Archive for the ‘grande’ Category

Xikar HC Series Connecticut Grande

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

This is the last cigar in sampler pack that Xikar sent to me. They wanted my opinion on their new Grande size HC cigars, and I accepted the offer. I appreciate them giving me the chance to review these cigars. The blend is has not changed. The only difference is the size. Will the new large 6×60 taste different then the Robusto? Read on and see. As always, I paired this review with a glass of water.


Wrapper: Connecticut shade – Ecuador

Binder: Sumatra

Filler: Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua

Size: Grande 6 x 60

Price: $9.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had soft, smooth, look to it. At the same time, it had a toothy component as well. The wrapper had an earthy barnyard odor. The foot shared that same smell, but had a spicy component. The cigar was evenly and solidly packed. The pre-light draw had slight resistance, and a smooth earthy and slightly sweet flavor.

The burn was a little crazy for the first half, and required quite a few significant corrections. This isn’t a common characteristic of this cigar. It just happened during the cigar I chose to review. Call it Murphy’s law. This is a hand made product, and these things can happen to any cigar. The ash held for almost two inches.



The flavor in the first third was pretty simple and straight forward. There was an dominant earthiness with woody notes hiding in the background. The smoke feel left a slight coating in the mouth, but it was dry as well. I found myself drinking a lot of water. When passing smoke through the nose, there was a nice peppery spice. While it had a slight zing, it was still fairly mild and easy.


The second third held that core earthy flavor, but it took on a creamy, buttery component. The dryness went away and I stopped feeling parched. The pepper remained and developed a little more zing that separated it from most Connecticut wrapped cigars. Eventually I started to pick up notes of nuttiness, and it mixed well in the flavor profile. Everything really came together in this third.


The last third continued where the second third left off. A rich melding of nutty, buttery, and earthy flavors dominated the flavor profile. Like before, the smoke was creamy and coated the mouth and lips. The pepper kept it’s zing, but it smoothed out quite a bit. It was a pleasant, easy relaxing experience. Very nice…



This was a very good medium to upper medium bodied cigar. It may have even crept into the full range. While it shared a lot of typical Connecticut flavors, there was something about it that separates it from the pack. I could easily smoke this in the morning with coffee, or in the afternoon after a meal. It is pretty versatile and could fit the bill at almost any time of the day. Thanks again to the guys at Xikar for letting me try these cigars!

Xikar HC Series Criollo Grande

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

The fine folks at Xikar donated a few smokes for me to review. I reviewed this very same cigar before, but in a smaller size. They recently came out with the new Grande size for those who enjoy larger sized cigars. We all know that size sometimes does matter when it comes to the flavor of a cigar. So I was curious if that would be the case this time. As you know by now, I paired up with the standard glass of water, and here’s my thoughts…


Wrapper: Shade grown criollo – Nicaragua

Binder: Sun grown criollo – Nicaragua

Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Size: Grande 6 x 60

Price: $9.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The light tan wrapper was smooth looking and had light to medium sized veins. The odor from the wrapper woody and sweet. The foot was similar but had some earthiness as well. Overall, the cigar was evenly packed, and bounced back when squeezed. The pre-light draw was free, and has notes of wood, earth sweetness.

The burn required quite a few corrections on this particular cigar. The other 3 I smoked didn’t have any issues. The ash held for almost 2 inches.



The first third started off with a simple, smooth, earthy tobacco taste. It didn’t take long for a mildly sweet peppery spice to enter the picture. The spice became thick feeling, and had a nice zing that wasn’t over the top. The smoke feel became sweet and creamy as this third came to a close.


The second third changed a little in terms of flavor. The earthiness was still present, but at times it would fall into the background. In it’s place was a sweetness that was somewhere in between mocha and caramel. It leaned more towards the caramel side. The spice didn’t change when exhaling smoke though the nose. The smoke left a nice sweet coating on the inside of the mouth and lips. Simple but nice.


The last third didn’t introduce any new flavors. It stayed pretty consistent with the second third. At times certain draws were sweet, while others were more earthy and crisp. Other then that, it was very consistent.



This was a very good medium to full bodied cigar. Thanks to Xikar for letting me try this cigar, since they are pretty hard to find here in St. Petersburg, FL. I didn’t mention, the smoke volume was plentiful and thick. You’d want to smoke this outside, or in a well ventilated room. This cigar makes a nice afternoon or after dinner smoke. There wasn’t any major differences in flavor of the Grande or Robusto. It basically boils down to your size preference. If you run across the HC Criollo’s in any size, I’d recommend pickup on a few.

