Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cigar smoking with the G.A.R.

As a longstanding fan of American History, I was intrigued to see a cigar branded G.A.R.. To me, G.A.R. stands for Grand Army of the Republic, the organization of Union veterans of the Civil War. The G.A.R. acted as a fraternal organization and also as a political action group, advocating for Reconstruction, veterans' pensions, and the such. G.A.R. politics gave us phrases such as "waving the bloody shirt," and, most likely, "Grand Old Party." Sadly, it turned out that G.A.R. cigars are named for George A. Rico, the fellow who makes the things.
Happily, it turned out to be a pretty good cigar, so I wasn't too disappointed by the name. I sampled the White Label "Gran Consul," a 4 3/4 x 60 cigar stuffed with a "vintage mixture of Nicaraguan long-fillers" The Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper was one of the finest I've seen on any cigar, in fact, the entire cigar was well constructed, with an ash that refused to give up the ghost. It was a powerful smoke, one of the more diaphoretic ones I've had. But it was never overwhelming, and tasted fine all the way to a very small butt. The cigar had a nice tea taste before lighting, and retained a bit of that tea flavor throughout, which added a counter-note to the stronger, earthier flavors that predominate. It took me two mugs of coffee and half of Mutiny on the Bounty (the Marlin Brando version), to finish the thing off, sweating all the while. It was a good time. While I can't call this cigar Grand (with a capital G), I can pronounce it grand with the lowercase. Recommendation: Recommended.

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