QUAI D'ORSAY GRAN CORONAS -- POS JUL06


Van55
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Smoked 11/10 with black coffee.

Prelight: Light to medium wrapper. Some lumps and veins. No soft or hard spots. Straight-forward tobacco smell. Perfect draw, with flavors that perfectly complemented the coffee.

First 1/3: Like the Imperiales and the Coronas Claro, this one started out with absolutely stunning pungency on the palate and through the nose. Very peppery. Nice full mouthful of smoke. Tased much less refined than the 2002 examples previously reviewed with strong, youthful punch. I should mention that the vendor sent this box shrink wrapped and I removed the plastic wrap just before selecting this cigar. This suggests that there may be truth to the notion that vacuum sealling a box of cigars retards the natural aging process -- but maybe not. Charcoal gray ash was solid. Mellowed some, but kept its youthful bite at 1". Chuck has it right -- warm toasted tobacco dominates with wheat bread in the background. Notable complexity and balance at the end of this 1/3.

Second 1/3: A cigar that slapped my palate around for the fist inch settled into smooth elegance. Plenty of flavorful smoke. Hints of sweet basil.

Final 1/3: Reminded me of Trinidad Reyes at this point. There was a distinctive background of flavor on the soft palate that they share that I cannot label. Ash grew flaky. Ligero kicked in and peppery bite came back. Enjoyed it to the nub.

Conclusion: For my money the Corona Grande has been the flagship of this marca. I seem to recall that HSA has announced that these are to be discontinued, but I may have that confused with the Corona Claro. Despite its youthful exuberance, I give this example four smoke rings with potential for five in a few years. I'm glad I have a couple of boxes stashed away in my FOH locker.

Prelight cigar.

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Foot.

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Cap.

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First 1/3 ash.

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Second 1/3.

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Final 1/3

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Tried the same cigar in the same box code this morning. My experience mirrored yours excluding the spice note (which I would have loved). My Coronas Grande was slightly underfilled which no doubt influenced the lack of spice.

You made a great point in comparing the flavour profile to the Trinidad Reyes at various points. I can see it.

Excellent review Van :ok:

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