We purchased a Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series Connoisseur at a local B&M for around $16. That’s beyond our typical price range and the cigar’s MSRP, but we are in California and taxes are brutal. Normally, our cigar preferences lean toward Nicaraguan sticks, so dropping this kind of cash on a Dominican cigar is an especially rare occurrence. So all things considered, the PG purchase amounts to a good-sized bet based on the Stogie Geeks’‘ guidance.
While the Connoisseur is obviously well-constructed, there is nothing visually striking about the 6X50 toro. The minimal band design is elegant in a sneaky way. As with more famous luxury marks (think Louis Vuitton or Rolls Royce), the singular “PG” monogram makes a statement meant primarily for discerning eyes.
A quick sniff of the wrapper’s luscious aroma initiates the experience—reinforcing all implied superlatives about the cigar’s quality. Once lit, the Connoisseur produces a near-perfect burn that lasts the entire length of the smoke. Initial flavors are muted and dry with a woodsy core. Minutes after lighting, a gentle pepper fills the pallet between puffs. A sugary essence quickly replaces the spicy finish as sweeter notes begin to dominate the flavor core.
Like veins of cotton candy, the dry sugar note is direct but fleeting. Mineral undertones are perceptible without the annoying texture that can accompany this flavor. Somewhat metallic notes sometimes lead to chemical or ammonia tastes in less refined Dominican sticks, but the PG’s aged tobacco never smokes harsh or acrid.
Flavors flatten as the burn line approaches the nub. This issue is easily addressed with a quick purge or two for finger-burners insistent on converting entire cigars to ash.
The PG Gourmet refines some Dominican flavors we often don’t enjoy into something powdery, sweet and exquisite. It’s possible our tasting notes were overly influenced by a perfectly-paired bourbon. So In the interest of science, we’ll try to smoke a few more samples and report back. But during this One-Timer experience, the Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series Connoisseur lived up to its name with refined flavors and a flawless burn.
Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series Connoisseur HLC One-Timer Score = 92.2
Brand: Paul Garmirian
Blend: Gourmet Series
Closest “Traditional” Format: Toro
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuador (Colorado Shade-Grown Connecticut)
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Factory: TABADOM, Occidental Factory – Dom. Rep.
Release Type: Regular Release
Official Site: www.PGCigars.com