La Gran Fuma by Gran Habano

Saxjazzman

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Dec 30, 2006
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This thread will review:

Name: La Gran Fuma (Torpedo)
Size: 6 1/8 x 52
Wrapper: NIC Corojo Naturall
Binder: NIC
Filler: Panamanian / NIC
MSRP: 20 cigars in a BOX for $46.00
Price Payed: $19
Stated Strength: Mild to Medium
Comments: These cigars are produced by Gran Habano from G.R. Tabacaleras via Guillermao and George Rico. These are a sandwich blend cigar. They were purchased at auction about 2 months ago.



For original thread discussion see Start Up Thread


To keep it standard, we would rate the cigars in three categories.

A) Appearance--How the cigar looks, how the pre-light smell is, the wrapper, etc.

B) Taste---How is the taste? Spicy, strong, bland, airball, etc. How did the taste progress, etc.

C) Construction---How did the cigar perform in terms of draw, burn, ash, etc.

To rate the cigars we would use a number from 5 to 10, 5 being one you would not even give Fidel to smoke and ten being a damm good cigar. The final rating number would be determined by the following:

A + B + (1.5)C divided by 3.5. This is similar to how Cigar Magazine does it but it is a little different. I realize that this is not perfect and there may be better ways but this would work also. Thanks for the reviews!!
 

The Green Monkey

Brap-brap
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Apr 5, 2008
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Cliff's Notes version: Putrid. Should have been named La Gran Fubar. Avoid at all costs.


*****

The unabridged version--fix yourself a snack, top off your beverage, and buckle up.

Appearance/initial inspection: A large soft spot near the shoulder, a soft segment 3/4" long at the foot, a few veins and places where the edges of the wrapper are peeling--especially at the triple cap. Nothing particularly remarkable in any way. I'm not the greatest at describing appearance at this early stage of my cigar career, so I'll leave it at that.

When I opened up the package from SJM with all of our test subjects, I was confronted with the unusual odor of sausage/cured pork. The La Gran Fubar was the source. While it wasn't as strong as earlier, this was definitely the culprit. The label features a grainy photo/photorealistic picture of a tobacco field. I will later decide that this is featured because Satan himself declined to be pictured on the band.

My first cut with the Xicar was too tight to draw well, so I went a little deeper, and right into the mushy spot. Prelight draw seemed wet (odd, as my humi is at ~63%) with a faint taste of "old and dusty" combined with cocoa powder or hot chocolate mix.

Lit it up at 2:41 this afternoon. Some portions were very easy to ignite, while others appeared to be flame retardant. I finally got it going.

Taste: I got a quick hint of the strange cured pork taste during the preliminary puffs. Was it prosciutto? Pancetta? Capicola? Something along these lines. This was the top of the mountain, taste wise. Shortly thereafter, I picked up a sort of pine-y, turpentine-y taste for a moment or two, but it wasn't as awful as that probably sounds. Later on, I would have gladly welcomed this taste back. A quick burst of prune hit me and disappeared.

There was an increasing something, taste-wise. Not intensity, harshness, or spice, but simply a presence of some sort. The roof of my mouth began to harbor a weird bitter patina-like coating, and the inside of my mouth felt like it was puckering. It occurs to me at this point that if you're the passive-aggressive type, this is the perfect cigar to give to someone you secretly hate.

I haven't even smoked an inch of this thing yet, and it's just plain acrid. Yuck. I'm already certain that this will be the worst stick in the arsenal. As I approach the 1/3 mark, I decide that this isn't a cigar you'd give to someone you secretly hate after all. This is a cigar that you'd give to someone you openly loathe. It's too crummy to be convincing as a passive-aggressive "gift". You might as well punch someone in the balls after presenting them with this.

I'm entering the middle third, and it tastes like autumn. Burning leaves. Putrid, borderline sulfuric smoke. It smells funny. Somehow, and this doesn't even really make sense to me, but it's the taste I imagined so bear with me. You know that terrible "gum" that comes in bubble gum ice cream? Imagine roasting a pile of that gum over an open flame and then chewing it. That's what this cigar tasted like for a minute or two.

I thought the burning gum was the bottom of the barrel, but then I got another distinct flavor profile reminiscent of the time when I was a youngster and my dad spilled some rank smelling pesticide or herbicide in the garage. I began to wonder if I was having some sort of stroke, and all of these strange tastes were merely false perceptions. Luckily, the whatever-icide taste didn't linger for long. Thank heaven for small miracles.

