Russ Ouellette
Ocean State Cigars haven’t been around all that long, and I remember being pleased with the original J. Grotto, but it didn’t make it into my favorites.
When I received samples of the new J. Grotto Series Reserve to review, I was surprised by how attractive the cigar was. An oily chestnut colored wrapper with only a couple of noticeable veins covers a nice, firm 6 x 52 cigar with a small pigtail cap. The elaborate main band sits above a secondary band with "Reserve" to differentiate it from the original. The tawny wrapper is Honduran Criollo as is the binder, and the filler is a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan Ligero.

I don’t want to sound like I’m channeling Andy Rooney, but why are there so many oversized and double bands? Certainly they can be attractive, but how many sticks are damaged by removing monster-sized bands and ripping the wrapper? I’m okay with cigar art, but only if the band is glued to itself without the adhesive getting on the leaf. But that’s enough kvetching.

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