Gran Habano’s STK program stands for “Save The Kids”. Announced last year, the first STK release is the 7.5 x 40 Gran Habano STK Zulu Zulu which was originally created for Gran Habano blender, George Rico. A limited, one time release of 2,000 boxes, the boxes and band feature artwork from a Miami Artist. The Gran Habano website explains further;
As the personal cigar in his private collection George A. Rico wanted to take the opportunity to bring awareness to an organization he holds close to his heart – Invisible Children.
Invisible Children is an organization; “…that uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.
A portion of the proceeds from all boxes sold will be donated directly to Invisible Children. For more information on Invisible Children please take the time to explore their website and videos at http://InvisibleChildren.com
This cigar was gifted to me by a friend (Yo Big Al!) and I decided that it was just too delicious looking to not smoke with my coffee this AM. So let’s get to burning!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Ring Gauge: 40
The Gran Habano STK Zulu Zulu is a beautiful, pig tailed Lancero. Almost completely covered with a band featuring the unique of art work of “The Kid”, it is difficult not to notice it. Once the first band is removed, a second traditional sized band with the name of the cigar can be found. Claro in color, this stick has a good amount of veins with no soft spots. I immediately recognized the Ecuadorian scent of the wrapper before knowing anything about the blend. Once cut, the pre-light draw was perfect and offered some spicy tobacco flavor.
Upon lighting, I am welcomed with a nutty flavor profile and some mild spice. The flavor and strength is mild/medium and after a few draws, some wood, hay, and leather enter the flavor profile. The flavors are very subtle with the mild spice constantly in the background. The finish thus far is medium in length and so far, this stick is pairing very well with my morning coffee. The burn is jagged and the ash is absolutely hideous but holds for a good inch before falling. The draw, thus far, is perfect.
The second third picks up a bit in strength. I would rate it on the low medium side. The spice follows suit and also picks up a bit. The burn and draw are still great. Towards the last third, however, a lot of grassy bitterness comes to the forefront. I can taste the bitterness on my lips and it soon becomes very unpleasant.
The last third begins with me completely clipping the cap off as the nicotine is stinging my lips. I take about a quarter of an inch off and the bitterness quickly subsides. The strength has picked up again and is more on the medium/full range now. I fall slightly short of nubbing it due to the surprising increase in strength. Smoking time is about 70 minutes.
This Gran Habano STK Zulu Zulu was a great stick I would certainly revisit. Although next time I smoke it I will make sure it is after a large breakfast. The increase in strength caught me by surprise and I cannot help to think that the blender was not trying to make a statement there. In the end, I am going to give this smoke a Stogie Geeks Rating of “The Fiver”. It is worth checking out!