Waking up with a Smile in the Morning
Posted: Mar 4, 2009 1:36pm ET
I don't want to smoke a cigar today. I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. No it wasn't what you think! It was because I smoked another Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva last night with some friends at the Paila restaurant in Havana.
I lit up the canonazo —the name the factory workers use—the moment I sat down at in the small, private outdoor restaurant. It measures 52 ring gauge by 5 7/8 inches. And I was in heaven the moment I cut the cigar and took a draw. Even cold it tasted good with a fresh herb, nut and coffee bean character when I drew. Once on fire, it delivered spice, coffee, milk chocolate, floral, and cedar notes. It kept on changing every moment. And the finish was so long, clean and fresh. 100 points, unblind.
You may not want to believe it. But it is a perfect cigar. I can't think of another young cigar in my life that has delivered such complex, multi-layered character with such length and finesse. The subtle flavors last for minutes on the palate.
I gave my other Gran Reserva to a friend at the dinner. The two cigars were in a small lacquered box from the Habanos Festival Gala Dinner on Friday. The cigar blew my friend away. This is a guy who smokes 1998 Trinidads like Marlboros and has a humidor full of aged smokes. He doesn¹t like big gauge cigars either. But he was in love with the Gran Reserva. "James, it's so complex," he said. "I can't believe it."
I only wish I had had a few others to hand around the table to my friends, including jazz piano legend Ernan Lopez-Nussa, his wife and writer Wendy Guerra; Enrique Nunez, owner of the restaurant La Guarida, Yoan Capote, one of Cuba's greatest young artists; and ballet guru Heriberto Cabeza. They had to "suffer" through their "normal" Cohiba Siglo VIs!
I can't wait for the Gran Reservas to reach the market.
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