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!
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