Cigar Aficionado

A Pleasant Surprise From the Trade Show

I’m back in the office after the IPCPR trade show (and a little vacation), and I sat down today and went through my huge Humidipak bag that I had stuffed with goodies from the show. I smoked three new cigars, and one was a really nice gem that I didn’t expect.

First, I lit up the new G.A.R. from George Rico, who makes Gran Habano cigars with his father, Guillermo. G.A.R. stands for George A. Rico, and I was looking forward to trying it because I really enjoy the Gran Habano brand.

This one looked great, with a dark, oily wrapper, which looked wonderful on this thick cigar, but I really didn’t enjoy it. It’s musky and very, very earthy, and it was missing the refinement and balance a good cigar needs. I need to try another at some point.

The Gurkha Black Dragon, which is made in Honduras by the Toraños for Beach Cigar, has a real odd look. The wrapper is a pretty dark (probably Mexican San Andres Negro) but the last 3/4 of an inch is exposed binder. I’m not a fan of this style of cigarmaking. The start (which has no influence from the wrapper leaf) is rather dry and one dimensional, but once you get down to the wrapper leaf, it takes on a pleasant, sweet, nutty flavor with a nice little kick to it. It turns out to be a good cigar—I’d prefer it without the gimmicky exposed bunch.

The last cigar I smoked was the Arganese CL3 Torpedo. We just wrote this cigar up in the latest Cigar Insider, which has part one of our coverage from the trade show. The cigar is a Dominican puro, and the wrapper, according to the company, is sungrown in the Dominican Republic from corojo seed.

It sure doesn’t look like sungrown wrapper, but I couldn’t care less—this thing is hands-down the best Arganese cigar I’ve smoked. It’s balanced, nutty, and semi-sweet, with a bold, spicy backbone to the smoke. Delicious. It has a bit of a firm draw, but it’s nicely rolled, measuring 6 7/8 by 52 ring gauge, and it’s going to retail for about $6.30. What a nice surprise.

I have more smokes from IPCPR, but I can’t get to them all in a day. You’ll hear more from me later. And to keep up with all the details of the new cigars heading your way, check out the coverage in Cigar Insider.