Size: Robusto Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
La Gran Llave was released in 2016 and is the product of a collaboration between Michael Argenti and AJ Fernandez cigars. Michael Argenti created the cigar so that it could be produced and distributed out of the AJ Fernandez factory in Nicaragua. However, it was only a few months after its release that Michael Argenti left La Gran Llave, Ltd. The events that followed gave AJ Fernandez the opportunity to fully acquire the brand. Based on the positive reception and distinct flavor that distinguishes the cigar from the rest of his line, AJ decided it was in his best interest to add it to the fold.
La Gran Llave’s literal translation is “The Big Key.” The cigar has a striking black, red and gold band with a gold key aptly placed on the back. The lower band has the print ‘Reserva No. E560FE.’ La Gran Llave’s wrapper is a dark brown with red undertones.
On the dry draw, La Gran Llave tasted similar to a fire cured cigar, tasting like the aroma of a campfire. Once it was lit, those flavors were only present for a short time. The cigar’s first third had a healthy amount of pepper that tickled the tongue. It was also meaty like the charred ends of roast beef. Half an inch in, the cigar picked up with some leather flavors. Around the same time the cigar began to smooth out. The pepper was not as forward, and the cigar had a butteriness to it. As for the rest of the senses, La Gran Llave smelled sweeter than it tasted, like cherry raisin bread. It wasn’t until the last third that those sweet notes were present in the mouth. La Gran Llave came full circle towards the end, finishing up with a bit more spice and a slight vegetal taste.
This cigar was very easy to enjoy. It had some strength but was by no means ‘overpowering.’ Frank Santos of AJ Fernandez’s marketing team has stated that they are adding two more cigars to the line, one with an Habano wrapper and one with a Connecticut wrapper. This would satisfy a smoker that sticks to a milder cigar. However, the balance of the San Andres wrapper, Ecuadorian Habano binder, and Nicaraguan filler are a perfect combination.
Be safe, have fun, and enjoy your smoke!