Wrapper: Sumatra wrapper
Binder and Filler: Ecuadorian Habano binder
Strength: High Medium to Full
Behind The Stick:
One thing I find utterly amazing ( and slightly annoying ) about the cigar industry is their repeated signs of respect and honor to those who have made a contribution to the industry. Anniversaries, birthdays, death dates, fathers day amongst many other dates have all been used as reasons to dedicate a cigar to a specific event or person. The Graycliff Avelino 80th falls right into this category – this cigar was crafted and created specifically to honor Avelino Laras’s 80th birthday. When they were originally packaged, they were put in specially made humidors which were then signed by Avelino Lara himself. Made to celebrate his birthday, this special cigar was sold exclusively at the Graycliff Resort and Cigar Factory at a monstrous markup. A â€˜phantomâ€™ cigar of types, it was never intended to see the global market.
You may be asking yourself, who is this Avelino Lara and why does he have a cigar that has been toted as “a melting pot of tobaccos that has created one of the richest and most complex flavor profiles out there”. Okay – bullshit advertising aside, this is an ultra-premium cigar that is made from a combination of Nicaraguan, Honduran, Brazilian, and Costa Rican long-filler tobacco that has been slowly aged in ‘Cuban Fashion’, some tobacco being as old as a 1995 harvest. Avelino Lara is the man behind the original Cuban Cohiba name and is the man behind the Bahamian rolled Graycliff Cigars so I must agree, if you are going to make a cigar to honor this gentleman then use the factory he created with some of the best possible tobaccos you can get your hands on. But – the big question, how does this cigar perform!?
Graycliff is definitely one of those hit or miss companies ( at least in my experience ) where you either get a cigar that was rolled by a master or a cigar that looks like it was rolled by the feet of a chimpanzee. Looks like luck was on my side and my set of cigars were rolled exceptionally well. Evenly packed from head to foot, the band removed easily and the burn was not ‘perfect’ but did not require any touch ups. If I had to bitch ( and you know I do ) – the draw was a bit plugged on two and extremely plugged on another. I did use a cigar tool to free up the draw a little, which made a world of difference. Shy of that – a very well constructed cigar!
Out of the very few reviews on this cigar out there, I noticed that many of them reported very similar flavor profiles and this ‘incredible complexity’. Cedar, pepper, creaminess and sweet notes appear to be the main thing everyone is pointing out – although enjoyable I wouldn’t hold this cigar as ‘overly complex’. Yes there were transitions from wood/cedar to a light leather-ish, coffee-ish type ending throughout the cigar but the transitions were slight at best, with the pepper, cream and sweetness really playing more of a dancing act with one another than blending well into a solid flavor profile.
This isn’t a bad thing, but at give or take $12.00 a stick and designated as a special release for a man whom has created a countless number of exceptional cigars – I felt pretty deflated after I finished smoking it. The flavors were well defined, rich and the cigar didn’t fall apart on me, but at the same time the draw was a bit on the tight side and the flavors seemed to be a little too toned down for such an important cigar ( and price ). As I said before, this is not a ‘bad’ cigar, I am glad I got a few to smoke but at the same time, $60 bucks for 5 cigars that are ‘alright’ seems to be a bit of a waste when that same $60 can get 5 truly amazing cigars. I still recommend grabbing a single or a pair, but in my opinion, I’d hold off on that box buy for now. If you have had a chance to try one, please let me know what you thought!
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory