Gran Habano Barracuda
Nicaraguan binder and filler
Vitola: Robusto, 5 x 50.
A week ago I saw an ad for these sticks. I've smoked most of the Gran Habano line. Most were ok, some pretty good, but at $9/stick I thought these had better be really good. So I took a chance and ordered a 5 pack which arrived 2 days ago. Yesterday I tried one, so effectively ROTT. My quick impression is below. For comparison, There is another review of these at Review: Gran Habano S.T.K. Miami Barracuda | halfwheel
This appears to be a really nice cigar. The pre-light aroma is a rich earth. The wrapper looks nice, a medium brown, a little oily, without soft spots. The Halfwheel review (see link above) mentioned a short pig-tail cap, but mine was a smooth slightly rounded cap. The draw was just about perfect, not too loose, and not very tight. Smoke production was good all the way through the stick, and the burn line stayed razor sharp most of the way down, drifting off just a little toward the end, but self corrected almost immediately. All in all, I am impressed with the construction of this stick.
In the end, it's all about flavor, and unfortunately, that is where the stick falls short. Initial light carried a blast of pepper and cedar. There was also a little earth, a somewhat dry but pleasant barnyard aroma. The pepper moderated quickly, but never entirely disappeared. This is pretty much where things stayed throughout the smoke. None of the flavors were bad or over-powering. Pleasant, but not a lot of variety. In the middle third, there were some hints of leather and something like a candied roasted peanut once in a while, but they never competed successfully with the cedar and earth. By the last third, they had disappeared entirely, leaving again the wood and earth.
All in all I thought this was a decent cigar. Flavors were good if not very deep or varying. Construction was "A+", but flavor only "C" making it a "B" cigar. Strength was a solid medium in my opinion. I felt it, but it stayed well under what I would consider a full-strength cigar. At $4 would be a decent buy. Even $5 would be tolerable at least in comparison to other cigars in that price range. But $9 is way too high for this one.
It is possible that the Barracuda will greatly improve with age. I have 4 left. Will let them sit for a while -- a long while -- and try them again. If I'm still around, I'll let you know how it goes.