Brand: Gran Habano Azteca
Blender: George Rico
Ring Gauge: 52ish
Wrapper: San Andres Valley – Mexico (Double Maduro)
Binder: San Andres Valley – Mexico
Filler: Panamanian and Nicarguan
Purchased From: Sample from Kensington Tobacconist
Last week while making my usual Friday afternoon visit to Kensington Tobacconist, I was eager to learn what was going on with a new line that was potentially coming in. Earlier in the week I was informed that the broker which handled Illusione was coming in to talk about opening an account.
After getting the good news about Illusione becoming an addition to the humidor, Kurt and I got to talking about some of the other brands that this independent rep was handling. Before the subject moved on to something else, Kurt was kind enough to hand me one of the pre release samples given to him during his meeting with the rep.
The cigar was an unbanded Gran Habano Azteca. While I’m not much of a Gran Habano smoker these days, I used to enjoy a the Corojo and Connecticut on a fairly regular basis. This new Azteca has been picking up some steam on Twitter and I was looking forward to checking it out.
After giving the cigar a couple of days rest in my coolidor, I went ahead and fired it up. Because of it not being out just yet, I thought I would record some thoughts for the fine folks of Stogie Review and compare my notes to the cigar once it is officially released.
Because this review is very informal, I arranged my thoughts with a few bullet points. The same laid back feel can also be found in the video. After checking out the video, be sure to leave a comment and give us your thoughts on the new Gran Habano Azteca.
- Consistent color from head to foot
- Dark and oily appearance, attractive
- Tear in wrapper leaf makes visual flaw. Not expecting it to be an issue
- Cold draw reminds me of medicine. Vicks vapor rub comes to mind
- Draw is a bit stiff
- Bitey first puff
- Notes that remind me of cayenne pepper
- Slight pepper feeling on the lips
- Tastes like tobacco, no defined taste. Lacking flavor
- Very interesting room aroma, smells like cooking
- Body is mild, very slow to get started
- Interesting bitter flavor that washes over the palate, just doesn’t hang on for more than a few seconds before completely disappearing. Can’t place the flavor.
- Very consistent from start to finish
- Dark ash with very attractive white specks throughout
- Firm ash with tightly compacted shape, holds on remarkably well
- Winds down as Medium Bodied and Medium Flavored
All in all I think that this was a decent smoke, although too consistent for my taste. I think this consistency could have been adjusted a little by smoking this cigar earlier in the day rather than my last cigar of the evening. Being my last cigar, it wasn’t able to keep my interest due to what seemed like a lack of flavor intensity.
In the event that this pre-release version of the Gran Habano Azteca is what will be showing up on store shelves, I don’t see myself picking them up regularly, perhaps every now and again. In the event that this cigar is still being tweaked, I’d love to see more flavor while remaining smooth on the palate.
I’d love to get my hands on a couple more of these cigars so that I could give them a try in the afternoon. Until then, please keep in mind that this review is based off of one sample which is not available to the general public. The final product could be just as described in the review above or it could be completely different.