It was a tough call deciding which cigar to review this week. I was all set to review a lesser-known boutique cigar that had been around for a while, and as I looked through my bags of recent stogie acquisitions I noticed the Perdomo Grand Cru Maduro. I looked at it for a minute and it occurred to me I knew absolutely nothing about the cigar, other than it was new and I had three of them. And the reason for that was that that I had not seen any reviews of the stick yet, or any talk about it on twitter either. The path became clear, the new unknown must be explored.
Since google didn’t turn up much information on the Grand Cru Maduro, I decided to take a shot at contacting Perdomo directly. My luck at getting a manufacturer response to my queries has been pretty bad in the past. So to increase my chances I sprinkled the ash of an aged Cuban cigar on the floor and did an interpretive dance expressing the eternal battle of good and evil as it relates to my desire to receive a follow up email. The dance worked. Either that, or the folks at Perdomo are really on the ball, because in a few hours, I had all the information I needed for this review.
Here’s an excerpt of the press release they sent me:
Perdomo Grand Cru, the newest creation from Nick Perdomo, Jr., is an extremely well-balanced “puro”, blended with all Cuban-seed (Semilla Habano) wrappers, binders and fillers. These exquisite tobaccos from a crop of 2004 have been carefully hand-selected and well-aged as the “Grand Cru”, or the best of the best yield from Perdomo’s farms in 2004. Perdomo Grand Cru offers a bold, full-flavored smoking experience in either a rich, earthy Corojo wrapper or a dark, oily Maduro wrapper.
Packaged in traditional, yet elegant boxes of 20, the Perdomo Grand Cru is available in four traditional sizes including: Robusto (5 x 50); Toro (6 x 50); Churchill (7 x 50); Torpedo (6 x 54). Suggested retail price range from $6.00 to $6.75 per cigar.
And with that, it’s time to give the leaves of 2004 their trial by fire.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cuban-seed (Semilla Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua Cuban-seed (Semilla Habano)
Filler: Nicaragua Cuban-seed (Semilla Habano)
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Price: MSRP $6.00
The first thing we must address is the band. It’s nice enough looking, but it could be a point of confusion. The only difference between the band on the maduro and the corojo is the color of the background. The maduro has a darker brown background, while the corojo has an orangish-tan color. It does say which is which on the top of the cigar box, but some shops either remove the top, or it’s obscured by the shelving structure of the humidor.
As the press release states, the wrapper leaf of the cigar is a dark, oily maduro. As I looked over the cigars for this review, I noticed one of them was also pretty toothy, but also lumpier than the other two. One of the sticks had what looked like a patch near the foot of the cigar. All three of them were consistently firm.
The wrapper had a potent pre-light aroma that was an interesting medley of beef jerky, compost and sweetness. Like some cigars I’ve reviewed in the past, the wrapper scent seemed to evolve and sweeten the longer it was free of it’s cellophane restraints. My notes for the cold taste are a little less exciting, I got a pretty straight forward sweet chocolate flavor.
The Perdomo Grand Cru Maduro had a lot of issues in the burn department. All the cigars burned unevenly and they all went out several times. The worst of the bunch was the lumpy stick. It went out frequently in the second third, and pretty badly canoed twice. The other two could be counted on to go out, like clockwork, around the beginning of the second and final thirds.
On a positive note, there were no draw problems. And though the lighter was often in play, the cigars didn’t seem to suffer much in the flavor department with all the extra fire. Also, the sticks could hold a pretty long, reasonably solid ash.
Looking over my notes, I don’t see a need to break the Grand Cru Maduro up into thirds. The profile, which did seem well balanced, and ever-changing, was constructed of the same flavor set from one third to the next. That set included dark and sweet chocolates, pepper, earth and caramel. The only exception to the rule was in one cigar that took on a coppery element for a while just before the final third.
With a price that’s just north of the budget stick border, it’s hard to complain about the cost.
Some cigars are a journey, taking you through very different thirds, this cigar was more of a full-bodied flavor kaleidoscope. Each puff was a slightly different mixture of the flavor palette. The Perdomo Grand Cru Maduro may not have taken me on a flavor voyage, but that didn’t keep me from really enjoying the cigar. The constant small transitions in flavor kept my interest, leaving me quite content to just stay put. To be sure, the burn problems were an annoyance, but one I was willing to tolerate because of what I was tasting. Would the verdict be the same for a longer smoke? It’s hard to say, but I plan to find out.
Now while the lack of significant flavor evolution turned out to be a good thing for me, it’s likely to be a deal breaker for some. By the time the ashes of the first third rest in your ashtray, you’ll know what to expect for the rest of the smoke. And for that reason, I’d recommend giving the robusto a shot before venturing into the larger vitolas.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Very likely, with the hope that later batches will burn better.
Recommend It: Yes, but try the robusto first.
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.
