The Gran Habano name doesn’t often come up in conversation, but the loyalists know how good they are. GH’s latest, and the subject of our Blue In Green cigar review, was inspired by George Rico’s favorite Miles Davis composition; But how jazzed up did we get over this cigar? Watch now and see…
SWAG South Beach Edition “Lavish”: Cigar Advisor Review Panel
SWAG South Beach Edition “Lavish”
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Cuban seed
Filler: Dominican Ligero
Presentation: Boxes of 20 / 5-packs / Singles
Rafael Nodal did some good work with this cigar. The South Beach did feel very hard on the pre light making me think all kinds of draw issues were imminent.
After I cut and lit my cigar, all of my concerns with draw were erased from my mind, meeting a relaxing, very easy draw with a great deal of smoke coming off of the cigar. Prepare for a blast of white pepper in the first half an inch which mellows dramatically to the 1-2 inch mark into a smooth and enjoyable smoke.
Definitely not a smoke to be had on an empty stomach as this is made with pure Dominican Ligero tobacco, so wait until the evening after a hearty meal.
The Swag South Beach Lavish was a great smoke overall, and I love just about everything Nodal comes out with; aside from the peppery taste up front, it mellows into a home run of a cigar.
What we have here is a Dominican puro with a straight Ligero blend. The wrapper is gorgeous; it’s a little thicker in skin, naturally oily, and has a even-hued, dark Colorado color. For my sample, the triple cap clipped-off in a perfect circle revealing a very good draw.
Due to the ample amount of Ligero, it took a little longer to light, but on the upside, the cigar had a very slow burn rate. It started out with a spicy kick, and I remember noticing a distinctive cocoa aroma in the smoke in those first couple of puffs, but it soon rounded out to what I would call a “nondescript” tobacco flavor.
Once I got past the first couple of inches it bloomed into a creamy smoke with a mostly dark tobacco flavor laced with notes of sweetness and spice. It also stood up well to several re-lights without turning bitter.
Suffice it to say, the Swag South Beach Lavish is not a very complex cigar, but the smoke was full-flavored, consistent, and well balanced.
Add Lavish to the small-but-growing list of impressive heavy-bodied Dominican cigars. It’s got a beautiful wrapper, with a pleasantly sweet pre-light aroma and flavor.
After a long, slow toast, it was finally glowing. First impression: WOW, that’s a ton of pepper – like retrohale-at-your-own-risk pepper. It’s medium-bodied, but noticeably strong. The pepper soon throttles down, yielding sweet, leathery flavors and a cinnamon-like aroma. I note that the cinnamon note crescendos sharply, while the leather fades.
After an inch, the cinnamon disappears and the leather is back with a vengeance, although it quickly morphs to a mildly-sweet, yet rich, tobacco flavor. The body has become very full. The burn isn’t the best, but that’s not surprising, given the cigar’s strength.
The flavor profile didn’t change much after that. Like a veteran pitcher, its game is not dazzling with a multitude of transitions, but settling-in and pounding the strike zone with exceptional consistency.
Final thoughts: this is a strong cigar that demands the steady, respectful approach of a veteran. Smoke it too fast, and you’ll pay the price; too slowly, and it will go out. But smoke it just right, and it will reward you with plenty of flavor, aroma, and vitamin N.
This cigar had a moderate amount of smoke output to start. Not a lot, but more than none, and started roasting better at 21Ž2 inches in. Flavor-wise, it started off with a full head of steam. There was an almost acrid blast to start with some molasses in there, then trended toward a more medium body.
Considering it’s supposed to be inspired by the Miami Heat’s NBA title in 2012, let’s say that, upon lighting, I was charging the lane and took a hard D. Wade foul. In yo’ face! Burn-wise, I couldn’t let my attention wander, or it would go out, which it did twice.
Flavor-wise, it was kind of like a movie; a bombastic opening…the story starts off a little slow…it’s a little hard to follow…you know the car chase is coming up, so you’re anticipating it, and it’s a payoff when it happens. The smoke was woody, somewhere between oak and cedar; maybe even birch?
Past the first third, the smoke was tastier, like steak dunked in black coffee. That might sound bad, but they’re actually 2 of my favorite things. The good news is that the SWAG gave me nothing to cry about – relighting with little fight or aftertaste.
The SWAG is a very well made stick with a nice oily wrapper. The appearance definitely says, “Smoke me, Beotch” so the last thing I want to do is be rude to my little Dominican amigo.
Right off the bat this solid stick is full-flavored with a nice woody taste. The draw produces a hell of a lot of thick smoke. You can tell that an experienced roller worked on this one as the construction produces a very nice even burn. About half way thru the strength seems to intensify a bit as it begins to develop a more of a charred wood taste. I’m not the biggest fan of this flavor profile, but I know a lot of you guys are. It’s a bit one dimensional in the fact that this flavor stays constant throughout – not much complexity – but I’m not saying that like that’s necessarily a bad thing as a lot of decent smokes produce one straight flavor.
I personally wouldn’t gravitate to this on a regular basis but if you dig that charred component, you might want to pair it with a Starbucks and get yourself all burnt-out.