The Griffin’s No. 500 Natural belongs to The Griffin’s Classic cigar line. This popular brand hails from the Dominican Republic and prides itself on evoking “myth and modernity.” The Griffin’s harvests the tobacco for their cigars in the fertile Cibao valley, recalling over five centuries of tobacco cultivation history as the foundation for their contemporary craft. The brand started in 1984 when company founder and club owner Bernard Grobet wanted to create a special line of cigars exclusively for his patrons’ enjoyment. Over time demand for his cigars grew and since 1989 the public has been able to enjoy the same elite quality as his club guests two decades ago.
Measuring 5.16 x 42, the Griffin’s No. 500 Classic comes in an almost flawless Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, golden in color and stamped with the classic Griffin’s logo. Three different tobaccos from the Dominican Republic combine to offer a rich, but light smoking experience. The draw is good and the burn is even better, completely steady from the start of the smoke to the finish. The smoke from the 500 Classic is aromatic and full-bodied, even when the cigar is idle. Initially the main tones are woody and earthy, but within a couple draws some nuttier notes take the stage. The second half of the smoke features a creamier flavor, but the earthy, cedar smell remains strong, accompanied by some sweet, spicy notes. There is occasionally a bitter edge that can emerge during the later stages of this cigar, but it is recommended to let this cigar age a couple months in the humidor to prevent this acrid taste.
Priced in the $5-9 range, this cigar offers something light but multifaceted, classically Dominican but complex enough to bring a modern twist to a traditional smoke – just as The Griffin’s promises to do with all of their cigars.