Blind Cigar Review: Gran Habano | Gran Reserva No. 5 2011 RobustoCigar Info

announced back in June the newest release from their Gran Reserva line, the Gran Reserva #5 2011. The Gran Reserva line offers a bold new experience in full-bodied premium cigars made with vintage tobaccos. Expect a remarkably smooth, earthy and spicy smoke accompanied by notes of sweet wood and espresso of this aged smoke. The Gran Reserva #5 2011 comes in boxes of 10 cigars with a brand new look to its packaging. It is the fourth installment to follow the #3 2008, #3 2009 and #5 2010 vintage blends.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

Vital Stats:

Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin:
Filler: 2005 Costa Rican Corojo
Factory: , S.A.
Blender: George A. Rico
Number of reviewers: 5—– (ThaGreatWazoo) (NavyPiper) (SosaCub4Life) (_H) (Djangos)
Price: Undisclosed
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: July 2015
Contributed by: Gran Habano

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 90

“Nice looking deep chocolate wrapper. There were a few veins that were distinct, but nothing that should become a nuisance. Nice cap and a very clean cut on the foot.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

Aroma: 89

“I smell leather, wood and some black pepper. It is a nice aroma to get started.” – (_H)

First Third

Flavor: 94
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“After punching the cap and lighting up, I’m greeted with flavors of a nice tobacco, a mild mustiness like old newspapers and a very mild spice. The spice started off very mild, but slowly but steadily increased in strength during the third, leaving a nice zing on the lips and palate along with some heat in the sinuses.” – (NavyPiper)

“The initial third starts off with a blast of pepper that increases in intensity over the next half inch or so after which it mellows out some. A very prominent leather mixed with woodsy notes is the predominant flavor. There is also a strong barnyardy characteristic present in the background. How all the flavors are able to exist clearly in harmony is quite baffling. The finish is definitely sweet with a slight nuttiness, reminiscent of almonds. The smoke is abundant and creamy. The ash is holding well until the end of the third. No issues whatsoever with the burn and the draw. An amazing start to this cigar.” – (Djangos)

Second Third

Flavor: 93
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The second third has some more smoky, earthy strength. It is almost an entirely different cigar than the first third. The burn is near razor sharp and the flavor is pretty fantastic. At this point I am getting some real strength but also a hay taste which is uncommon for a cigar with this level of strength.” – (_H)

“The middle third is not as complex as the initial third, but then again, that amount of complexity is usually not common. The predominant flavor in this third is leather and tobacco. There is a mild pepper also present with each puff and adds some to the complexity. The sweeter flavors have by now disappeared and I can get a rare whiff of the nuttiness that was quite prominent in the initial third. The burn line is slightly skewed but no major issues and did not need any touch ups. No issues with the draw.” – (Djangos)

Final Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The smoke is bellowing out of this cigar still. Great finish with minimal heat intrusiveness. The leather and earth are still present and the strength has picked up a little. The cigar held up throughout and was quite pleasant.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

“The cigar is super thick and creamy. The spice is still there on the retrohale and hits the back of the throat. The cigar is so thick and creamy that is coats the entire palate and lets all the flavors linger for a long time.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 93

“Draw was very nice, no issues from start to finish.” – (NavyPiper)

Burn: 93

“The burn was great. Almost razor sharp throughout.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Construction: 91

“Well constructed cigar with a firm to touch profile. No issues with the wrapper and there was no cracking or unraveling of the wrapper. Also, the cigar did not soften considerably after the heat went through it.” – (Djangos)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Overall Experience: 93

“Surprisingly excellent experience with this cigar after the initial harsh char flavor subsided. Nice notes and a strong burn continued through the remainder of the cigar. Has a very nice amount of smoke coming off of it and was just all around a great stick. Good job to the maker and try some if you are in the mood for a strong cigar.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

“Overall, it was quite enjoyable to me. Even though I was expecting it to increase more in the final third, it was nice to have a stogie with a mellow start that began ramping up through the first two thirds, then a mellow decrease in the final third. Loved the spice, and was bummed to see it finally come to an end. A Toro size I think would be awesome!” – (NavyPiper)

“Overall, I did like this cigar. It had a real good mix of some stronger spices but was so thick and creamy and in the beginning did have some sweetness as well. It was a good cigar to smoke. I would pick this one up again.” – (SosaCub4Life)

“This was a cigar that was elegant to start and had some real flavor changes while maintaining a very unique and complex flavor. I enjoyed this thoroughly and it was a cigar that you could smoke in any circumstance, morning, noon or night.” – (_H)

“Overall, this was a great experience which would have been even better if the flavors present in the initial third persisted or even if different flavors had increased the complexity of the subsequent thirds. Nevertheless, the rest of the cigar was also a great experience. Will definitely try again!” – (Djangos)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 66

  • Appearance 90% 90%
  • Aroma 89% 89%
  • First Third 94% 94%
  • Second Third 93% 93%
  • Final Third 90% 90%
  • Draw 93% 93%
  • Burn 93% 93%
  • Construction 91% 91%
  • Overall Experience 93% 93%

Total Score - Excellent



To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

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