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I already know I have the greatest job in the world; traveling through cigar countries and blending premium cigars while using nearly every type of long leaf tobacco imaginable. However, when I received a surprise call from Paolo Garzaroli at Graycliff who requested I visit to help develop a new blend, well, the Ron Zacapa was put aside and I was on my way out the door before I hung up the phone. I’ve blended cigars at many different factories across the globe, most of which are located in third world countries, so when I was promised the opportunity to spend a week in the beautiful Bahamas at a 5-Star hotel and restaurant no less, I felt like a 6-year-old on Christmas morning and immediately cleared my schedule.
As a true cigar connoisseur, walking through the doors at the Graycliff Resort after a full day of hectic travel was like walking through the gates of Eden. All right, that’s a bit farfetched but I quickly realized I had arrived at one of the world’s last refuges for the most discerning cigar aficionados who take pleasure in only the finest cigars, foods, and wines among a plethora of other luxuries I can’t even begin to describe. Encompassing an entire city block in Nassau’s historic downtown, the Graycliff Resort houses 22 luxurious guest rooms and suites that sprawl the grounds of the estate and its adjoining property. I know what you’re thinking: who cares? The fact is: as a cigar enthusiast, you can light up your favorite stick anywhere you want, be it in the comfort of your private room, at the bar, or in the lounging areas. To top it off, and this will shock anyone currently living in the United States; you can even enjoy a cigar while dining at any table in the restaurant! That’s right, the entire place is cigar friendly! Paradise.
Upon my arrival, I met Paolo for dinner. As we were shown to our table among the other guests, I was giddy as I noticed a pile of Graycliff Double Espressos neatly stacked on the table. The chef personally greeted us and discussed the seven-course tasting menu he prepared, which would also be accompanied by a different wine selected to complement each dish. I lit up my first cigar and caught up with my old friend. After dinner, we enjoyed a fresh rolled smoke from the roller positioned in the lobby of the restaurant and I took a tour of their impressive wine cellar, which houses some 250,000 bottles of wine (the second largest private collection in the world).
The next day the real fun began (only after I shook off my wine-induced hangover). For a blender, Graycliff is another kind of paradise. Their aged and well-fermented tobaccos are as impressive as their ridiculous wine cellar. I was placed in front of a table and watched as employees delivered leaf after leaf, strand after strand, all for my personal use. I had everything at my disposal from special criollo and maduro wrappers to hundreds of filler leaves ranging from mild secos to intense, full-bodied ligeros and then some. After a week's time, I had not even scratched the surface on the number of possible blends I could create using their premium tobaccos. While many cigar makers try to target the tastes and preferences of avid aficionados, Graycliff’s unique blending style caters to the occasional cigar enthusiast as well as the seasoned veteran. Rather than focus only on what is currently popular with cigar consumers, they blend cigars to attract clients who are drawn to Graycliff for their coffee, chocolate, food and wine. They create cigars that complement the rest of their customer’s experience at Graycliff. After visiting Graycliff and using their materials, I completely understand why they are the only 5-Star brand in the industry. If you haven't tried these remarkable cigars, now is the time to treat yourself to a new level of luxury.
Published Friday, October 15, 2010 4:13 PM by
Love the Double Espresso!
October 19, 2010 12:32 PM
great review Alex the dub espressos are on the to smoke list
October 19, 2010 6:22 PM
Double Espresso is one of my all-time favorites!
November 3, 2010 11:24 AM
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About Alex Svenson
I enjoy at least one premium cigar everyday and have the privilege of working directly with every major cigar maker in the industry. I love developing new and exciting cigar blends and bringing only the best this industry has to offer to our Cigar.com clients.
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