When something is described as royal, we immediately assume that it's of the upmost quality. A scepter is just a scepter, but a royal scepter is special. I envision a gold club-like thing adorned with various jewels & gems. I suppose we could make an exception for McDonald's McRoyale. We know that it is absolutely not a burger of the royal status, but it still tastes pretty decent so we can let it slide. General Cigars has many brands that make delicious tobacco scepters and one of them is the non-Cuban Cohiba. There are plenty of lines that have come out of Cohiba, but one of them is special enough to be dubbed Royale. So how luxurious is it? Will I feel like like I'm in a robe and sporting a crown? Let's cut it up and see.
Cigar: Cohiba Gran Royale
Origin: Danlí, Honduras
Factory: STG Danlí
Size: 4.5 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Broadleaf from Jalapa
Binder: Dominican Piloto Cubano
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran
First glance this cigar is hot. The band's carbon fiber look with vibrant & shiny red accents certainly has a royal vibe. Only a small portion of the band was gummed, leaving much of the seam a little flippy on the fingers. The cap is beautifully applied and the Nicaraguan Broadleaf has almost invisible seams with decent uniformity. Bunching at the foot looks nice & even. So much visual texture is happening on the wrapper that it's mouthwatering. Great looking cigar that resembles well oiled leather.
I (like much of you I'd imagine) really enjoy a cigar that is hassle-free when it comes to the draw. We have tools to help correct the problem, but we don't really want to use them. No issues here though. The first third was absolutely perfect with the second and final third being perfect leaning firm. Excellent draw, tons of smoke output, and a delight to hold.
The burn line wasn't razor straight and not exactly royal, but it did a fine job none the less. The car was weaving a tad, but stayed in within the lane. I tossed a flicker of flame for a moment, but it probably wasn't even needed. I'm just particular. The bright white ash was very dense and at times needed some persuasion to drop. Solid performance.
1/3 - The Gran Royale starts things off with walnuts, bark, and almond sands. I also pick up a subtle note of greens and in the way back is sweet tin. The retro is sweet cedar. I find the opening sequence to be impressive and quite rich for being the first third.
2/3 - Burning inward I gather up acorns, wicker chair, and the Honduran sweet sands move their way forward. In the back is a delicious vanilla cake note. Joining the complexity is clean hay and fresh leather. The retro remains sweet cedar with the finish dragging out the vanilla cake for more recognition.
3/3 - Taking the forward position is vanilla sands with the retro more of a white pepper covered cedar. The creaminess is even richer, despite being already full body from the beginning. The fresh leather note has turned into broken-in leather. Popping in for the tail end of the session I pick up an undertone of floral in the rear.
Just because a cigar has a higher price tag than others doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be epic. Talking specifically of the Cohiba Gran Royale, it's worth the price. Right from the beginning I could tell that this smoke was not a royal poser. I think it certainly deserves the badge of Royale with it's flavor complexity and excellent construction. This is definitely a non-Cuban Cohiba that should be scored. While gathering additional information about this cigar before I wrote the review, I found that my score lines up exactly with Cigar Aficionado's 91 and Cigar Insider's 91. Forget getting a second opinion, that's three opinions at 91! So yeah, go get some!
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1