It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out a vintage cigar. The Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series II was rolled in 1999 and has been aging ever since. For this review, I smoke the Robusto II size which is a 5×50 stick. The company’s website lists this stick as having a Connecticut shade wrapper with Dominican binder and filler tobaccos.
The wrapper gives off a slight nutty earth aroma, while the foot produces a fruity toast smell with an oily characteristic. On the cold draw, I find faint raisin and tobacco flavors. Once lit, there is a salty peanut with some toast on the draw. Through the nose, I get very smooth nuttiness and cream. The finish has a light buttery cream flavor to it.
After twenty minutes, the first third closes out. The draw gives me creamy vanilla matched up with some subtle caramel flavor and a note of sweet cedar. Through the nose, I pick up a mix of salty peanut and mild coffee. On the finish, there is a faint black pepper spice with some buttery toast and smooth almond. Strength and body are both at the mild mark.
Forty-five minutes in, the second third ends. On the draw, there is a moist wood with more vanilla and a sweet, creamy earth. The retro-hale offers salty cedar with hay and grass. The finish gives me a slightly spicy toast note with more almond and a mild clove flavor. The body is up to the medium mark, while the strength is a steady mild.
One hour and five minutes gets me to the end of the final third. The draw is delicious with creamy cedar alongside some black pepper and roasted almond. Through the nose, I find more salty cedar with the introduction of some cinnamon and toast. The finish is a real treat with sweet caramel on top of smoky grass and very creamy coffee. There is no change to the strength or body.
The Gourmet Series II is a superb cigar aged to perfection. If you are a fan of powerhouse smokes, steer clear of this one, but if you can appreciate a smooth, mellow cigar with subtle nuances of elegant flavor, this is one you certainly don’t want to miss. Make no mistake, this is a very mild, medium-bodied stick, but it has tons of balanced flavor, and it’s one of the smoothest cigars I’ve ever lit up. I recommend smoking it in the morning before eating anything so you get the most out of this wonderful cigar.