Wrapper: Costa Rican
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Honduran, Costa Rican, Nicaraguan
Vitola: 5 x 52 (Pirate)
Brand: Graycliff Cigar Company
CigarNoise Price Range: $20 – $24
Availability: Regular Production
Source: IPCPR 2016

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru – Opening Thoughts

I found myself with a day in the Pacific Northwest free of rain and full of beckoning sunshine.  It seemed like the perfect day to head outside for a cigar review.  When I opened my review humidor, an ornate purple and gold banded cigar caught my eye after 240 days – the Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru.

Graycliff, based in the Bahamas and steeped in history, boasts an original blend created by Avelino Lara.  Lara, once the personal roller for Fidel Castro, created what, for many, is the pinnacle of Cuban cigars: the Cuban Cohiba.

Light brown in color, the Graycliff Grand Cru offered very little in the way of scent from the wrapper.  I picked up hay and leather and not much else.  I clipped the cap with a straight cut to find an easy cold draw.  Flavors of leather and some light spiciness tingled on my tongue.

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru – First Third

Leather, Natural Tobacco, Walnut, Almond, Cedar, Oak, Graham Cracker, White Pepper

Immediately after lighting the foot of the Grand Cru, I knew the lack of flavors in the cold draw was a complete anomaly.  Soft leather and natural tobacco flavors mixed perfectly with hints of walnut and almond.  Light cedar notes crept into the waning moments of the profile.

The slightly wavy burn line was crisp and left behind a solid, medium gray ash.  Smoke rolled from the cigar in voluminous amounts; both creamy in texture and aromatic in nature. I did apply one touch-up to the burn line as it began to waver off course at one point.

Midway through the first third, the cedar notes transitioned to oak, exchanging a softer wood for a sharper, more pungent flavor.  In retrohale, the smoke was warm, heavy with white pepper and featured a quick-finishing graham cracker sweetness.

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru – Middle Third

Leather, Almond, Cashew Sweetness, Cedar, White Pepper, Dark Cherry

Jotting down review notes, I looked over at the cigar stand attempting to see if the cigar was still burning and didn’t see smoke.  I picked it up, gave a light draw and the Grand Cru jumped to life.  My worries were put to rest!  The smoke output from this cigar was just amazing.

Leather remained boss in the middle of the experience.  Nutty flavors brought along a cashew like sweetness, complimenting the return of cedar.

White pepper remained in the retrohale, allowing cedar and the cashew sweetness to smooth things out.  Late in the middle section, a dark cherry note appeared, adding a fruity complexity to the mix.  The middle third of the Graycliff Grand Cru was far more complex than the first and had me looking forward to the last section.

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru – Final Third

Cedar, Fresh Bread, Almonds, Dark Cherry, Black Pepper, White Pepper

Beginning the final third, a wonderful combination of cedar and fresh bread offered an enticing combo.  Nutty almond notes and strong dark cherry rounded things out, giving way to a spicy, black pepper finish.  The depth of cherry notes with the smooth almond flavor reminded me of trail mix.  In fact, if anything, the profile grew in sweetness towards the end.

The cherry note also found it’s way into the retrohale, complimented by a great wash of white pepper spiciness.

The burn line wavered a bit for a second time, requiring a minor correction.  Other than that, there was nothing about the construction or performance of the cigar to leave me wanting.

Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru

Cigar Reviews: Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru
8.9 Reviewer
9.4 Cigar Noise Network (1 vote)

Great Construction

Complex Profile


Two Burn Corrections


I am impressed by my first Graycliff Chateau Grand Cru. The profile grew in complexity all the way through the cigar and was relatively maintenance free with only two corrections applied. The only detraction was the pricepoint. Honestly, I'd be unlikely to buy this cigar. I have smoked many cigars well below the MSRP on the Grand Cru that are very good. If I am going to pay a high price for a smoke, my expectations are going to match the price tag. This was a relatively fast burning cigar as well, clocking in barely over an hour in smoke time. All in all, it was a great cigar as long as you can afford to ignore the price tag.
What Other Folks Are Saying: 1 Make some Noise
Top 5 cigars i have ever smoked & iv spemd about 20k in different cigars alone (not includong repeats) this is my favorite by far. I had one bad one at corona cigar but there (humidor) is no t a humidor it is a bar with open boxes of cigars everywhere. If y ou buy a cigar from corona cigar go home & put it in your humidor for a year before smoking it. But besides that the only cigars that even come close (not better but close to the same league are... Alec Bradley(s) prensado (now i smoked this cogar before the tempus even came out. 2 years later the tempus won cigar of the year & the next year the prensado was cigar of the year but by then the blend was not the same. The original blend was amazing... The davidoff millenium (again When it 1st came out) ... It seems that after a cigar becomes popular & they start making it for the masses it goes to shit. Which is a shame. & last but definately not least is the cohiba maduro #5 (a real cuban) some migjt disagree but what i like about modern cubans is the sweetness from when they stopped keeping soil logs & started growing sugarcane for russia duro g the cold war. & as a result the 90s & early 2000s cubans have a sweetness that is unmatched (also cubans are o e of the only cigars that are good in the rai. Or on a shit gloomy day. They turn a muddy fart of a day into a sweet scrumptious day for a cuban. My only complaint much like any cohiba & davidoff is the price. When spending $20plus per cigar they should be good always. Every box should be the same. The same reason i stopped smoking rocky patel 90s they used to be great & now the blend is a joke. If ypu want the best of the best find the perfectos or odd shaped cigars because usually the best roller is making the hard to shape cigars & therefor you get the best that company has to offer. & with a perfecto you truely get 3 different 3rds unlike a robusto which after the 1 st inch it tastes the same until the last inch which 9 times out of 10 makes it to the ashtray. Where as a perfecto or figurado i end up smoki g until i burn a fingernail. Needless to say smoke one but make sure the humidity is right i personally have my humidor set at 69.5 but some larger cigars are better at 71. But i like a 46 ring guage & i find 69.5 to be the sweet spot. Happy smoking. If youre ever in Nassau. Its only a 4 dollar taxi ride to the graycliff store. & the cigars are surely at there best then. So next time you take a cruise skip Atlantis & go to the graycliff restaurant store & hotel & grab yourself a tasty treat. Because the ones they sell by the docks are (ok) & all but a mules anus compared to the gran cru.
April 13, 2018, 4:38 am
Make some Noise



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