While not exactly a "bargain" cigar, STC Cigar has been successful in marketing the very affordable Gran Habano line since 2003. The Gran Habanos are offered in only four sizes, but each size is available in three different blends to choose from.
The sizes are fairly predictable, since they are also the most popular: churchill, pyramid, toro and robusto. The blends cover the spectrum from mild to full body: The #1 has a Connecticut shade wrapper and is the mildest of the three. The #3 has a Nicaraguan wrapper and is blended to suit the tastes of medium-bodied cigar smokers. The #5 has a Nicaraguan corojo wrapper for fans of full-bodied smokes.
The #3 "Habano" before me here is a four country blend, with filler from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua, an Ecuadorian binder, and a colorado maduro wrapper from Nicararagua. The Pyramide measures 6 1/8 by 52, and is made by Guillermo Rico's G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas in Danli, Honduras.
It's a nice looking wrapper with plenty of oil and a slightly sweet smell. I snipped the tip and the draw feels just right.
It lights up with some reluctance and required a couple of touch ups throughout the smoke. This cigar is packed well and burns slowly with plenty of smooth smoke. It has a sweet and woody flavor, and despite the burn problems with the wrapper it's quite aromatic.
As advertised, it does have a medium body, but along with this is considerable strength. I wasn't expecting quite this much nicotine in a "medium" bodied cigar, but once again this shows that "body" does not always correlate with strength. In this regard it lives up to it's "Habano" name. About halfway down the shank it picks up a bit of spice and starts to burn a little more consistently. And at the conclusion a pleasant and lingering aftertaste seals the deal.
At 3 to 4 USD per stick this is a great value cigar. Pair it with a good Highland malt or a strong ale. It completely blew away my can of Miller…I'll know better next time.