Late in 2015, Paul Garmirian Cigars released a cigar to commemorate its 25th anniversary – appropriately titled the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur. Brand owner Paul Garmirian is someone who originally built a name for himself in the political and international marketing segment. He also has an incredible passion for cigars. In 1990, he authored a book known as “The Gourmet Guide to Cigars”. Publishing that book led to the opportunity for Garmirian to work with the legendary Hendrik Kelner and Eladio Diaz of Davidoff to make a cigar of his own. That in turn led to the creation of Garmirian’s brand. Now a quarter of a century later, Garmirian has amassed a vast portfolio of cigars and has built a strong following in several market segments, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic. Today, we take a look at the commemorative Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur. Overall this ranks as one of Garmirian’s best cigars to date – and one of the best cigars I smoked in 2016.
As a part of the company’s portfolio there are two anniversary lines. In 2005 for its 15 anniversary, the company created the Paul Garmirian Gourmet Series 15 Anniversary line. Five years later, the company created another line for its 20th anniversary, the Paul Gamirian Symphony 20. Now comes the 25th anniversary cigar, the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary. While the 15th and 20th anniversary cigars have had multiple vitolas featuring different vintages released, the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary is available in one size – the toro-sized Connoissuer size.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Much of the details around this blend have not been disclosed. The only piece of information we know is that binder used a Havana seed leaf.
Wrapper: Not disclosed
Binder: Havana Seed
Filler: Four Complex Tobaccos
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Occidental Cigars)
As mentioned the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary comes in one size – the Connoisseur. This cigar is a 6 x 52 Toro. While there is one size with the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary, it is also worth noting the Paul Garmirian Symphony 20 made its debut in the Connoisseur size. The cigars are available 20 count boxes.
The wrapper to the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary has a dark mahogany color to it. The surface of the wrapper was quite oily. I found this cigar had some visible veins and some very thin wrapper seams. The wrapper was slightly bumpy, but I would not consider this to be a “toothy” wrapper.
There are two bands on the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary.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 “25th” in white cursive font. To the left and right is white and gold striping.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do I selected a straight cut to remove the cap of the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of cedar, generic wood, and some floral. Overall this wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but it wasn’t a bad one either. Since we do not score the pre-light draw, there was no loss of points here. At this point I was ready to light up the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur and see what this cigar would have in store.
The Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur opened up with more notes of cedar, generic wood, white pepper, and a mushroom-like note. While the white pepper receded early on, there was no dominant note between the cedar, wood, and pepper. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced a unique combination of pepper and cedar.
Midway through the first third, the primary notes became a cedar – nut combination. In the background a bready component that was present with the mushroom note. The pepper notes remained further in the background and at times had some baker’s spice mixed in.
As the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur into the second third, the flavor profile remained the same with two differences. First the cedar-nut combination in the forefront had a salty-like component. Second, the bread notes became more prominent than the mushroom notes.
Later in the second third of the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur, there was an increase in the pepper notes. By the last third, I found the pepper and cedar notes the dominant notes. I still picked up some bread and mushroom notes. The flavors were slightly muddled at the end, but the cigar was still delivering some nice complexity. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur was a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The burn maintained a straight path from start to finish. I found a slight amount of jaggedness from time to time, but I also did find the cigar required an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was mostly white in color. I found the ash to be quite tight and firm in the first half. The ash loosened a bit in the second half, but never became a flaky one. Meanwhile the cigar maintained an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw to the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur was near perfect. It had a slight amount of resistance to it – which is something I like. Overall this was an enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective I found the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur started out in the mild to medium range. The strength gradually increased and by the second third, the strength was now solidly in the medium range.
Meanwhile the flavors of the Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur started out in the medium range. This attribute also increased in intensity and by the last third, I found this cigar had just enough body to be considered medium to full.
As for strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body throughout the smoking experience.
The Paul Garmirian 25th Anniversary Connoisseur is a cigar that is pretty close to being the total package. It has great flavor, excellent construction, and offers plenty in the way of complexity. The complexity of this cigar should not be overlooked as it has plenty of flavor transitions and flavor nuances. Perhaps the only negative was some of the muddling of the flavors at the end, but with this cigar, the positives far outweigh the minuses. Paul Garmirian has built up an impressive track record on Stogie Geeks and this one is clearly in the upper echelon. It’s also one of the best cigars I’ve smoked in 2016. It certainly is worthy of a fight with Chuck Norris.
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)(
Assessment: 4.5-Fight Chuck Norris For Them
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
Brand Reference: Paul Garmirian