Review: Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda

Last night I carved out some time to smoke George Rico's Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda robusto. From what I have read, only 100 boxes of 20, were made of these, so they might be hard to find, but they are out there. So, on to the review!

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The foot of the Barracuda was purely cedar with a slight tobacco note for me. I actually tried for a couple minutes to see if I was missing something, but I never detected anything else. So, I clipped the cap and took a few cold draws. Still had a strong woody taste, mostly cedar, but there was some spice. And after a few cold draws, my lips actually started to tingle a bit. The band draws me in too. I think the aqua background with the silver lettering and detailed barracuda, really pop. And I am admittedly a slave to a well made band.

I toasted the foot well and took the first draw. I am immediately impressed by the prefect draw. It is effortless and I can hear the cherry crackle as fresh tobacco catches fire. The flavor in mouth was as expected, lots of cedar and maybe a bit of other woody/earthy notes mingled in. On the retrohale, I am picking up an almost sweet note. In my notes I wrote "Caramel?". It was hard to distinguish through the cedar, but that is as close as I could get to it.

The second third of the Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda was what I would call "toasty & woody". The transition to this third was initiated with a large dose of pepper on the retrohale, that only lasted for a few draws, but was a nice wakeup. A very enjoyable dry wood note throughout this third. 

Entering the last third of the Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda, a creaminess covers the cedar and wood flavors. The cedar & wood flavors were constant through the Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda for me. And the smoke production from start to end was thick, white & plentiful. And the burn was spot on. I am a little OCD about touching up a burn as soon as I notice it, but I never had that problem. I could sit back and watch every wave in the burn straighten out in seconds.

The Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda smoked like a three course meal Not that it was heavy or filling or sweet, but in that it started out medium (appetizer), added spice & body (main course) and then ended with creaminess (dessert). A definite medium body/flavor stick for me. Unlike many of the cigars I smoke, this one didn't get all bitter at the end. It would start to, but a simple purge and short rest fixed it. I only stopped when the heat got too high. If I am lucky enough to find more, I definitely will!

My drink for the evening was the Mint Julep. What else would one drink while watching "Goldfinger"? I make mine with mint from my garden and homemade simple syrup, so much better then all the processed stuff. Bourbon of choice this time was Four Roses Yellow label. A solid choice. Nothing notable to me on the pairing. It went well, but I think they may have meshed too well, as I didn't note anything about the two interacting. But who cares?! I really enjoyed myself. :)

Country of Origin: USA
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5x50
Vitola: Robusto

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Comment by Nate Martin on August 15, 2013 at 4:20pm

Very nice review! Glad you enjoyed it.


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