The Griffin’s Classic

The Griffin’s Classic No.300 (6.5 x 44)

Wrapper: Connecticut seed Ecuadorian grown

Binder: Dominican grown Pelo de Oro Seco

Filler: San Vicente Seco, Piloto Visus and Olor Visus Aroma Intense Cibao Valley Dominican Republic.

Blender: Hendrik Kelner

The Griffin’s is a brand that is not as often mentioned when talking about the Davidoff group. Davidoff, Avo, and Zino lines seem to come to mind first. Though The Griffin’s is not as marketing heavy as Davidoff, Avo, and Zino they are connected. One of the big connections between these brands is the blender, Hendrik Kelner, and this cigar was one of his early releases that can still be found almost unchanged from the original blend. The blend has its place in cigar history; a place where two of the biggest names in the cigar world met up and formed one of the largest cigar companies today.

The Griffin’s Brand first appeared in 1984. This makes it older than any other of the above mentioned Kelner blends currently on the market. The Davidoff brand moved out of Cuba and began selling cigars in the US in 1990. Avo was founded in 1986 and the current incarnation of Zino was released in 2003 (thought he brand was founded in 1970s there was a re-blend of all of the lines just after the year 2003).

It started with a man named Bernard Grobet.

Bernard Grobet was a night club owner who owned a place called The Griffin’s Club. In 1984 he decided to create an elite cigar that would be a club exclusive. He hooked up with Hendrik Kelner who had recently opened his own cigar factory near Santiago, in the Dominican Republic. Kelner was willing to make cigars for the Club. The Griffin’s brand was born. The cigar was received very well and became known through out Switzerland for refinement and complexity. Grobet was known for his enthusiasm and passion for fine cigars among the Swiss elites and was even known by legendary cigar maker Zino Davidoff.

By 1989 Grobet’s “The Griffin’s” line was being distributed by Ottinger Imex to the Swiss and US markets. This happened to be the time that Zino Davidoff (whose brand was owned by Ottinger) was feuding with Cubatobaco over the, at the time, Cuban Davidoff brand. Grobet introduced Davidoff to Kelner witch aided Davidoff move production from Cuba to the Dominican Republic. Since then Kelner has been producing cigars for the Davidoff brand.

The Griffin’s Classic has a nice tan wrapper with a few thin veins that do not seem to dominate the leaf. The seems are seen but are very consistent and the triple cap is the quality expected from the factory. The band is gold, white, and black. The white background is very stark with hard line black lettering. The metallic gold comes into play with the picture of the griffin in the center.


The band is exceedingly difficult to get off of the cigar, and when removed there is a very slight indentation where the band was. Cold, this cigar has a heavy hey scent. It is strong and there is little else to speak of as far as scent goes. Moistening the cap brings on a spicy note that seems like a very strong hey flavor. The wrapper leaf feels smooth on the lips and tongue. Once clipped with a double guillotine the draw has a light resistance. This cannot be described as “difficult” but at worst, “firm.” The cold draw has notes of mushroom but with a licorice style sweetness to it. These flavors on the light are very light.

Xikar EX to light.

The first few puffs are on the sweet side of cedar with a mild pepper up front. Through the nose there is a slightly spicy musk that is mushroom and cedar. The finish is delicate but long; a combination that is not often seen. This finish has a slight spice to it as well. As the first third progresses the wood notes pick up and the retrohale becomes decidedly more dusty and mushroom. The spice is only an impression, making this cigar extremely smooth.

The middle third is the same profile as above with an overall increase of flavor. Heavy wood, mushroom, and dustiness prevail. The only real change is that there is a slight increase in spice. This spice is soft but definitively black pepper. This is mostly a lingering flavor on the finish.

The final third picks up a dryness. It really brings out the black pepper flavor, but not the heat. The room note is fantastic. Very woody and light. The cigar does grow in intensity and flavor and in this final third it is a medium body. It has also lost some of its smoothness but it does not qualify as harsh.

burn to the nub

time: 1hour 45min

burn: 10
draw: 9
taste: 9
aftertaste: 8
construction: 9
balance: 9
feel: 8

overall: 8.8


~ by kuzi16 on May 7, 2014.

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