It becomes spitty. This is almost a relief in the sense that while I'm spitting, at least I won't be smoking. I cough. The taste briefly reverts back to the sausage, except now it's the blackened sausage that someone accidentally left on the unattended grill for hours on end. The smoke accidentally goes up my nose and it hurts. More spit.

I enter the final third. It tries to go out, but like a moron, I persevere and stoke it back up. It's coarse and awful and I regret making the effort to save it. I'm almost wretching at this point. There are no longer tastes, just characteristics. Someone put a powerful curse on this tobacco. I'm once again reminded of a time in my childhood when a few friends and I each pilfered spices out of our respective kitchens and met each other under the bridge to smoke the spices rolled up in notebook paper.

I put it down with between 1 and 1.5" of wrapper left, depending on which side of the canoe you look at. I couldn't take it any longer.

I'm smoking the second La Gran Fubar when I'm good and drunk, or else I'm getting good and drunk in preparation for smoking it.

Construction: I am not a cigar chomper by any means, but I do apply some minimum amount of pressure to it. I can tell right out of the gate that the soggy segment is going to be a problem--it's an issue from the start. I couldn't keep it in my mouth without using my hands unless I were to deep-throat it. I have to touch up the flame retardant portion very early on, and a quick graze with my torch seemed to completely vaporize about half of the ash. I'm very curious if the other guinea pigs will experience this too. The remaining ash is funky and sickly looking. I think to myself that the soggy tip is really going to be an issue later on.

It makes weak, wispy, delicate smoke. It's tough to keep it going at times. A T-shaped canoe refuses to burn, and the wrapper is slightly unfurling as well. It starts to require two pulls at a time--one to keep it going, and one to actually puff. I really regret that my camera isn't working, because this thing is comically hideous. As I prepare to ash for the first time, on one side the ash is only 3/4" long, and on the other side it's 1.5" long--to say nothing of the missing (vaporized) portion at the tip.

I ash and am into the middle third. The veins, which didn't really jump out at me too much before lighting, are now clinging to where the ash used to be, like a couple of little burned horns from a boll weevil. It continues to canoe and do the whole "wrapper shrinking and wrinkling from the heat" thing as well. It almost went out. As I mentioned in the taste section, I foolishly breathe life back into it. It's getting really soft and soggy. The ash is a gross brown color. Towards the end of the middle third, the wrapper simply seems to quit burning while the filler continues to smolder inside. I ash and touch it up again.

I'm into the home stretch. As I struggle with the endgame of this loathsome thing, the sog factor kicks in. It begins to extrude tobacco out of the head. A few minutes later and I'm picking bits out of my mouth. It's totally dilapidated when I put it down. It looks nothing like a normal cigar butt should unless it was pitched in a urinal or something.

Out of my misery at 3:49 for a grand total of 1:08.

Grades:
Appearance: 7.0
It sure fooled the hell out of me. I had no idea what I was in for.
Taste: 5.25 This couldn't really be the worst cigar in the world, could it? What are the odds? It earns a .25 based on sheer probability.
Construction: 5.5 It held together far too long.

Total: 5.86 This seems high. This stick should be marketed as a means to quit smoking cigars. Should you find yourself in this situation, don't bother buying a box. Five should do the trick.
 

The Green Monkey

Brap-brap
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Apr 5, 2008
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As a matter of fact, SJM threw in a very generous package of distinctly non-bundled sticks.

However, I'd be glad to be doing this even without the unexpected reward. It's interesting and fun, and I realize that you can't hit a home run every time you step to the plate. Smoking the bad gives me a much better and more thorough appreciation for the good as well, and as a fledgling cigar cigar smoker I really appreciate the opportunity.
 

Saxjazzman

Active Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,505
As a matter of fact, SJM threw in a very generous package of distinctly non-bundled sticks.

However, I'd be glad to be doing this even without the unexpected reward. It's interesting and fun, and I realize that you can't hit a home run every time you step to the plate. Smoking the bad gives me a much better and more thorough appreciation for the good as well, and as a fledgling cigar cigar smoker I really appreciate the opportunity.
Again, we really thank you for your great input here. It is really interesting to compare tested results to those by the advertisers. Now we know what not to buy!! :)
 

MiamiCubano

El Martillo (My Boxing Name)
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
3,875
"The Big Smoke" sounds like it should have been called "La Gran Chorizo."

Thanks for the great review TGM. :thumbs:
 

punk_lawyer

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May 6, 2008
Messages
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OK, when I saw the Green Monkey's review I said to myself...I gotta get in on this one. I love sausage! I have now smoked BOTH of the Gran Fuma that were provided to me by SJM. I drew enough courage to spark them by comparing these sticks to some of the awful beers that I buy just to piss off my friends. (You would be shocked at how much conversation is started by my showing up with a 6 pack of Private Stock Malt Liquor).

