Gran Habano Azteca Jaguar

Reviews108 Comments on Gran Habano Azteca Jaguar

Gran Habano Azteca Jaguar

This year at the IPCPR trade show, it was hard to avoid the Gran Habano booth. Not only was it on a major foot traffic highway, but if you got within two or three booths you just had to go have another look at “El Gigante”, the world’s largest production cigar. (Or at least I couldn’t resist.) Yes, a real, smokable production cigar. Reportedly, for $200,000 you can buy yourself one of these massive 19 foot, 1,920 ring gauge Corojo #5’s to share with 100 or so of your closest friends. But if $200K is out of your price range, or you prefer cigars that you can finish in an hour or two, without a team, you’ll probably find Gran Habano’s new Azteca line of cigars a better option.

The Azteca has been in the works for quite some time, with unbanded samples (not always of the same blend, the rumors say) being available as far back as last years trade show. The officially released blend features a intriguing double dose of the very popular Mexican San Andreas Maduro tobacco, as both the wrapper and binder. The Azteca is available in three sizes with animal names inspired by Aztec culture, the 6 x 60 “Puma”, the 6 x 54 “Jaguar”, and the 5 1/2 x 52 “Eagle”. There may also be a corona-sized extension to the line at some point in the future, a stick with either a 44 or 46 ring gauge.

Apparently, the Azteca is already a hit. In a recent press release, it was announced:

“Due to the overwhelming success of our new Azteca cigar we have decided to cease production of the highly-rated 3 SLS and Cabinet Selection lines. This difficult decision will allow Gran Habano to maintain our high level of quality and consistency within our core lines and any special projects that may be in development.”

Clearly that’s great news for Gran Habano. But is the Azteca a cigar worthy of killing two other lines to produce? Let’s light up this Jaguar and find out. (But if you’d like more information about “El Gigante” and the Azteca from George Rico himself first, check out our interview with him at the trade show. Just be sure to come back and finish the review, you don’t want to miss the contest!)

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Mexico San Andreas Maduro
Filler: Nicaragua, Panama
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Trade show samples
Price: MSRP $6.60

The Pre-Smoke
This cigar is definitely one that will get attention in the humidor. The bright orange step-pyramid box will grab eyeballs from even the most distant dark corner of the room. And the large flashy bands featuring a golden Mayan calendar are likely to get inquiries at even the smokiest of herfs. But under all the ornamentation and pizazz is a cigar that’s pretty good looking in its own right. Its San Andreas Maduro wrapper is dark, oily and covered with a very fine tooth. Additionally, its veins are few in number and generally small.

The cigars I lit up for this review were all consistently firm, and, with the one exception, free of imperfection. (One stick had a large superficial hole just above the foot band.) The wrapper had a dark compost scent with hints of something I can only describe as a faint combination of espresso and ammonia. But this scent faded quickly once the cellophane was removed. The cold draw offered up a dusty, and slightly acidic dried fruit flavor.

The Burn
The Azteca performed nicely in the burn department, despite the less than stellar conditions a trade show sample must survive. It burned evenly most of the time, produced a solid, nice looking, darker ash and the draw was just right. The only issue I had was the need to touch up one stick a little in the final third to correct some minor unevenness.

The Flavor
The Azteca wasted no time warming up, rich roasted nuts, syrup, leather, cocoa and nougat make themselves known in very short order, and in ever changing combinations. As the cigar progressed the syrup sweetness took on some cherry notes and sometimes turned a little tart. Earth, leather and cocoa flavors became a little more prominent around a third of the way in.

The second third began with leather and smokey wood layered on creamy nuts and a more subdued cocoa sweetness. By the halfway point there was a lingering creamy nut and wood finish that easily bridged the gap between puffs. The flavors of the preceding third all returned intermittently in this middle section, but sweetness tended to be less cherry and tart, and more caramel and nougat.

A short time before the final third, I started to notice a bit of a chalkiness to the mouth feel, and a charry characteristic when the wood flavor was present. Leather also seemed to play a bigger part, and interestingly, the cherry sweetness returned for a short encore before the end. In general, the last half of the cigar saw less of the subtle, but almost continuous flavor variations so common in the first half. That being said, there was still ample variety.

The Price
No complaints about the price, the Azteca should fit comfortably in most cigar budgets.

