Gran Habano Baracuda, La Hermandad and Buena Vista Reserva and a Book

I guess I’m just in the habit of smoking new cigars this time of year because of going to the IPCPR for the last few years, although I did revisit an old favorite too.  I also read a book over the course of the week that I wanted to share. The book is called “From Seeds to Cigars” and is written by William Miller.  Mr. Miller is a photographer and graphic designer who had the good fortune to visit several factories and farms in Honduras and Nicaragua while working for Famous Smoke Shop.  This is a quick read, but there’s a lot of good information, and beautiful photos. The photos and layout of this are really where the book shines. I came across a couple pieces of information which I thought were either out of order or just plain wrong, but overall, it’s a nice introduction to the magic behind how are favorite cigars are made.  I’m happy to add it to my library of cigar books. This one was a gift from the author, but this is available at Famous Smoke Shop and


George Rico_BaracudaThursday I got off to a late start so I grabbed a robusto out of the humidor for my evening walk.  I had a Gran Habano STK Baracuda Robusto that the folks at Gran Habano sent along with a few other cigars.  This 5″ x 50 classic robusto has a flattened pigtail cap which snipped off easily with the Xikar scissors. It has an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and fillers.  I got a woody taste throughout the cigar along with some spice. It was very enjoyable to smoke as the burn was perfect and when ashed it left a nice flat coal. These are a very limited release and quite well done. Priced right, this would be a nice addition to the humidor.


ElPrimerMundo_EmbajadorFriday I went to the revisit. Many time I find myself reaching for a “sure thing” at the end of a rought week.  I saw Sean Williams at the PDR booth at Famous Smoke Shop’s Cigarnival and he laid a El Primer Mundo La Hermandad Embajador toro on me. The La Hermandad line is right up my alley, the sweet Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper and the spicy Nicaraguan fillers make it just about my ideal cigar. Sean maintains his own El Primer Mundo line, while also heading up sales at Pinar Del Rio, and he one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. This was a great way to wrap up the work week.


Buena Vista_ProminenteSaturday after a long day of yard work, and loafing in the pool with a Liga Unico UF-13, I decided to dig into samples from MGM Cigars, a beautiful three pack of Buena Vista Seleccion Reserva. When I received this package I couldn’t believe the weight of the box. When I opened the shipping box, there was a nice, red fiber board gift box, containing this three count humidor, complete with felt on the bottom and a high gloss red piano finish.  This is some presentation! Contained within were three cigars, the Prominente 7 x 49, the Piramide 6.3 x 52 and the Corona Larga 4.8 x 50.  I can remember back at the 2011 IPCPR show I ran into the then US importer of this line who gave me a sample that I enjoyed, but really didn’t find it distinctive (read here). I think the story was something along the lines of bringing in Cuban rollers to Ecuador for several months at a time. I’m not sure Buena Vista-3packwhere these are manufactured now, I read Mexico someplace also using Cuban rollers. The Prominente I smoked last night was very enjoyable. I found it to be very bright and refreshing. I swear I got some mint notes, which would be ironic since I spent my morning pulling up mint plants around the yard. Those things grow like crazy.  I really look forward to smoking the torpedo and robusto to see if I get that same sensation. This iteration of this brand seems to be priced much better than the previous version, which I remember to be over $10 for the robusto, and if these are the same cigars that have been in storage for the last 3 years, the time has been good to them. This is a well made, wonderfully presented cigar that I found very enjoyable and interesting. There’s some great information at on this cigar, and my thanks to Gabriel Piñeres for sending these along.


That’s all I have for now. I took a break from trimming some hedges and spreading some mulch to finish this off. Hopefully when I’m done another great cigar in the pool is in my future. I have to make the most of the pool as I don’t think our next house is going to have one.


Until the next time,







Filed under Review

3 Responses to Gran Habano Baracuda, La Hermandad and Buena Vista Reserva and a Book

  1. jjo

    Although I haven’t had the La Hermandad, I have loved just about everything that Sean previously put out. You’re right; he’s a great guy.

    I had the opportunity to smoke the Buena Vista Edicion Limitada a few years back after winning one in a giveaway from Brooks W. when he still had the pre- Halfwheel Smoking Stogie site. The Buena Vistas were made in Cancun, Mexico back then, but are now being manufactured in the Dominican Republic. The EL was interesting in that it was an Ecuadorian puro and the construction was terrific, but the $15 price tag, mild profile, and sparse distribution didn’t impel me to search out any more.

  2. Dan Colley

    I know that isolated experiences should not be used to make a categorical judgment, but unfortunately that is what has happened to me. About 6 months ago, I purchased some Gran Habano cigars. They were a special edition from 2000. I had bought them in the past and really liked what they brought to the table. Plenty of legs, but very kind to the taste buds. Cedar wrapped robustos. I thought I would go back to the well and get some more before they disappeared. When I opened the shipping container, I was immediately overwhelmed by an odor (not aroma) of what smelled to me like mildew. Of course, the retailer (unnamed) took care of me and I returned the cigars. Later, I spoke with a friend who had the same experience when he bought the same cigars from a different retailer (also unnamed).

    I really hate it when that happens because I know in my head that Gran Habano makes a wonderful cigar, but I still cannot get that smell out of my nose. It’s not rational, but … there it is. Maybe I’ll get back to them one day. I wonder who else may have had this experience.

    I’m sorry to bring this to what is normally an upbeat forum, but no one I know wants to buy cigars that smelled like the ones I got.

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