On to the review:

Appearance: The foot of both cigars was pretty mashed up. I am thinking that a cigar with more tobacco rolled in would have not suffered such a fate. Just above the band there was a very noticeable soft spot on both sticks and another was found near the foot. The wrapper was in decent enough shape and nothing was too remarkable. The scent of the cigar was unremarkable. I was disappointed that I did not get the sausage sticks that were sent to the Green Monkey.

The cut was simple enough but I have to agree that some parts of the foot were almost flame retardant. This sucker just would not light! I eventually just torched the crap out of it and I was on my way.

Taste: Back in the 80s I used to think I was a great cigar smoker when I paid the extra 20 cents for a Garcia y Vega plastic tubo at a gas station. Without fail those cigars tasted of stale saltine crackers. The Gran Fuma brought me back to my days as a seventeen year old smoker. Stale crackers everywhere. The stale crackers tended to dominate for at least the first inch and it was then that the glorious meat flavors moved to the center.

I am not going to be able to say it was Italian sausage...my experience suggested that this cigar was aged in boxes made from Mesquite wood instead of Spanish Cedar. I had reached a point in the cigar where the stale crackers were being served with really poor quality Texas barbecue. Actually, I think the flavor more resembled the post barbecue belch than it resembled the actual barbecue itself...you know the kind I am talking about...the gassy, acidic, mesquite tasting belch that makes you go look for the heart burn medicine. Certainly not a good taste at this stage.

As I smoked further the taste turned away from crackers with barbecue belch and just went to plain bad. I would compare the smoke to some kind of exhaust fumes. Really bad at about 3 inches in and they did not turn back at all. Perhaps the one thing that I can say is that I have had one major brand provide a worse tasting cigar to me this year.

Construction: As mentioned above, this is not a firm cigar. I had an awful time getting the foot to light and they burned unevenly throughout. Somehow the ash held forever. I must've had close to 3 inches of ash going on these things. The ash looked like a bomb hit it and there was no discernable cylinder of ash but they held together. I found the cigars to be far too flimsy...I know this thing is supposed to be hand made but I can only imagine what level of roller worked on this thing. Not good at all.

Grades:

Appearance: 6.0
Taste: 5.75
Construction: 6.0

TOTAL SCORE: 5.93

This is a truly bad cigar but not the worst that I have smoked. I would never buy one and I hope that I never have to smoke one again.
 

souldog

OG Post-Whorer since 2008 bitches...
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Feb 6, 2008
Messages
6,209
Monkey, I like your reviews, but I'm just going to have to keep this guy short...


I'm sick, so bear with my tastes:

A) Appearance: Good from far, far from good. A lot of veins, the foot appeared very bunched up, and the cap looked like someone just plastered it on. The prelight draw was interesting, almost that of an Arturo Fuente Curly Head. I can't explain it, and I can't place exactly what I tasted, but I know it tasted like a sort of stale pungent fruity-type something or other! Just not my cup of tea that I look for in a cigar. Rating: 5

B) Taste: The taste was mild to medium, had a decent draw, no problems there. It was nothing that jumped out to me, but it was still good enough for a cigar to puff on while you're running about the house doing work and don't have the time to sit and appreciate it. The biggest thing I noticed was the horrible aftertaste. I'm not here to bash on the cigar repeatedly, but it had this horrible aftertaste that i had to put it down. :( Rating: 4

C) Construction: Draw was good, lots and lots of fine white clouds of smoke. The foot was a Frankenstein of sorts, with all different lengths of tobacco coming out of the end. Not very consistent in the burn, as mine kep traveling up the side. THe ash held firm to a point, then sort of "glopped" off without warning. Dark gray ash. Rating: 7

Overall not a bad smoke. Would I buy a box? No. It seemed to be a short filler cigar, right along those lines of an AF Curly Head. Thank you for the chance to review it SJM!!


The Setup:


The Cap:


The Foot (oops, bad pic, sorry...):
 

Bsneed51

Habitual Threadjacker!
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Jon, what's with the chess board? Isn't chess a thinking man's game? :sign:
 

Kingantz

Growing too fast.
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Okay....I'm really looking forward to....putting fire to this? :blush:
 

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
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Okay....I'm really looking forward to....putting fire to this? :blush:
I wish I had some advice about how to lessen the pain of the experience but I have none. I don't think that getting liquored up is going to help you. Just bite the bullet and go...I made it through both of them but it was not without plenty of the gas face.
 