The Verdict
Rich, decadent, delicious and box-worthy. I love this cigar, and it’s price point. There may not have been the significant variations in the flavor between thirds that we often look for, but there was enough going on from one puff to the next (especially in the first half) to keep my attention. And if you take your time with it, the Azteca will reward your attention handsomely. It probably helps that I have a sweet tooth when it comes to cigars, because this one is candy.

I should also note is that this is not a powerful cigar. It does coat the mouth nicely with oodles of flavor, but if you’re looking for a cigar that will give you a kick, this is not the stick you’re looking for. However, once you taste it, I’ll bet that kick won’t seem as important. I definitely recommend it. And if you’re having trouble finding one one to try, you’ll definitely want to check out the contest selection below.

Liked It: Box-Worthy
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

¡CONTEST!
As I mentioned earlier, a corona-sized Azteca cigar may be in the works. To enter the contest, please leave a comment and tell us what you think would be a good name for that new size. The best two answers will receive a five pack of Azteca cigars and an Azteca t-shirt from Gran Habano. And just for participating, three more people will be randomly selected to receive a mystery prize. Winners will be selected next Wednesday, September 8th, 2010.

And the winners are…
– Ryan with “the Leopard” or “the “Rattler” –> Azteca 5 Pack and t-shirt.
– Bruce with “Chantico” –> Azteca 5 Pack and t-shirt.
– wizzaman with “jete gusto” or “chiefs pleasure” –> Gran Habano Mystery Prize
– Brett with “Chupacabra” –> Gran Habano Mystery Prize
– Joseph with “la serpiente” –> Gran Habano Mystery Prize

Congratulations guys! I’ll be in touch soon to get your mailing address. Thanks everyone for participating!

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

enjoying cigars since 1997

108 thoughts on “Gran Habano Azteca Jaguar

  1. I suggest the name “Tigrillo”. It’s one of the common names for the wild cat called the Ocelot. “Tigrillo” would be in keeping with the other cat names for these cigars, and the cat’s range extends through the Aztec’s former territory. Also the cat is medium-sized, as is a corona cigar. If “Tigrillo” sounds too much like “cigarillo”, then the true name Ocelot is itself nice. If another cat name is not needed, then how about “Serpent”? The Aztecs used a cool double-headed serpent symbol.

  2. Atlatis

    Since a corona is a skinnier cigar, it’s like a spear, which can be thrown with an atlatis. Those things are so cool.

    Great review!

  3. I think I’m going to have to say, “The Lizard”. I think the slender size of this animal would go well with the listed vitola. Also, it’s an Aztec sun god. So, there.

  4. Conquistador

    A conquistador is a spanish conquerer. The corona size comes from the word “corona” in spanish meaning crown because this was the standard size smoked by spanish royalty. Around the 15th century the Aztecs were conquered by the spanish and much of what we know about aztec culture is a hybrid of pre-15th century aztec culture and the influence of spanish colonization.

  5. it think it should be called the “Atlatl”. Its an Aztec dart thrower used to hurl small darts called “tlacochtli” (found this one wikipedia).

  6. I’ve been waiting for a review of this cigar and you came through with a dandy! A little disappointing to hear that it’s not as full bodied as one would imagine considering the powerful Aztec namesake, but maybe the flavor profile you described will make up for it.

    In keeping consistent with the animal names as they relate to ring gauge,(big cats for the larger rings, and bird of prey for the smaller of the three sizes) I would think GH could name the smallest ring gauge (corona) after another bird of prey common to the Aztec range. My choice would be the osprey or caracara.

  7. I actually helped name the Jaguar when they asked on Twitter what the names should be. This time I think they should break away from the cat names and go with Condor.

    Those wound up being some of the nicest looking cigars I’ve ever seen.

  8. You had me at Rich, decadent, delicious … Can’t wait to try this new line.

    How about the “Heron” given the sleeker ring gauge.

    Keep up the great work. Thx

  9. I always enjoy your reviews, and this one is no different.

    Ironically, while I can’t see this as a name for a cigar per se, I do think it would fit both from an Aztec historical point as well as a decent description for a corona: The Rabbit. Prevalent in Aztec culture, and compared to its larger counterparts, “The Rabbit,” like the animal it’s named after, is a little shorter and quicker.

    Am I reaching on this one?

    Keep up the great work!

