Thursday, April 14, 2011

Herf 44 – The Ol’ Stand-By

April 3rd, 2011 – Shoreline, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, Joe, John L., Bruce, Peter, and Patrick (in AZ via Skype). As usual, we gathered to enjoy a recently recommended cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group-tasting' following dinner.

A last-minute venue change led us to turn to Jersey’s sports bar in Shoreline for our customary pre-herf dinner. Every one of us was quite pleased with our meals of steaks, burgers, and sliders; all washed down with fine ales and cocktails. Jersey’s is tops on our list of fall-back locations when plans fall through. Soon we were well-fed and on our way to light up on Fernand’s back patio.

Our selection for this herf was the Gran Habano Corojo #5 Gran Robusto. This ample corona gorda measures 6 by 54. Made in Honduras, it features a four-country blend from Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. The ‘Gran Robusto’ holds a past published rating from Cigar Aficionado of 83 (Aug, 2004).

From the Manufacturer’s website:

“Gran Habano Corojo #5 is the strongest blend in the Gran Habano profile. The filler consists of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan long leaf tobaccos with a Costa Rican binder all held together by a noticeably red, flawless Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper. The combination produces rich, full-bodied flavors for a veteran cigar smoker.“

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we sat down to rate this very affordable cigar. At four bucks each, the price was a welcomed break for our wallets.

This was a cigar that several of us had seen hanging around for years, but had never tried. The appearance and roll quality was a little lower than we are accustomed to seeing. There were some lumps & bumps, soft spots, and some moderate veining.

It didn’t take long to begin hearing complaints amongst our seven herf attendees with regard to poor performance; tight draw, poor burn, relights, thin smoke, etc. It was hard to stay optimistic as this looked like it was going to be a challenging hour or so. A couple of the cigars pulled through and ended up performing just fine, but most did not.

There just wasn’t much for us in the flavor department. While some of the guys simply described it as mild, others reported it starting out ok, but then just dropping off. Most of us agreed on it lacking in both body and flavor. Uninteresting, was the consensus.

After throwing out the highest and lowest, then averaging the remaining scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Gran Habano Corojo #5 Gran Robusto is 78. A ‘good’ cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 12 pts (80% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 20 pts (80% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 19 pts (76% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 27 pts (77% of the points possible)

As club member Patrick said, “it’s certainly smokeable.” True, but it’s also unremarkable. It’s hard for us to recommend it based on the above scoring. If you’re looking for a budget stick, however, maybe the best we can say is – see for yourself if you agree with us that this is one example of getting what you pay for.

See you at the next herf, May 1st.

© 2011 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved