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Cigar Review: George Rico S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu Mas Paz Edition Nicaraguan Habano Corona Gorda

15 Jul 2015

In my review of the Corojo No. 5 Maduro 2011 last week—a Gran Habano smoke that recently got a makeover—I mentioned the Florida-based operation of the Rico family also recently added a few sizes, discontinued a vitola in the G.A.R. Red line, and introduced the George Rico S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu Mas Paz Edition.

Zulu Zulu Mas PazThe Mas Paz Edition is made in Miami at G.R. Tabacaleras Co. Cigar Factory & Lounge. A percentage of sales benefit a non-profit organization that will fund renovations for La Casa de la Madre y el Niño, an orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia.

The cigar’s packaging was designed by Mas Paz, an artist who was adopted from La Casa de la Madre y el Niño when he was one. “I am blessed to have been adopted into a home where I have food, clothes, and a loving family,” reads the artist’s website. “It is my mission to do what I can to help. I work to spread the message of Mas Paz, by sharing a positive message and my story to the world along with a quarterly donation to my orphanage, raised with 5% of all income gained from paintings, projects, and my online store.”

The George Rico S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu Mas Paz Edition comes in two wrapper varieties: Ecuadorian Connecticut and Nicaraguan Habano. Both have Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos and come in three sizes that retail for $8.25 to $9.27: Lancero (7.5 x 40), Rolo (6 x 54), and Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46).

The Nicaraguan Habano Corona Gorda receives high marks for appearance. The first impression is accentuated by the eye-catching wax paper sleeve. Underneath is a pigtail-capped cigar with a reddish hue and pre-light notes of rich syrup and coffee. The cap clips cleanly to reveal a smooth cold draw.

Once lit, a medium-bodied profile emerges with notes of espresso, leather, and campfire. There’s an underlying earthiness, along with a floral taste. Creamy peanut and a little cocoa help add balance. If smoked too quickly, some less-than-pleasant bitter tones come through, yet the Corona Gorda is still a mostly soft-spoken specimen with little nicotine or spice. The finale is characterized by citrus, coffee, and leather.

I was only able to smoke one Corona Gorda for this review (which was, in full disclosure, provided to me by Gran Habano), but that single sample performed admirably in the combustion department. Throughout, the burn line remained true; only one touch-up was needed along the way. The ash held firm, the draw was easy, and the smoke production was slightly above average.

At times, the Mas Paz Edition Nicaraguan Habano Corona Gorda is a little flat. At times, it speaks with understated complexity and balance. It’s the kind of cigar that seems like it might improve significantly with some age, and I’m tempted to buy a few to test my hypothesis. Right now, I’m scoring it three stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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