  10. Great review … had not previously heard about the cigar.

    Some names in keeping with the Aztec culture:
    Llama
    Deer
    Coyote
    Monkey
    Serpent
    Butterfly
    Frog

  11. I think it should be called the “Coatl,” which is the Aztec word for snake. Snakes were important animals in Aztec culture. They represented the death to life energy cycle or “materia” that was important to the Aztec belief system.

  12. I think a good name would be “Chantico” which was the Aztec goddess of fires in the family hearth and volcanoes.

    I hope a Canadian distributer picks these up or at least a US-based one that will ship here. I’d like to try them.

  13. How about “Tonalpohualli.”

    It’s the name of the Aztec calendar…not quite the Mayan “2012 Doom Calendar,” but fun nonetheless and practically unpronounceable.

  14. Since the theme so far is fierce animal-gods of the Aztec, the obvious name for the corona is Serpent, for Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent.

    Given that your review was done with less than perfect tradeshow samples, I can’t wait to try one of these fresh from a local retailer’s humidor.

  15. Nice Review Brian, these will definitely be added to my list of new smokes to try. My name is suggestion is “Metztli” who was the was the Aztec god of the moon, night, and farmers.

  16. These suggestions are all very creative, but seeing that the line is already made up of English names, wouldn’t it be out of place to suddenly have a mayan or spanish name? Then again, the Texas Jewboy was already taken, so what the heck…

  17. Nice review. That cigar sounds tasty. Haven’t ventured into the Gran Habano camp but this has sparked my curiosity. As for the line extension, I would call it the Woodpecker especially if it carries the smoky-wood and creamy nuts that you described. LOL

    Seriously, Damn good review and I appreciate the good work you guys put in.

    -DaByrdman33-

  18. Nice review Brian. As for a name for the corona size, how about the Fox. It is a sly and quick little oppertunistic hunters.

  19. Comadreja. The Spanish word for “weasel.” Plus I can’t wait to hear Jerry try and pronounce that word in one of his reviews.

  20. I picked THE COUGAR first cause the corona is usually 6 x 46/44 and both the 6 x 60 “Puma”, the 6 x 54 “Jaguar” have the same length so they will all have something in cumming,the cougar is slightly smaller than both the puma and the jaguar so it will fit perfectly .
    My second pick is the falcon since they already picked the “Eagle” for the 5 1/2 x 52

  21. ‘The snake’ could work too,i think im getting a little excited about this so i better go smoke me a cigar and relax 🙂 it will be a Gran habano 3 SLS corona,it made me a little sad to hear they are going to stop making them so i better find something similar.

  22. The “Leopard” or the “Rattler”. Both are native to the Mayan region so it would would make sense. I’m not a blender but they should make the leopard the Churchill or Double Corona, and the rattler a 5 1/2 by 42….or 46 and put more ligero in the blend so it will rattle your head and stomach a bit. Thanks for the review again Brian. You always write up a good one.

  23. Another mouth-watering review. I can’t wait to try that cigar.
    About the name now, since they already named the 3 other cigars from animals from the sky and earth there is only one kind left … the ones from the water… so I will go with the “Piranha”!!!

  24. Wish I could review like that , anyway I have to grab one of them asap! 😀

    Since its called Azteca it should keep the topic (if it is the topic),so as the Aztec nature god of the Sun: “Tonatiuh” would be smart!

    Regards

  25. Great review Brian. Sounds like a must have kind of cigar and I can’t wait to try one. The name of Aztec origin that I think would be a good choice is Anacaona which means golden flower. Thanks for the reviews as always and keep on smoking.

  26. Loved the review. I am very interested in trying this line of cigars.
    My name choice for the possible corona extension is “Hummingbird”.
    It was a ball of hummingbird feathers that impregnated the goddess
    Coatlicue which lead to the birth of the twin gods Huitzilopochtli and Xolotl.

  27. I tried the Grand Habano Puma 6×60. Nice cigar, seemed too one-dimensional for me. abundant smoke. This one was plugged. will try another to get a better feel for it.

  28. i would have to go with the LOOK/FLAVOR profile that was described:

    Mole/mulli/molli (the mexican sauce that is dark, rich, complex, interesting) and although it is not in the “Series” of names for prior products but i think mine is the BEST OPTION!

    cant wait to try one of these bad boys!

    mario
    Portland, OR

  29. Great review as always Brian. How about in honor of all things Tiger Woods this year we go with “Cheetah”! Keep up the good work.

