Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Graycliff Double Expresso

Country: Costa Rica
Wrapper origin: Costa Rica
Wrapper type: Costa Rican (Habano?)
Filler: Cuban Seed Corojo & Ecuadorian Ligero
Length: 4.5”
Ring: 54
Cost: $14.00

Appearance (0-20): The initial impression is that this one is going to be tasty.  The wrapper is rolled very nicely, without any noticeable flaws.  The wrapper has quite a bit of tooth on it, and is somewhat bumpy to the touch.  The bands around this cigar are beautiful, and very appealing. The first is gold embossed, with a deep black base. The second denotes that it is a double expresso. Very impressive.

Score: 19

Construction (0-20): As I began smoking this down, the first thing that jumps out is the ash. It is almost pure white, and very noticeable.  The ash held on almost 2 inches, or half the cigar before I tapped it off.  The burn was even, but the draw was somewhat tight.  On a quick note, this cigar was really packed full of tobacco.  With two quick draws, I did get a nice amount of smoke; I would have enjoyed it more if the draw wasn’t so tight though.

Score: 18

Strength (0-20): This one was spot on for a medium stick.  It is marketed as one of their fullest cigars due to the extra long ligero leaves used, but I didn’t really get a strong kick from it.  If anything, it might tip the scale into medium-full.

Score: 17

Flavor (0-20): Here is where the money is for this cigar.  The flavoring was great from start to finish.  The first ½ inch will give you a quick bit of spice, and then it rapidly transitions into full on coffee and chocolate.  The flavors are similar throughout, with a ton of chocolate flavor the closer you get to the end.  I did get small hints of spice on occasion, but the overpowering taste is clearly quite rich.

Score: 19

Value (0-20): These sticks can range anywhere from $14 to $18.  For my personal taste, I think that is a little bit high, yet not unreasonable.  It is also a limited release cigar, and roughly only 6 dealers carry them.  If you don’t mind infused cigars, I would grab a Drew Estates Java instead of this for half the price.  If you are more turned on to a classic boutique cigar, then this is the stick you want.

Score: 15

Additional Notes: Smoked at CI, paired with water.

Overall (0-100): From start to finish, I really enjoyed the flavors.  They really boomed out of the smoke, and tasted great.  The only real gripe I have is the price, but that is what you get on a premium stick.  This is far and away my favorite stick by Graycliff so far, and this is one that they got absolutely right.  I would choose this as a definite repeat stick if you can grab it in a sampler pack to subsidize the price a little bit.

Score: 88

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