A few weeks back I received a care package from Gran Habano for some of their newer cigars that will be debuting at IPCPR. One of the cigars really caught my attention, but it wound up moving to the bottom of my humidor. During the cleaning out phase (moving cigars that no longer need to be reviewed) I came across it and that brings up to where we are today.
According to the information that came with the cigar the George Rico S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu Mas Paz Edition was created many years ago for George Rico’s private collection. The cigar was made in two wrappers (Connecticut or Habano) and each box features art by Columbia-American artist Mas Paz. The cigar is a limited run made at G.R. Tabacaleras in Miami.
Cigar Review: George Rico S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu Mas Paz Edition
Size: 5 5/58 x 46 (Corona Gorda)
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Nicaragua Habano
Source: Gran Habano
The Look: Wrapped in paper with the art of Mas Paz the cigar has a distinct look to it. Under the paper wrap is a cigar that has a beautiful wrapper and a classy look white and black band that denotes Zulu Zulu by George Rico. The cigar is flawlessly rolled with a slight pigtail cap up top. The habano wrapper has some oils and some thin veins with a thicker vein near the cap of the cigar. The cigar is well packed with no soft spots.
The Notes: The nose off the foot is very earthy with floral notes. The cold draw of the cigar is both floral and vegetal with notes of raw mushrooms. There is also sadly a note that reminds me of latex paint.
As we smoke into the first third of the Zulu Zulu Mas Paz there is a mix of floral notes and leather that is joined by an acidic citrus grapefruit note. The floral note overpowers at times and mutes the other flavors and overloads on the aroma as well.
In the second third of the cigar the citrus note changes up slightly and at times becomes dominant before losing ground to the floral note that smells like spring time at the botanical gardens.
The last third of the cigar becomes a chore with notes of floral and leather.
The Burn: The cigar which started off with a perfect burn developed draw issues around the halfway point. The tough draw led to the cigar going out and needing numerous relights despite an effort to keep it lit. Once we got past this half-inch section the draw opened back up and it remained lit. The light color ash held on for more than a third at a time.
The Finish: While I am thankful to receive samples the last few cigars from Gran Habano have been a shell of what the company once produced in my humble opinion. The cigars seemed to be heavy on the floral side and the Mas Paz Zulu Zulu continues that trend. The burn issues to me were the least of the problems for this cigar that had a flavor profile that just did not work for me.