Cigar Review: Gran Habano Connecticut #1

Size: 5×52, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Habano, Nicaraguan

Filler: Habano, Nicaraguan

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $72.99

Grade: 8.4

The man behind Gran Habano and 3 SLS cigars is Don Guillermo Rico. Prior to opening his own business, he sold leaves to Miami based cigar makers, including the Oliva family, under the name GR Tabaqueras Unidas. In 1998, he went into the business himself and opened a factory in Danli, Honduras.

They currently produce seven blends – Connecticut #1, Habano #3, Corojo #5, G.A.R line, Gran Habano Cabinet Selection, 3 SLS, and the newly released Azteca. Their daily production is around 15,000 cigars and they have an operation of over 300 employees. You can visit them online here.

The Connecticut #1 is available in a surprising eleven sizes: Shorty Pyramid (4×58), Short Robusto (4×60), Rothschild (4.5×50), Pyramid (6 1/8×52), Imperiales (6×60), Gran Robusto (6×54), Gran Corona (6×44), Lancero (7.5×40),Churchill (7×48), Robusto (5×52), Lunch Break (4.5×40).

Pre-light, 1.6:
On first glance, this stick feels and looks like a bundle cigar – though triple capped, double banded, and well packed, the exterior is dry and full of protruding veins and rough seams. The aroma is of cedar that becomes sweeter toward the foot and there is a slight zest that lingers. There are also some prevalent barnyard and pencil wood notes in the background. On the cold draw, the flavors are less pronounced and are mostly closely characterized by a sweet cardboard. The draw is wide open on all of the samples, even though the construction seems adequate.

Burn, 1.8:
The #1 carries a fast burn, with a well stacked ash that maintains a straight burn line throughout. The loose draw causes an emptiness in the smoking experience at times and is very airy. The smoke however is thick and temperature is cool throughout.

Flavor, 2.5:
The flavor of the Gran Habano works into halves. Up front is wheat and hops, a sweet cardboard, and a dry texture; there is a thick feel on the aftertaste that is burnt. In its better moments, there are mild flavors of cinnamon and berry, though they are sporadic and brief. Into the second half, the dryness lessens and a sweet cedar arrives, but it is too late to create an above average experience. The finish is pleasant to the nub, with no heat.

Overall, 2.5:
With a solid construction and a sub $4 price tag, this is a great value smoke – it would be good fop the yard or for some new smoking friends. It would also be good for the morning with a more flavorful beverage to add some life to an otherwise one dimensional and un-exciting smoke.

(Total: 8.4)