Written by Puff Staff

Sunday, 07 August 2005

User Rating: / 1

graycliff crystal pirateratings and scores

Caveat: My wife and I frequently vacation in Nassau and over the years I’ve become an unabashed fan of Graycliff cigars. I started smoking these around 96 or 97. Since I like heavier smokes, I prefer the newer Crystal and Espresso blends. But the Original and Professionale are also quite tasty. They are expensive due to Bahamas tobacco taxes - the Crystal run around 12 and the Espresso around 15.

2005 Graycliff Crystal Pirate Torp 6 X 52

Storage: 60 – 63 RH at 60 – 65 F.

Construction: Beautiful fine-toothed satin milk chocolate brown wrapper with tinges of dark brown. Minor veining. Solidly rolled with no soft spots. Clipped clean.

Prelight: Heavy cedar and rich tobacco aroma. Wood, toast and creamy flavors. Medium draw.

Burn: Lit evenly, meandering but fairly straight burn with no touch-ups, light but firm lt. gray ash.

Drink: Iced cappuccino.

Smoking Notes: Initial impression is a very smooth mild-medium smoke with wood, cream and a hint of light chocolate. The finish is marked by the interesting salty-sour “bethune tang” present in all Graycliff blends. The smoke is thick and smooth. The aroma is very cedary. By ¼ the cigar has turned salty with light herbal notes and a heavy cedar, toast, and cream core. The “bethune tang” intensifies. Around 1/3 point, the cigar turns fairly full-bodied. The cedar and wood notes deepening around a core of rich tobacco with black pepper and light coffee on the finish. At ¾ the cigar abruptly shifts back to the initial mild-medium body and the smooth cedar, toast, wood and cream flavors. Never became bitter or tarry as I smoked it to the nub. An excellent 2hour smoke.

Overall Impression: The Graycliff Crystal is a very interesting and complex smoke that shifts from a creamy, toasty mild-medium to a fairly full cedar, wood and pepper smoke, then back again. This smoke is not for everyone. In my experience this is an “I love it” or “it’s crap” smoke, split about 50/50 – half my friends like, the other half hate it. For the “love it” crowd, it’s a superb cigar that’s up there with the best. I’m beyond love it, I’m heavily addicted. Kudos to Avelino. I rate these a big beautiful A+.

WARNING: I’ve found Graycliff’s to be quite sensitive to the drink accompaniment. The Crystal goes best with strong coffee or dark rum (straight). Oaky cognacs are OK, but IMHO better suited to the Espresso, Original and Professionale. DO NOT serve iced tea, particularly black tea – the tea tannins give the smoke a very dry texture. Do not serve wine, fruity cognacs, mixed drinks or any type of whiskey; the flavors go absolutely horrid.

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