Contest! Win a HC Series Grande Sampler

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

The fine folks at Xikar are giving you a chance to win a HC Series sampler in the new Grande size. (6 x 60).




Usually when I hold a contest, it is a simply matter of entering and waiting to see if you won. This time we thought it was time to switch things up a little bit.

That’s not to say entering is difficult. All you have to do is take your best picture of you smoking any of the Xikar HC Series cigars. Get creative, do your best pose or whatever you can think of, and send it in. If I were allowed to enter, here’s all I could come up with. I’m sure you could do better than this, but if not, enter anyway!

DSC05743There are only a few rules, and entering couldn’t be easier.

You must:

1) Be at least 18 years of age.

2) Live in the United States of America.

3) With your picture submission, please include your name, date of birth, and mailing address.

4) You can only enter the contest once.

I can assure you that ALL of your information will be kept confidential. We will treat it the way we would want ours to be treated.

Email your submission to

The staff at Xikar will review all the entrees, and pick their five favorites. The winning five people will all receive a sampler pack of the HC Series Grande.

So take the best picture of you smoking any HC Series cigar by Xikar and enter now! And lets not forget to thank them for generously sponsoring this contest!

Xikar HC Series Habano Colorado Grande

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Matt and I reviewed this cigar awhile back, but in a different size. Xikar recently expanded the size of the cigar to the new Grande 6 x 60. Before you ask… Yes size sometimes does matter. You can take the same cigar blend, and the Churchill will be different from the Lancero or Robusto.

That is why I was happy when Jerry, Bob and David from Xikar offered to send me some samples of the new Grande size. I was curious to see if the size would effect the flavors of this line. I still have to review the HC Series Criollo and Connecticut in the new size, so stay tuned for that.

For more info on Xikar, and their HC Series cigars, check out their informative website. As always, I paired this cigar with water.


Wrapper: Habano Colorado

Binder: Esteli

Filler: Costa Rica, Jalapa Honduras

Size: Grande 6 x 60

Price: $9.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The dark wrapper looked nice, with an oily sheen and minimal veins. The smell coming off of the wrapper was sweet with mild spice. The foot had a mild barnyard-ish odor, which isn’t a bad thing. Overall the cigar was very firm and evenly packed. The draw was ever so slightly snug, but fell within my tolerances of being good. The pre-light draw was a sweet natural tobacco.

The ash held for about 1.5 inches, and the burn requires a few minor touch-up’s.



The first third had an easy woody flavor that diminished in strength as time went on. Through the nose, I was detecting a pepper that wasn’t too strong, but it did have a nice zing to it. The aftertaste was a smooth earthy natural tobacco.


During the second third, the overall flavor profile really seemed to come together and smooth out. The smoke volume increased quite a bit. A nice sweetness entered the flavor profile and at times it resembled mocha. Woodiness lingered in the background, and coffee notes would come and go. When passing through the nose, that easy pepper was still there. It had a nice kick to it that wasn’t over the top. Later it took on a sweet, almost cinnamony feel. The aftertaste became sweet and a bit creamy.


The last third had some differences when compared to the 2nd third. The overall flavor profile was dominated by mocha-ish flavors at times. On other draws there was a mixture of woody notes, coffee and pepper. Some draws had a creamy feel, others had a dry, crisp feel. The smoke coated the mouth and tongue with a sweet spice. Blowing smoke through the nose had that familiar sweet peppery spice as well.




Let’s get this out of the way first… You haters may think I’m pandering to Xikar because I got these cigars for free. While Xikar has been good to me for a long time, they know I only give honest opinions. After all, that’s all this site is, a place to give my opinion on cigars. I’m pretty sure they would want nothing to do with me if I were to lie.

Obviously the Grande was similar to the smaller size Matt and I reviewed last year. There were some subtle differences though (you’ll have to watch the other review to compare). The Grande seemed to have more of a ramp up period, if that makes sense.

What it boils down to is if you like cigars in this ring gauge. I thought it was a damn good upper medium to full bodied smoke. The flavors were good, and there was no harshness or anything bad. This slow burner is worth a try, and I give it a thumbs up. Thanks again to Jerry, David and everyone from Xikar for sending these cigars out to me!

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