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James Suckling

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.

Comments   8 comment(s)

Christian Aliperti March 4, 2009 4:17pm ET

Sounds great James, I will be on the lookout as these are very limited. I will be abroad soon and I will do what I must.


Myron Price — New York —  March 5, 2009 1:07pm ET

You have a hard job!!!!!


Pete Noel — Medford, NY —  March 9, 2009 8:29pm ET

Don't work too hard now James and get all stressed out.


Adam Hughes — Orlando, Fl —  March 11, 2009 2:38am ET

sorry if this seems ignorant, but i am confused about this smoke. from what i understand, all the grand reserva is, is a siglo aged 5 years. as appose to the usually 3??? is that not correct? is it really possible to have such a dramatic affect on a siglo, with only an additional 2 years?
i have been sitting on a box of cohiba maduro magicos for quite some time. from my understanding, those are aged 5 years as well. they are good, but by no means are they a "classic". obviously, the tobbacco is different. but im sure by not all that much.
since habanos has been established, they have only had 2 other "grand reservas". (this information of course was given to me by the latest newsletter from CI). and they didnt score drastically different from the original versions, if at all. so i guess what im trying to say is that i find it hard to believe that only an adittional 2 years can have all that influence. i rarely see anything rated over 95, let alone 100! i know thats not something you guys just throw around like candy. i will just have to see it to believe it. if my understanding on this smoke is wrong, please enlighten me...


Pete Noel — Medford, NY —  March 11, 2009 7:02am ET

Two years can have a dramatic affect on a cigar. Different blends can have different responses to aging. Try a RP 1990 and a 1992...there's a difference if you can detect the subtle flavors and undertones in a cigar.I'm sure the 2 years of aging had a dramatic affect on the cigar. I've had a Siglo VI before and it was great. I doubt I'll be luck enough to try a Gran Reserva, but one can always hope!


Pete Noel — Medford, NY —  March 11, 2009 7:02am ET

Two years can have a dramatic affect on a cigar. Different blends can have different responses to aging. Try a RP 1990 and a 1992...there's a difference if you can detect the subtle flavors and undertones in a cigar.I'm sure the 2 years of aging had a dramatic affect on the cigar. I've had a Siglo VI before and it was great. I doubt I'll be luck enough to try a Gran Reserva, but one can always hope!


Pete Noel — Medford, NY —  March 11, 2009 7:02am ET

Two years can have a dramatic affect on a cigar. Different blends can have different responses to aging. Try a RP 1990 and a 1992...there's a difference if you can detect the subtle flavors and undertones in a cigar.I'm sure the 2 years of aging had a dramatic affect on the cigar. I've had a Siglo VI before and it was great. I doubt I'll be luck enough to try a Gran Reserva, but one can always hope!


Pete Noel — Medford, NY —  March 11, 2009 8:58pm ET

Sorry for triple posting my response. My computer locked up and I wasn't sure if it went through.



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