I wish the Cigar Industry could find a way to better market itself. As a whole they do so much for charity and people that unless you are a cigar smoker it tends to go unnoticed. In these times we need any and all positive press that we can gather. The Gran Habano STK Zulu is a cigar that could of done just that.
The boxes of the “Zulu Zulu” depict a child holding an automatic rifle, which many forums deemed as offensive, but when the true meaning of the art come forward then one has to wonder why the product has not garnered more attention. A percentage of the bixes sold from Gran Habano on the whole sale end goes to the Invisible Children. The Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LR-afftected communities in Central Africa to peace and prosperity.
Cigar: Zulu Zulu by George Rico
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Appearance and Construction: The STK Zulu Zulu comes in a little bit thicker then a traditional lanceo. The wrapper as a few oils present and a lot of veins some of which are raised above the surface. The cap feature a pigtail and the roll of the cigar is excellent with a well packed foot. In the hand the stick has a nice weight and there are no soft spots. The STK is covered in an artwork sleeve depicting the children soliders who are being exploited in a war orchestrated by rebels.
Flavor & Notes: The cold draw of the STK serves up notes of mint and cedar while the foot offers the nose some earth and cedar notes. Once the cigar is lit there is a nice spice present that is both warm and inviting. Notes of nuts, leather and molasses take control and fight for dominance. As we enter the first third the notes of nuts take hold as a slight cinnamon dances around in the background. As we enter the second third the cinnamon remains on the finish and is joined by notes of apples for a bit before giving way to some leather notes. The last third of the cigar the cinnamon notes barely hold on but the body of the cigar becomes more full as does the strength. On my empty stomach some nicotine is felt and the notes of the cigar are leather and nuts with a coffee finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The burn of the cigar started out fairly jagged before evening out. The light color ash held on for an inch at a time which is to be expected for a lancero with no flake. The draw offered up some resistance which seems to become the norm for many in this vitola. There was a pleasant earthy aroma throughout the cigar.
Conclusion: Hands down one of the most complex and flavorful lancero cigars I have ever smoked. My interest in Gran Habano has grown tremendously over the years and you can witness how George Rico has grown with his cigars. The Azteca, Grand Reserva 2003, Opium and now this make him a player to watch in the industry. If you haven’t had a cigar from Gran Habano in recent times, you might be surprised with how far they have come.