I have been familiar with Paul Garmirian Cigars for quite some time, however, up to this review I had only smoked one of their cigars. I was very excited when I received another PG cigar as a surprise gift from a very generous cigar smoking friend. The 25th Anniversary Connoisseur was released in 2015 to celebrate 25 years of PG Cigars. According to the PG website:
“The cigar transitions effortlessly, many have called it, “A Masterpiece” A beautiful dark and oily Oscuro Maduro wrapper, four complex fillers and a Dominican barrel aged binder produce a rich, complex and balanced smoke that is sure to impress the most discriminating aficionados.”
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Occidental Cigars Corp
Wrapper: Oscuro Maduro
Binder: Dominican Barrel Aged
Vitola: 6 x 52 Toro
Price: $22.60 MSRP
Release Date: November 2015
Company Website: www.pgcigars.com
I am anticipating a robust profile with plenty of earth and dark sweetness. I am hopeful for some nuttiness, wood, spices, and toast to accompany that. I know PG has a level of elegance and nuance to it, but I do expect a fuller body, flavor, and strength to accompany that.
I kind of like the PG bands. They give me a retro feel, like an old baseball card. The wrapper is quite clean and medium brown in shade. The cigar is firmly packed and fairly heavy. I get raisins, earth, and some spices on the nose. The cold draw is cedar and white wine. It’s quite interesting.
First light brings tons of full bodied smoke with very full flavors of oily, slightly tannic wood with some pepper and earth. There’s a citric sweetness on the draw in the very beginning. The finish is a bit more bitter and tannic. About a half inch in the bitter tannins have mostly dropped out. The draw is still plenty of oily wood and earth. Midway into the first third the retrohale has some fruit and a bourbon-like oakiness. Coming to an end of the first third the performance has been perfect.
The second third is rolling along nicely with the flavor and body coming down to medium to medium-full. There’s still oily wood and earth. There are some musty dark fruits on the finish. Crossing halfway it’s coming back up to full in flavor and body. The musty dark fruit is more prominent and accompanied by some dark roast coffee, earthy bitterness and a little cocoa. The performance continues to be perfect.
The final third kicks off with a lot of mouth watering citrus taking over the draw. The retrohale carries plenty of citrus with the addition of some dark chocolate. Passing the first band the strength is up to a medium level. There’s still tons of citrus. The secondary flavors are some coffee and a bit of oily wood. I do have to touch up a small canoe past the band. Coming to an end at an hour and 55 minutes it has held onto the citrus and oily wood to the close. The cigar performed perfectly since the touch up.
I thought this cigar was pretty solid through the first half. The second half, however, was excellent! The cigar started out with a bit too much bitterness and tannins for my taste, but it was not off putting. The earthiness and musty dark fruits were pleasant, and the retrohale was quite nice. The second half really shined with the citrus, coffee, and cocoa. The performance throughout was great, with only one touch up being necessary, but even it was minor. This is definitely a cigar worth trying and something I’ll happily revisit. It’s also one of the first “expensive” cigars I have smoked in quite some time that I think is worth paying for, which is saying something.
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