Kingantz

Growing too fast.
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Oct 6, 2007
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A) Appearance: Dark and semi oily wrapper. Very coarse, bumpy throughout. This is a nattie? A good bit of moisture in the stick from the feel of it, very spongy when squeezed. Foot seemed to have been cut with a dull blade, one side higher than the other. A hodgepodge of tobacco in the foot. Clipped the head and pre-draw is…fruityish? Vegetalish? It seems maybe a mix of both. (7.3)


B) Taste: Foot toasted and lit, first draw actually wasn’t half bad. Very rustic flavor and a distinct taste of…maduro? It was there, I swear. Strange. Hanging on the edge of semi-sweet. Quite a dirty, earthy taste. Wasn’t half bad. Not much spice to speak of, however a good medium strength. Medium finish. Quarter way in, ash started getting funky. Not just the ash, the smoke too. Strength picked up to a medium/full. Still a discernible taste of the semi-sweet/rustic earth, however a bit of the metallic was entering the scene. At halfway, heavy metallic flavor. Almost like this cigar was in a sick period. Pungent smell. Bitter. With 1/3 left, put it down. (6)

C) Construction: Pre draw was good on the draw, maybe a shade loose but okay. Once lit, ash got funky right away. Dark gray. ¼ in ashed itself, gaping hole showed itself, small pinhole opposite. Ash held on for about a couple inches and was a horror ash. Ugliest thing ever. Burn did stay somewhat even the whole smoke with very quick little runs that corrected themselves. Only towards the end did it get out of whack. Ashed itself again right before setting it down. (7)

Started out fine for me, had a decent flavor that I could smoke. Just after that ¼ to ½ way mark, nuh uh. Downhill fast. I’d be really curious to see what this cigar was like with a year or two on it. I swear it tasted like a smoke I’ve had in its sick period.

A – 7.3
B – 6
C – 7

Total 6.8





 

Saxjazzman

Active Member
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Dec 30, 2006
Messages
2,505
Okay....I'm really looking forward to....putting fire to this? :blush:
I wish I had some advice about how to lessen the pain of the experience but I have none. I don't think that getting liquored up is going to help you. Just bite the bullet and go...I made it through both of them but it was not without plenty of the gas face.
There are some really great and funny reviews here. I think that this is the type of cigar that the anti-tobacco league of America should get and pass out to discourage people not to buy cigars!! :) Could you imagine if this was what cigars was all about? It would be time for another hobby!! I am laughing my butt off (no pun intended) at some of the comments in these great reviews. Thanks guys. :thumbs:
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
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Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
This cigar sure took me back to jr. high. We'd rob cigars from a buddy's dad and smoke 'em cuz we thought they were cool. What we didn't know was our buddy's dad put 'em there for us to take; they were that awful. No one in their right mind should smoke cigars this bad...


Appearance: The cigar looks absolutely delicious. I thought I was getting into a low-dollar gem at first. It was fairly spongy but could be a lot worse. Fairly oily with a little shine. (8.1)

Taste: Pre-light draw was chalky with a side of dirt. Mellow tobacco hints. Lit easily and first few puffs were very hot. The smoke coming off this cigar smells like a bum's pocket. Flavors are muted behind a strong metallic taste...it's overpowering and tough to get past.
It begins to mellow out into some decent cocoa-earth. Good medium body with plenty of smoke. The calm before the storm...
The cigar starts to get extremely hot going into the final 1/3. Acrid, metal ass is the only thing that comes to mind (Bender would be proud :D ). I can't keep it lit anymore because I really don't want anymore puffs. I put it down in defeat. An hour and 3 Pabst later and I still have the metal taste in mouth. (5.4)

Construction: Loosely filled and very spongy which only got worse the hotter it got. The ash was dark gray and didn't hold more than a half-inch. Didn't have any problems with runs/tunneling. (7)

Total: 6.8


This cigar is a punishment for the person smoking it and those nearby. I wish it on no one and hope I never see another one anytime soon. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool you...twice...uh... ???


Derek
 

punk_lawyer

Habeas Punkus
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May 6, 2008
Messages
2,005
Oh Man, I think I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder...just seeing this review caused me to have a pre-vomit gag reflex. Is it possible that there is a worse cigar than an ACID? If so then this is it. :sign: :sign:
 

jnknzz

Shankopotamus
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
Oh Man, I think I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder...just seeing this review caused me to have a pre-vomit gag reflex. Is it possible that there is a worse cigar than an ACID? If so then this is it. :sign: :sign:
Exactly!!! :angry:
 
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