Review: Gran Habano - George Rico S.T.K. American Puro

Gran Habano - George Rico S.T.K. American Puro (4 3/4 x 52)
   Welcome back to The Cigar Collection! Today I have another special review to share with you. This review is of one of the VERY few American Puro cigars (comprised of all American grown and rolled tobaccos). I believe it is the only American Puro that is grown, rolled, and than distributed all from within the United States. Let's get to the nitty gritty: Is this cigar for me or you? Neither? Let's check it out.
   I begin, as always, with the visuals and smells of the cigar. The stick has very smooth veins and a tight and tiny little pigtail cap. The foot is a little misshapen and has a crack in it. From the reviews I've read of this cigar, everyone has received the cigar with a slightly pressed foot. I still am not sure whether or not this is on purpose, but it seems to be so at this point. The band is beautiful. Primarily red, white, and gold. A blue and red crest with white stars is printed on the side of the secondary band. This had me wanting to go get fireworks and shake a few veterans' hands. Anyways, the wrapper is smooth to the touch with an even amount of tooth. I can't distinguish between the seams and the veins; beautiful construction.
   I smell sweet scents of hay and a little spice from the foot and receive flavorful barnyard and mild spice notes from the pre-light draw. The cigar itself is quite stiff but the draw is open. Instant spice, tobacco spice and red pepper, hit my palate and jump start my senses to prepare them for the flavorful ride ahead. Sweet cedar notes join the party as the finish lingers, pleasant spice consuming my palate as a sweetness sits on my lips.
   Retro-haling is full of white pepper, tobacco spice, and woodiness. The burn line is pretty even, just a tad wavy. The ash is pale gray with flecks of black. Spice has toned down as sweet cedar and delicious tobacco notes dominate the finish. Smoke is pumping full through the cigar. The draw smoke is hefty and beginning to leak smoky wood notes onto my palate. I believe this is where the fire-cured tobacco kicks in a bit. Nuttiness sneaks its way into the draw disguised as a batch of salty peanuts. The flavor is not powerful, but I can taste it as if I were taking the peanuts out of the shell. A fresh taste.
   The ash falls into my lap after about two inches and moving into the second third. Not many flavor changes going on right now. The spice has backed off a bit more and the finish is semi-sweet with the tobacco and spice notes. Creaminess enters the profile. A creaminess with some bite to it. I do love dessert with a little heat to it.
   This cigar is dominated by spicy and sweet tobacco flavors. I'm having a great experience with it on a beautiful day. A bit of coffee enters the draw as the nuttiness fades into the background. Cedar notes ramp up and retro-haling produces smoky cedar and spice flavors to dance on the back of my tongue and consume my palate for a moment. Both bands are easily removed here as I get ready for the final third of this cigar.
   Smoke flows freely from the foot and the draw smoke is full. The finish has a little bite to it and spice lingers on my lips. A sweet red pepper spice. Honey and red pepper. The flavors on the draw are a sweet cedar and mild honey with tobacco and red pepper spice. It almost reminds me of some sort of Asian chicken dish. Sadly, I've already eaten today.
   The ash falls for the second time as I approach the nub. I notice a bit of bitterness seeping in. Cedar and tobacco spice dominate the flavor profile now. I put the cigar down now and a lingering sweet cedar continues to tickle my lips along with a tingling spice. The smoke was pleasant and full but became a little bitter at the end.
   This cigar was definitely a pleasant smoke and worth purchasing. The American Puro is a good smoke for anyone trying something new and full of flavor, or even just to show a little pride in your American heritage. I believe with a little more humidor time it will prove to be a most excellent smoke and exceed expectations.
   Thank you, so much, Natasha, for this opportunity to review an interesting and delightful smoke. These cigars can be pre-ordered from Best Cigar Prices

(Pictures and cigar stats can be found at: http://www.martincigars.blogspot.com )

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