
Before clipping the cigars with my flamboyantly-red Xikar, I tested the scent of the wrapper. In one cigar I couldn’t smell anything, but on another, I got a faint sweet cinnamon scent. I also detected faint sweetness in the cold taste. It looked like I was in for a pretty light bodied smoke.
In both smokes the burn line was pretty good throughout the duration of the smoke. Generally speaking, it was closest to perfect in the middle third, and a little off in the first and last thirds. Each smoke also produced a nicely solid, long white ash.
What I really enjoyed about the burn was the way it smoked. The smoke off the business end of the cigar was nice and light, but the draw and the volume of smoke was fantastic. At one point I left the cigar for a minute or two and came back expecting it to have to relight it. I took a test puff and it was if I had pressed a pause button. The cigar came to life in a generous cloud of aromatic smoke.
People tell me I’m an ash-man…
In the cigars I smoked for this review, I noted a lot of sweet notes throughout. The cigars were also very creamy, to the point of being buttery. The sweetness and butteriness had an impressive staying power, easily staying with you in between puffs.
In the first third I noted elements of wood, cinnamon and coffee with a good deal of sweetness. One of the cigars tasted an awful lot like the sweet marshmellow-y center of some chocolate-covered candy. I noticed more wood and creamy coffee in the second third, with additional raisiny sweet notes. In the final third the body picked up a bit and some spiciness, nutmeg and a sharper cedar flavor appeared. Though it become a bit fuller in final third, it only made it to about a medium body at its fullest point.
Honestly, this cigar is out of my normal price range for cigars. That being said, it may actually be worth the price tag. You might think I’m crazy to say that, but in my mind I’m comparing it to the Partagas 160 I smoked recently. It shares some similarities with the 160, but has both more complex and varied flavors, and is cheaper to boot! (Of course, this may be an unfair comparison, I only smoked one 160, and that was while I was on the road!)
While this isn’t a very full bodied cigar, it is chock-full of great flavors. And I really have a thing for that velvety wrapper. The verdict is easy: I like this cigar. (Note the Walt-worthy nub I left in the ashtray!) And that bothers me because I have this feeling that I’ll be buying more when I finish my supply. (And very likely at a less incredible price!) That’s the danger of buying expensive cigars. You may just find you like them. Next time I’m sticking with a budget line cigar!
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
The Cigar In Action
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the Tower of Burn.
Anybody got a toothpick?