Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Gran Habano #5 Corojo
Size: 7 x 48
Tobacco: Nicaraguan
Price: $3.40

After I won a 5-pack on CigarBid, I read this cigar was named one of Cigar Aficionado's Top 50 Cigars of 2007. Despite a temptation to enjoy them as soon as possible, I persevered to age them for about two months in the humidor.I decided to give them a try during our Labor Day vacation to Gulf Shores.

These were very tasty cigars, with lots of complex hard-to-pinpoint pepper-and-spice flavors and a lingering, tart finish. Medium draw, heavy-bodied, minor burn issues (but I think those were caused by the sea winds).

Unfortunately, I discovered the hard way these cigars were too much for me. I smoked the first one at sunset on the beach before dinner, and it overpowered both my taste buds and my black-and-tan porter. The 2nd one I smoked after a heavy seafood meal and a whole pitcher of Yuengling, and it was so strong it made me feel briefly ill (although I reinforced myself with Gentleman Jack and managed to nub the stogie anyway, while Shaun and I watched a particularly frisky couple in the swimming pool below us!).

The 3rd cigar was the best. I smoked it after dinner but didn't mix it with alcohol. At times, the cigar still gave me the sweats, as if I'd eaten a habanero pepper.

My last hoo-rah with this smoke will probably be on the long drive back to Memphis from the Alabama-Arkansas game this Saturday, if we win.

Postcript, 09/27: In case anyone is wondering, I smoked my last Gran Habano #5 on the long ride from Tuscaloosa, AL to Memphis, TN after the Tide defeated Arkansas on a game-winning TD pass with 0:08 left on the clock.

This last cigar was the best of the pack. I was used to its strength this time, and I picked up lots of sweet flavors that I failed to detect earlier. Of course, the general euphoric atmosphere of lighting a victory cigar in gameday traffic, complete with crowds of cheering coeds and large grown men in houndstooth hats displaying body flesh tatooed with images of Bear Bryant, only added to the overall surreal experience.

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