  30. Island Fox is the new corona cigar size; in which, they are on the endanger speices list. It’s like a small ring gauge size cigar. It’s currently push away by big ring gauge size. “Island fox (Urocyon littoralis) is the second smallest species of fox in the United States. It is mostly found in Channel islands of California. It has gray fur on the head and ruddy red coloring on the sides. Its population has dropped down to as low as 500 and a large part of this drop can be attributed to the Golden eagle predation.”

  31. I think a great name for this new, smaller size would be Acatl. In the Aztec language, it translates to “reed”. The Aztec name is short, not too difficult to pronounce and catchy.

  32. I’m just going to throw this out there because it is a smaller cat but still a mighty one, fitting for the smaller cigar size but a mighty cigar. Lynx.

  33. Some more suggestions coming your way 🙂
    *QUETZAL:The Quetzal, one of best known species from the trogon family, it was a sacred bird of the ancient Mayas and the Aztecs. Its feathers were used in the clothing of their priests and royal family.
    *OCELOT:Other common names of Ocelot include “painted leopard” and “TIGRILLO.” The fur may be anywhere between cream and reddish grey marked with open-centered dark spots that run in lines across

  34. The Obsidian
    (obsidian was the material used to make the point with a finely honed edge for the Aztec spears)

    or another choice could just be
    The Spear

    Thanks for the contest
    Rich

  35. The Obsidian
    (obsidian was the material used to make the tip of the Aztec spears with a finely honed edge)

    or another choice could just be
    The Spear

    Thanks for the contest
    Rich

  36. What about just “Sun”. Crazy ancient names are just too hard for people to pronounce and really wouldn’t fit onto a band for a smoke.

    Sun, that’s my entry.

  37. Great review!! This stick sounds delicious, and that top picture? Wow…that’s like cigar porn.
    For the contest, my entry is the Azteca Yocoxca…meaning, “calm” which is what I would be smoking it! 🙂

  38. Hi again guys, these are all the names that i have suggested :
    *The cougar
    *The falcon
    *The snake
    *The anaconda (JaimeVR used the name Anacaona not anaconda 🙂 )
    *The Quetzal, one of best known species from the trogon family, it was a sacred bird of the ancient Mayas and the Aztecs. Its feathers were used in the clothing of their priests and royal family
    *The ocelot :Other common names of Ocelot include “painted leopard” and “TIGRILLO.” The fur may be anywhere between cream and reddish grey marked with open-centered dark spots that run in lines across.

  39. Nice review and I’m looking forward to trying this one. I think “Coatal” the Aztec name for “snake” would fit nicely with a corona size.

  40. Hey guys,

    Thanks to everyone that has participated in this great contest. George and I have really had a great time going over all the suggestions, especially the really creative ones that made us laugh.

    Thank you Brian for the great review and pictures, we really appreciate the posting/feedback.

    – George & Robert
    Gran Habano Cigars

  41. I updated the review above to show the winners, but to make it easier for the folks who have subscribed by email to follow up comments, here’s the announcement:

    And the winners are…
    – Ryan with “the Leopard” or “the “Rattler” –> Azteca 5 Pack and t-shirt.
    – Bruce with “Chantico” –> Azteca 5 Pack and t-shirt.
    – wizzaman with “jete gusto” or “chiefs pleasure” –> Gran Habano Mystery Prize
    – Brett with “Chupacabra” –> Gran Habano Mystery Prize
    – Joseph with “la serpiente” –> Gran Habano Mystery Prize

    Congratulations guys! I’ll be in touch soon to get your mailing address. Thanks everyone for participating!

  42. i think George & Robert from Gran Habano Cigars said it right They have really had a great time going over all the suggestions, especially the really creative ones that made them LAUGH.”
    A stick called Chief pleasure 🙂 i hope he is glad it is just a corona 🙂 take care guys

  43. Thanks a lot Brian. That made my day. Thanks to Gran Habano for the interesting cigars too, I’m looking forward to the San Andreas wrapper and binder combo.

  44. I got my five pack of Aguila’s which translates to Eagle in English. They’re really flavorful belicoso’s but not strong at all. I got them I think last Friday, the 8th of October. I’ve yet to get my t shirt but I figure that’s a different warehouse. You should be getting your mystery prize pretty soon Brett.

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