According to David Garofalo of Two Guys Smoke shop, “The story of the Great Pretenders came many years ago when hearing customers searching for cigars that taste like others for a lot less in price. This was not easy to do, but it is finally done. These are deliberate copies of the best-selling Premium cigars in the United States who must go unnamed, as they are not those brands but the Great Pretenders.”
Cigar: Great Pretenders Bold & Spicy
Wrapper: Sungrown Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 54
The Look: Packaged in 5 pack sleeves and without a band in order to keep the price even lower. The Habano wrapper is relatively smooth with some subtle oils. The roll of the cigar is perfect even if the cut of the wrapper isn’t as crisp as one would expect. If you can’t notice it in the picture below, then chances are I am just nitpicking. In the hand the cigar is firm to the touch with a well packed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Great Pretenders Bold & Spicy has a subtle cedar and a cookie component to it that is rather enjoyable. The aroma from the foot of the cigar serves up a wisp of ginger and a touch of spice. Once we cut and toast the cigar, the initial note is a distinct rhubarb.
As we smoke the first third there is a definite familiarity to it of a major cigar brand. If you listened to the show, chances are you heard me mention the brand. There are notes of coffee, earth and a subtle cocoa sweetness. The retrohale offers up some hints of pepper and pecans. It’s a surprising flavorful cigar during the first third of the cigar and I am hopeful it will continue down the current path.
The second third sees noted of cedar becoming dominant with continued coffee and earth in the background. The cigar is flavorful and continues to be reminiscent of a well known brand. The retrohale continues to be spicy although the pecans has disappeared.
As we conclude the Bold & Spicy of the Great Pretenders line, it continues down the path laid out in the first two-thirds. There are notes of cedar, coffee and earth with the latter becoming dominant by the time we put the cigar to rest. The retrohale continues to serve up notes of black pepper and spice.
The Finish: Surprisingly enjoyable this cigar is a no brainer considering the price. If you like the well known medium bodied legacy cigar brands that share their names with Cuban counterparts this offers up a cigar that serves up a similar experience. It’s a nice cigar to have on hand if your having guests at a BBQ or keeping a few extra on you at the golf course for other members of your foursome.
Price: $19.99 for 5