Gran Habano VL Gran Churchill

Reviews10 Comments on Gran Habano VL Gran Churchill

Gran Habano VL Gran Churchill

Now that I’ve recovered from a handy little bout with bronchitis, its time to review that Gran Habano I mentioned in comments of Walt’s Corojo #5 review. I’ve been a big fan of the Corojo #5, so I’ve really been looking forward to checking out the VL. The VL stands for “Very Limited” which is appropriate, as the production is limited to just 250,000 cigars. So it’s relatively rare (though I have noticed it’s available from a number of retailers online) but will it be as good a smoke as the #5? Let’s have a look.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 7 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Costa Rica, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$5.00

Take a look at those stems!

The Pre-Smoke
The Gran Habano VL is a good looking cigar with it’s bright white and indigo bands and lengthy cedar tube. What makes the tube unique is that it bears the name of the cigar line in silver paint.


Before carefully sliding off the cedar tube I tested the scent of the exposed wrapper and the cedar. The uncovered portion of the wrapper had sweet honey smell to it. The tube was likewise sweet, but was more like molasses. The wrapper under the tube was much less sweet with aroma more like compost.

With the tube off, I noticed that the wrapper was veiny. To the touch I found the cigar to be a little softer than I expected. In at least one of the cigars I smoked the firmness was very inconsistent.

The Burn
If you’ve ever smoked a Gran Habano cigar, you probably know what to expect from the burn. And the VL is no exception. I found the ash to be darker in color and occasionally flaky. When the ash dropped, it generally crumbled in the ashtray. I was also a little disappointed that the cigar never held the ash beyond just under an inch.

Overall, the burn line was pretty good, but never very even. By that I mean that it didn’t run up one side, but the burn line tended to be jagged and would often leave behind little islands of unburned tobacco in the ash.

Follow the burnt tobacco road…

(Ironically, for the sake of comparison, I smoked a Corojo #5 and had the best burn I’ve ever seen on any Gran Habano. Straight burn line, and a pretty solid ash. )

The Flavor
This this cigar isn’t what I would consider very complicated in the flavor department. Within a couple of puffs, you basically know what you’re in for for the duration of the smoke. It starts off with chalky dark chocolate and leather flavors and is shortly joined by a sharp acidic flavor that sometimes resembles lime. At other points it reminds me a lot of the times I used to put a 9 volt battery to my tongue as a kid. Seriously. Were talking about some sharp tanginess here. And that, in varying degrees is what the rest of the cigar tastes like too.

The Price
Even though the cigar is very limited, it can be had for around five dollars a stick. A limited cigar at a budget price isn’t a bad deal.

The Verdict
I have mixed feelings about this cigar. The sharp acidity of last one of these I smoked for this review really got to me and I had to put it out a early. But previous smokes I had during the day with some coffee seemed more enjoyable. I have to wonder if these cigars are in a “sick” period right now and wouldn’t benefit from time spent in the humidor. (As is recommended by some enthusiasts of Cuban cigars.)

As it smokes now, I can actually seeing this as being a good smoke for later on in a herf. The acidic flavor I got would likely cut through even the thickest palate char of a cigar-heavy day. (Just watch out, its a potent, full-bodied smoke!)

Liked It: Somewhat
Buy It Again: Unlikely
Recommend It: For smokers whole enjoy really tart flavors.

The Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing is my trademark Tower of Burn.

enjoying cigars since 1997

10 thoughts on “Gran Habano VL Gran Churchill

  1. Thanks for the review. One way to sell cigars these days is to describe them as “Limited”. In a sense, they are all limited in that there is never really an infinite supply of any cigar. Marketing a cigar as “Limited” doesn’t make it a better cigar; it just gets it sold. Reviews like yours serve to protect consumers from the marketers.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it ace,
    I definitely agree, just because something is limited doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than another more available cigar. In fact, it doesn’t even guarantee that it’s a good cigar! I really wanted to like this cigar more, but I gotta be honest, it’s a bit much.

    That being said, I’m certain it’s there are people out there that will enjoy this cigar. I’m very interested in trying the last one I have after about a year in the humidor. I have a feeling it might improve with age. Heck, even if the acidity mellows a bit, it’d be an improvement.

  3. I have to give Gran Habano a try again. I first tried their cigars a few years ago and was not real impressed with them. I heard they’ve changed their blend though and are a better smoke.

  4. hmm, interesting cigar. Sounds like some age in the humidor would benefit it for sure. Kind of weird to say that about a Limited aged cigar though heh.

    The tanginess is intriguing and sounds like pared with a bitter drink like coffee mated up well. Perhaps it’s a cigar intended as an after dinner cigar with a sweet liquor or coffee? Or maybe they had a great opportunity to buy some tobacco next to Duracell?

    Great review and love the pictures as always.


  5. Cigar Jack,
    Yeah, the Gran Habanos in general are worth a second chance. I’m hanging on to the couple of VL’s I have left and see how they are given a little extra resting time.

    Thanks Daniel, I’ll keep ’em coming!

    Dave Hanifan,
    Yeah, it is weird to think that a bit of aging would be required. Truth be told, I’m not sure if it will improve them or not, but I plan to find out. (In my opinion, anything that cuts that acidic edge a little bit will be an improvement.)

    I did find that pairing the cigar with some coffee was a pretty enjoyable experience. In it’s current state, I’d say smoking this cigar without a good beverage would be a mistake. Unless, of course, you’re smoking it at a herf. Then it may be a great cigar to round out the evening: you’re sure to taste this one!

    Thanks guys!

  6. I agree with the acidity taste. It just wasn’t my brand of tequila so to speak. The fact that I was smoking it while drinking margaritas may have tainted my palate but at least I got a couple of good margaritas out of the experience.

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