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Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 04 May 2002

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coronael rico habano gran corona
habanoratings and scores
A reintroduction of a classic brand leaves some reviewers hoping for more. Back to life comes El Rico Habano. Re-released in 2002 by Ernesto Perez-Carillo, El Rico Habano is intended to cater to smokers with an appetite for a stronger cigar. Priced to sell, El Rico Habano looks to have a good chance in re-establishing itself. Originally produced in the early 1900’s, El Rico Habano was one of the stronger cigars in the El Credito stable. The new El Rico sports Nicaraguan ligero filler and binder, with a chocolate brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. We reviewed the Gran Corona, a 5 ¾” x 46 ring gauge grand corona. Visual inspection makes you think Ernesto is up to some pretty neat tricks. A very attractive cigar that feels solid to the touch. The wrapper is not overly sensitive, and looks like it’s willing to be smoked right away, or even spend an extended stay in your “Humidor Hotel” for some proper ageing and maturing. Spark her up and out comes a nice pile of smoke, along with a matching even ash. The construction looks that you liked so much seem to be holding up once lit. I wish we could keep heaping accolades on El Rico Habano, but the reviewers were split on the flavor of this cigar. Unfortunately they were split between average and downright bad. “The first few puffs were very harsh, but mellowed into a smokable strong cigar. The cigar seemed to stay very strong until the last couple of inches when it seemed to mellow a little. It left an aftertaste that was not unpleasant, but not one to my liking.” “The taste was pretty bad. I just wanted to put the thing out and get a cigar from my humidor. The cigar developed some bitter taste about five minutes into the smoke which some may argue was better than nothing, but I would say that I preferred nothing. The bitterness went away after about half the smoke was gone, however, not before it had ruined the flavor of the coffee I was having with the cigar. I would try to age one of these until Thursday, that’s the day they pick up my trash.” Don’t ever say the people we pick for staff reviewers don’t have a sense of humor! The humor may cut to the bone, but still a sense of humor… These cigars may have been a little young, as the bitterness was noticed throughout the reviews. People were also quick to note that ageing may be something to try with El Rico Habano…a sure sign they wanted to give it a second chance. (Ageing until the trash is picked up didn’t count!) The following quote summed up the general feelings about the El Rico Habano Gran Corona. At around $3 bucks a stick they are worth a try, but there is a lot of competition showing up for those three bucks. “I would probably smoke this cigar again, as I like strong cigars, but I can think of a lot of stogies that are strong that have a pleasanter taste. It would probably improve with a little aging. I wouldn't consider it one of my favorite tasting cigars” I guess love wasn’t in the air the day our reviewers played with these.



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