15 thoughts on “Perdomo Grand Cru Maduro Robusto”
I like the Perdomo series of cigars but I have found the burn issues is outrageously obnoxious – not sure if I’m going to smoke anymore. I just wantt o smoke a cigar and relax – not constantly tend to the burn or draw.
Nice review for a cigar I actually heard of, but never saw any more info on. Seems to be in the full category and probably a bit much for me.
Very good review of a cigar I’ve never even heard of. I’m really getting into Perdomo ever since I fell in love with the ESV, so I’ll be on the lookout for this one.
I’m not one of those people who needs the traditional “thirds” of a cigar. If I like the flavor, I’ll smoke it, even if it’s pretty consistent throughout.
Nice review, way to go the extra mile to do some detective work on this cigar! Will definitely pick a few up if I happen to find them locally.
Tried one yesterday, with the same results. Great taste, but the burn was terrible. I thought it might have been my fault, as I was cutting grass and not paying attention. Guess not.
I smoked one of these Saturday along with some fellows in the shop. The cigar burned just fine, and the ash was beautiful. While the cigar had really nice flavors, everyone smoking it wondered about its place in the Perdomo spectrum. Perdomo has a great line-up of Maduros including the Lot 23, the Habano, the Patriarch, the Perdomo 2, the ESV 1991, the 10th Anniversary, and the Reserve Maduro. With all these good Perdomo Maduros out there already, and each having great flavor and, in most cases, good value, where does this cigar fit?. It is not as strong as the Habano, not as spicy as the Lot 23, and not as complex as the Patriarch. While everyone agreed that it was a good stick, nobody could think of a reason to smoke it in favor of the others, all better defined in flavor. The collective agreement was that Perdomo was competing with itself with this cigar for no clear reason.
I am enjoying this stick in Saratoga Springs at thhe moment.. I have to agree with the review. This is an enjoyable smoke withe burn problems, the consistent flavor on the way down to the last third. Thanks for the great review.
I recieved one of these at a cigar event from the rep in my area..promised very full flavor. It might have been, but the draw and burn were so bad, I eventually had to give up on it…I enjoy the habanos reserve and was looking forward to this cigar..too bad, seems like this is a common problem with this stick..
I was in a local B&M trying out a Cain Maduro when Chuck, a Perdomo rep dropped in. He gave me Grand Cru Maduro, which I lit up right after I finished the Cain. It’s definitely milder than the Cain, and is more complex. The draw wasn’t an issue for me, nor is the burn. I have to say though that I haven’t come close to making a cigar last 1.5 hours. The flavor profile is consistent throughout with hints of dark chocolate. I found the Grand Cru more enjoyable than the Cain. May be I’m just not ready for it yet, but I’ll keep both of them on my rotation. Variety is the spice of life.
I’ve smoked several of the maduro toro sized sticks and have had good true burns on them all so far. The burn issue can be a pet-peeve for me so this is a good start. I find the maduro to be a good bit more full bodied than the natural wrappered counterpart. This is good because I like a cigar that is medium to full quite often. The flavor of this cigar starts a bit spicy, but gets less so as I got into it. The spice doesn’t seem to disappear, but rather settles down…not unusual. The flavor is a bit meaty like to me. Someone somewhere mentioned beef jerky and I wouldn’t argue. It’s noticably salty with the twist of the meaty taste as opposed to the more common salted nut taste of a Macanudo or similar stick. The woody component is recessed from this more noticeable taste, but it’s there too. Some lighter spice comes and goes. Not a tremendously complex taste, but enjoyable. It’s a cigar that I seem to notice stays consistent from right after it gets burning good until you nub it. To complement the nice burn the ash is a nice light grey mottled looking affair that holds on pretty good due to the noticeable veins which, I imagine, reinforce the strength of the ash hold. The wrapper is dark brown, bumpy, and really has a sheen to it. I like this stick a pretty good bit as I think it is not a me-too stick. Granted Nick Perdomo Jr. has plenty to choose from and, perhaps, this isn’t your cup of tea, but I can see it really isn’t a redux type smoke so hopefully it will find it’s audience and remain in the cannon for a while. Recommended to change up your own arsenal.
Smoking the toro right now. The spice is nice. Thanks for the great review and helpful background info.
I used to smoke the Habano series but couldn’t tolerate the burn problems. Gran Cru seems to be an improvement in construction although it seems the issue still persists.
The Grand Cru Maduros are my standard cigar right now. I have enjoyed them many times and plan to buy a box when Nick Perdomo is at the shop later this week.
i am just finishing a robusto (Maduro) that I got at an event. I Googled it because is was so good-absolutely perfect burn and draw. I would classify if as medium at most, not full.
Maybe I was just lucky, but I’ll buy a box and hopefully they will be as good.
It’s no wonder you had burn issues – 1 1/2 hours on this smoke? I think that’s called letting it go out by not enough puffing. I find this smoke to be great & pretty much flawless. Perhaps you paired this with a really good drink that was so good you ignored it – INMHO only. Nice pics by the way!