|Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Salomones|
The Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones is a line of cigars meant to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Paul Garmirian cigars. When it comes to cigar history in the United States, no doubt Paul Garmirian (the name behind the brand) is going to be a part of it. Garmirian established himself in the area of Politics and International Marketing in the Northern Virginia area. Garmirian’s also had a passion for cigars. As a result, in 1990, he created a book called The Gourmet Guide To Cigars. The publication of his book resulted in the opportunity to work with Hendrik Kelner and Eladio Diaz – thus Garmirian found himself in the cigar business. It was later in 1990 where Paul Gamirian, a line that still exists today and has grown to 21 vitolas. Gamirian is even responsible for releasing the first U.S. belicoso front mark. In 2010, the Symphony 20 was created. This was done to commemorate the company’s 20th Anniversary. In this assessment we take a look at a cigar that has been coveted with our Stogie Geeks brand partners – the Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Salomones. This is a special cigar and one that I will strongly recommend.
Back in 2005, there was a series to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the company known as the Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series 15th Anniversary. According to the web-site, when it came to the Symphony 20 Series, “Five years ago, after the introduction of the 15th Anniversary cigar, we agonized as to how we would be able to top the 15th Anniversary blend in five years for the 20th Anniversary.”
For the Symphony 20 series, Garmirian once again teams up with Kelner and Diaz. At the center of this line is the wrapper – which all we know is that the company describes it as “the greatest wrapper we have ever seen”. This seemed to solve the dilemma on topping the work done on the 15th anniversary. The line is a limited edition line that was introduced in 2010 with the 6 x 52 Connoisseur vitola. The Salomones was released the following year. Each year since 2010, there have been additional line extensions.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Paul Gamirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones and see what this cigar brings to the table. As a disclaimer, this cigar assessment is based on a single smoking experience.
Much of the details around this blend have not been disclosed:
Wrapper: Not disclosed
Binder: Havana Seed
Filler: Four Complex Tobaccos
The Symphony 20 line debuted in 2010 with the Connoisseur. The Salomones and Short Robusto were released in 2011. The Belicoso and Bombones came in 2012. In 2013 came the Robusto and Corona Extra along with a re-release of the Connoisseur known as Connoisseur 2013
Connoisseur: 6 x 52
Salomones: 6 7/8 x 57
Short Robusto: 4 1/2 x 52
Belicoso: 6 1/4 x 52
Bombones: 3 1/2 x 46
Robusto: 5 1/4 x 52
Corona Extra: 5 1/2 x 46
Bombones: 3 1/2 x 46
While the wrapper was described as dark, I still found this to be a medium brown wrapper with a little bit of a oak coloring to it. There is some oil on the surface. The wrapper seams were hidden quite well, but there are some visible veins. The Salomones has an open foot, but is more tapered toward the cap of the cigar.
There are two bands on the Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones. The first band features a red circle with the text “P.G.” in white. A white circular ring surrounds the red circle. On the top portion of that ring is the text “PAUL GARMIRIAN” in red font. The lower part of the ring features the text “GOURMET SERIES” on the bottom. There are four gold stars on the left and right side of the ring. Going to the side of the band is a red background with white stripes and a gold trim. The text “PAUL GARMIRIAN” is in white font on the right side.
There is a red colored secondary band just below the primary band. On that band is the text “Symphony 20” in white cursive font. To the left and right is white and gold striping.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to start things off. After clipping the gap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. I admit, the pre-light draw wasn’t the most exciting, but it wasn’t a bad one either. It had mostly wood notes with a little cedar and a little caramel. Once the pre-light draw was completed, I was ready to light up my Symphony 20 Salomones and see what the cigar experience had in store. I particularly liked the fact the foot was open as I think that improves the cigar experience on a Salomon vitola.
The start to the Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones started out with notes of cream and toast with some cedar spice in the background. I found the cigar to be smooth right out of the gate. The retro-hale was interest as it had a toasty quality to it.
By around the five percent mark, the flavors started to open up. I detected notes of toasted nut and pepper in the forefront with some grass and cream notes in the background. The retro-hale had a great toasted/pepper feel to it. The cigar definitely exhibited a “Henke Kelner” feel to it. As the Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones progressed through the first third, I picked up a bready component – which displaced the grass notes.
Throughout the first half, I found the pepper increased. By the end of the first third, the pepper notes took over at the mid-point. I wouldn’t say this cigar was a pepper bomb. The toasted nut was a close second while I found the bready and cream components were more distant.
The flavors held in the last third – except that the retro-hale was now a sharper pepper spice. The close of the cigar was flavorful and not overly spicy. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but a bit on the soft side.
Burn and Draw
If you have read many assessments that I have, you know that I tend to be critical of the salomon vitola because some tend to be less than stellar when it comes to burn and draw. For the Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones, this scores very well with both attributes. The burn line remained mostly straight from start to finish. It did require a few touch-ups, but nothing that I would consider out of the ordinary. The resulting ash was firm with a nice salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw to the Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones was excellent. At around the midpoint, I eased up on the draw a bit. While the burn didn’t get hot, I sensed it might because I was at the widest point of the salomon. Overall it kept the overall smoking experience excellent.
Strength and Body
Overall, the Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 Limited Edition Salomones had what I would term the “right amount of strength”. I assessed the Symphony 20 Salomones to be medium strength. As for the flavors, the Symphony 20 Salomones starts out medium bodied. As the cigar moved through the early stages, the flavors get heavier and intensify. By the end of the first third, the flavors increased to medium to full-bodied. The flavors continued to progress and by the last third, they had moved to full-bodied. Overall, the Symphony 20 Salomones was a cigar where it emphasized body over strength.
As I mentioned, I only smoked one, but this cigar really was a positive experience in my book. This was the first time I had smoked any of the Symphony 20 Salomones blend, and this blend really impressed me. This is definitely the best Paul Garmirian I smoked to date – and also has to rank as one of the best salomons I have also smoked to date. Smoking the Salomones really has inspired me to smoke some of the other vitolas that have been offered in the Symphony line. This is definitely a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. While there is nothing wrong with giving this to a novice, it might be a cigar better appreciated as one’s pallet is more developed. As for myself, not only is this a box worthy cigar in my book, but it’s one I’d fight Chuck Norris for. This is a definite recommend in my book.
One additional note, a video review is available on the Cigar Coop Video Channel for this cigar.
Body: Medium (Start), Medium to Full (late first third), Full (last third)
Assessment Rating: 4.5 – Fight Chuck Norris for Them
Source: The cigar for this assessment was gifted by a friend. Thank you SS.