Review of Zander-Greg's HHB Gold 50th Anniversary of Nat Cicco Cigars
Rating 93
By: Dr. Mitch Fadem

A couple of years ago, I reviewed a premium cigar release by Zander-Greg called Liga No. 4. It was a very acceptable cigar, but at the time I only rated it around an 85. Nat Cicco cigars started out 50 years ago as the original ‘rejects/factory seconds’. In 2007, Zander-Greg took over the line and decided to move into the premium cigar business. The Company’s goal was to go head to head with the top cigar makers in the world and blend the best cigar they could from the best tobacco available. The new HHB Gold Nat Cicco is a super premium cigar that does just that. The HHB Gold, hand made in Nicaragua, has a nice Ecuadorian-grown Habano leaf wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and long leaf filler.

Draw and Construction:

The HHB Gold is a much higher end offering than the Liga No. 4, starting with its flawless wrapper. The wrapper is a rich brown color with a nice Cuban-style twisted cap. The foot is completely closed, so do not try to draw on it before lighting. For such a large cigar, 7¾ x 54, it has an amazingly easy draw. The classy solid gold band is placed one inch from the cap, waiting for that even burning ash. I smoked three of these for the review, and if you want to enter a ‘longest ash’ contest, this is the cigar for you. The ash held on nearly to the middle of the cigar, which is around 4”, and it required no re-lights. The smoking time is quite long, so you had better pour yourself a large glass of your favorite beverage, relax and enjoy the 2-hour smoke. In the past couple of years my usual smoke has been a thinner panatela type cigar, so right now I am unaccustomed to smoking a 54 ring gauge and certainly not 7¾” cigars, but I very much appreciated this long smoking gem.

Flavor and Aroma:

The company sent me three cigars to smoke and I decided to let them sit in my humidor for a few weeks to let them settle in. We are so dry here in New Mexico that I can barely keep my humidor at 60%. When I finally smoked them, it was well worth the wait. Some may call this a full-bodied cigar, but for me it was in between medium and full. The pre-lighting aroma is close to the old Havana cigars of the 1950s, very rich tobacco with the same flavor to match. The best way to describe it is ‘smoooooth’. There are small hints of coffee and cocoa both in the flavor and aroma and the cigar generates lots of smoke to surround your senses.

Value:

I had an opportunity to visit with Zander-Greg representatives during the 2014 IPCPR. At that time, they were planning on offering this cigar for $10 a stick. This was actually a good value for such an excellent smoke and the size. Just recently, they announced that the pricing would drop to $7, WOW! That is far and away the best deal for a high-end premium smoke you will find today. This cigar is very deserving of the 93 rating I have given it.



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