Gran Habano was nice enough to send some samples to The Cigar Authority, and today we look into one of those samples. According to the press information that accompanied the cigar, “Made by hand in Miami under the watchful eye of George Rico, this attractive handmade has plenty of bold flavors to go along with its impressive appearance. This cigar has a blend of all-Nicaraguan long fillers and Nicaraguan binder all carefully selected. As a limited edition release, this Barracuda Maduro has a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper. Initial notes of cedar, earth and pepper gradually develop and intensify, as a touch of sweetness caps things off nicely. The draw is consistent, and the overall character is smooth and rich.”
Cigar: S.T.K. Miami Barracuda
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
The Look: The gritty looking Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper has a couple of veins of note that are visible due to color, but they don’t really stand out above the wrapper which has a brindle like appearance to it. There are some imperfections to the roll especially near the foot, and the cap is slight off-center. The band of teal has black and silver text denoting Barracuda by George A. Rico who I have had the pleasure of kicking ass with as a partner in dominoes. The cigar feels a little bit lumpy in the hand with a nice weight to it and firm roll.
The Notes: The foot of the cigar reminds me a little bit of birch with some ash to the nose. The birch was intriguing, and once I clip the cap the cold draw earthy and musky with a quality that is definitively Pennsylvania Broadleaf. Once I take the flame to the cigar there is a sweetness that is quickly enveloped by notes of wood.
As we smoke into the first third of the cigar there is a saltiness to it as wood notes develop and a distinct mint to it. This is the second cigar, 2 days in row that has a mint like note to it and I love it. There is also some earth and coffee thrown in to the mix as well.
As we work into the second third of the Barracuda from George Rico, the coffee notes become the focal point with some faint hints of chocolate and earth. The mint has disappeared and so has the cedar. Once the ash falls, there is some mint back into the mix and the cigar reminds me of an Andes chocolate with the white layer of mint chocolate in the middle.
The last third of the cigar has strong coffee notes with a bit of roasted nuts on the finish. The spice has built up especially on the retrohale and the cigar is full-bodied at this point.
The Burn: I will admit, that I was worried about how this cigar would perform with such an ugly-looking wrapper. The fears were not warranted though as cigar burned better than many wrappers that are flawless. The burn line was crisp, the ash held on for half the cigar and the draw was perfect.
Overall: I happen to be a huge fan of Pennsylvania broadleaf which is a little strong then the variety from Connecticut and the spice is a little bit sharper. It’s like cheddar cheese in that sense. Anyway, the limited edition Barracuda was a nice cigar with an enjoyable flavor profile. The cigar comes in 3 different sizes and I would definitely reach for another should I come across from them. Sometime next week I will review the original line which is available at Two Guys Smoke Shop.