Cigar Reviews

STK Miami Barracuda by George Rico

By  | 

For almost 100 years, tobacco has been the livelihood of the Rico family beginning with George Rico’s grandfather in 1920. But it wasn’t until 1998 that the Gran Habano company, as it is known today, established itself in Honduras. George would eventually headquarter the operations of Gran Habano in Miami, Florida and begin producing cigars out of their U.S. based factory, G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas Co..

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (3)

In 2012, Gran Habano launched its third release out of the G.R. Tabacaleras Unidas factory, the STK Miami Barracuda by George Rico, which I will be reviewing today. The STK line includes Zulu Zulu, Barracuda, American Puro, and Opium. The blend changed in 2013 as the cigar became more readily available utilizing a Nicaraguan Habano 2002 wrapper instead of the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that was found on the original release. The internals are made up of tobaccos from the Jalapa and Esteli regions of Nicaragua. Three vitolas are currently available to include: Corona Gorda (5 5/8 by 46), Robusto (5 by 50), and B-54 Toro (6 1/2 by 54).

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (4)

I picked up this box from Two Guys Smoke Shop during their 30th Anniversary Sale for $30.00.

The Facts

Purchased from Two Guys Smoke Shop
MSRP: $9.00
Vitola: B-54 (Toro)
Size: 6 1/2 by 54
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano 2002
Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa and Esteli)
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 35 Minutes

Pre-light

The Barracuda is wrapped in a light to medium brown Habano wrapper that is consistent in color from head to foot. A couple medium sized and stitch-like veins can be easily seen on the leaf. The wrapper does not appear oily and to the touch there is only a small amount of oils to be felt. This is one bumpy cigar!

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (6)

The aroma from the wrapper is faint of some dry hay, while the foot shows off a sweet smell of fresh cut grass and woodsy notes. The cigar comes to an end with a pig-tailed cap. Most of the pig-tails broke off during transit due to the wiggle room the cigars had in the box . Upon clipping the cap, a free draw shows off straight up cinnamon, like what you would find from an Atomic Fireball candy.

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (5)

First Third

As soon as the STK Miami Barracuda is lit, a copious amount of thick smoke fills my mouth. The flavors are spicy with cinnamon and pepper, some sweet grass is behind the spice, as well as a wet woodsy flavor. The spice heat is rather intense in the mouth, but surprisingly not overwhelming through the sinuses. The flavors and spice begin to level out at the half inch point. The burn is thick with a slight wave and leaving behind a light gray ash.  I find the strength already pushing a solid medium as I make my way through the first third.

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (7)

Middle Third

The profile has become much richer as I make my way into the second third of the STK Miami Barracuda by George Rico. The richness is tied to the woodsy notes that are no longer the wet woodsy notes from earlier but more of a rich cedar. Unsweetened cocoa is creeping into the profile and coffee and earth are lingering on the finish. The spice has noticeably increased back to the same level that the cigar began with. The burn is just about perfect. 

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (8)

Final Third

The profile now muted with some generic woodsy notes paired along natural sweet tobacco. The spice heat is mild to medium at this point and some nuttiness has entered the profile. The earth on the finish has transitioned to more diesel-like.  Just as I am about to lay down the STK Miami Barracuda for its final rest, I find the flavors make a huge recovery with the return of the richness. I am going to squeeze a few more minutes out of this stick. 

Gran Habano - STK Miami Barracuda (1)

Wrap-up

The STK Miami Barracuda by George Rico brings a lot to the table. The cigar performed very well with a firm ash, easy draw with just the right amount of resistance, and an even burn. And the smoke production is awesome. The flavors really shined in the first and second thirds, but fell short in the final third until the last minute recovery. If you have a liking for spicy cigars (cinnamon and pepper), a rich profile, and medium/full strength, this cigar will be for you.   While I think this blend would show better in a smaller ring gauge, I am still excited to burn through the rest of the box in the coming months/years.

Jeremy Hensley is a bean counter for a non-profit in El Paso, Texas. He is married to the most understanding wife (he still can’t figure out how she puts up with his cigar smoking hobby), and blessed with two beautiful children. When he is not acting like a kid, he enjoys everything outdoors, especially fishing with his dad in the Great Lakes. Also, he meets the criteria of being a Casa Fumando reviewer: being a hockey fan. Feel free to contact Jeremy anytime via email (jmhensley13[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/pdn_jdog

2 Comments

  1. jjo

    November 21, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Jeremy, I think that you, Tony, and I can all agree that Gran Habano is one of the more overlooked brands around. I’m a huge fan of the core line corojo, as well as the STK Opium. Man, that’s a huge deal that you got on these, and I will hold it against you for not alerting me to it. Just kidding, of course! 😉

  2. Jeremy Hensley

    November 22, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I agree with you and Tony on that as well. Gran Habano offers some great sticks at affordable prices like the Gran Habano #5 Corojo. Just finished smoking through half of box of those. What I appreciate the most of Gran Habano is the uniqueness of their cigars in term of flavor. Sorry, man. Next time I see a deal like that you will be the first to know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *