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Smokeasy Shorts - CALÁ Gran Reserva Habano Robusto

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic Color: Maduro Length: 5" Ring gauge: 50 Wrapper: Dominican Habano Binder: Dominican Filler: Dominican

I thoroughly enjoy being introduced to, and introducing, a company that's moving to expand their cigar brand's footprint and garner excitement in the marketplace. I had the pleasure of being introduced to Socrates Calá by his cousin just a few months ago. Socrates is a certified meeting planner with The CALPRO Group, a full-service meeting and convention management company based in Washington, DC. However, through our conversations, it was evident that his passion is in his family's cigar business.

CALÁ Cigars is a family owned company with strong traditions deeply rooted in the Dominican Republic. Based in Tamboril, a municipality within the province of Santiago with a rich history of tobacco production, their cigars are Dominican puros manufactured at the OOHMO cigar factory. All of their tobacco is grown and harvested for cigars that are hand-rolled by Tamboril natives at OOHMO. Their inaugural cigar is the CALÁ Gran Reserva Habano.

The CALÁ Habano is a very pretty robusto cigar with a smooth, oily maduro wrapper with visible seams, tiny veins, and scattered blotches. It dons a black ribbon at the foot and a maroon ribbon just below the ornate band. The aroma from the foot is quite robust of slightly pungent tobacco. The cold draw, after application of a double-bladed guillotine cut, is very, very nice with flavors of sweet raisins and a hint of coffee. The cigar is evidently well-constructed, as it burns perfectly even with long and tight ash production.

The CALÁ Habano is a very savory smoke - a medium- to full-bodied cigar that produces very heavy mouthfuls of smoke. The flavor profile is awesome, with the sweet raisins picked up from the cold draw, heavy floral, and hints of licorice with a slight spiciness that remains at the tip of the tongue. The retrohale is pleasantly mossy with no spiciness or pepper. Although the flavors remain consistent with no transition of flavors throughout the smoke, they appear to intensify through the end of the second third and through the entire final third of the smoke. Burn time ~1 hour, 10 minutes. The CALÁ Habano is a very enjoyable smoke.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sample the CALÁ Connecticut, a blend with the same binder and filler, but with a Connecticut shade wrapper. I won't provide any details on the flavor profile, as it is not available currently and its release has yet to be determined at this time. The CALÁ Habano is available in select retail cigar shops throughout the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area, but primarily through the company's cigar rolling and spirits pairing events - check and 'LIKE' the CALÁ Cigars Facebook page for more information on the company, cigars, and promotional events.

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