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Cigar Review: S.T.K. Black Dahlia by George Rico Robusto

1 May 2019

The story of Elizabeth Short is a tragic and gruesome one. It need not be repeated here. That said, if you’re interested, you’ll find no shortage of material across all manner of media—including books, films, and the internet—on the 1947 unsolved murder of the young woman who would come to be known as Black Dahlia.

Far be it from me to explain why you’d name a cigar line in honor of a grotesque crime that has persisted in the public consciousness over seven decades. Yet Gran Habano did just that when it launched Black Dahlia in 2017.

Made in Honduras at Gran Habano’s GR Tabaqueras Unidas factory in Danlí, Black Dahlia sports a Nicaraguan Corojo Shade wrapper, dual Habano and Nicaraguan binders, and filler tobaccos that include Habano, Nicaraguan Cubita, Colombian, and Costa Rican leaves. It is offered in three sizes, each packaged in 20-count boxes: Robusto (5 x 52, $9), Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46, $9.50), and Gran Robusto (6 x 54, $10).

The Robusto features a pale, light brown wrapper that’s wrinkled and traversed by a fair number of thin veins. The surface is moderately oily with tooth and some lumps. While the feel is consistently firm throughout with no soft spots, the cold draw is smooth. At the foot, I find gentle pre-light notes of sweet hay and herbal tea.

Black Dahlia might be marketed as a full-bodied smoke but, if the three Robustos I smoked for this review are any indication, it’s a decidedly medium blend. The core profile includes café au lait, white pepper, and a gentle cedar spice. The finish is short with warm spice on the tip of the tongue. At times, there are flashes of roasted peanuts.

As the Robusto progresses, the core flavors remain unchanged but a smooth, sweet creaminess enters the equation. The final third is more of the same, yet slightly more intense. All the while the combustion qualities are solid. Even though the burn might waver a bit here and there, it always self-corrects and almost never requires a touch-up. The draw is easy. The ash holds well off the foot. And the smoke production is generous.

Perhaps, like me, this line escaped your radar when it was introduced a couple years ago. I’m certainly glad I finally gave it a try and recommend you do the same. The S.T.K. Black Dahlia by George Rico Robusto offers balance, nuanced flavors, and good bang for your buck. It’s suitable for a morning smoke with a cup of black coffee, an afternoon round of golf, or a post-dinner treat with some sipping rum. For that, it earns four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: S.T.K. Black Dahlia by George Rico Robusto”

  1. Stan Walker Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 1:35 pm #

    One of my favorite cigars and had one just yesterday. Gran Habano, in general, seems to be over looked a lot. They make several excellent cigars, including the #5 and La Conquista with the Black Dahlia being my favorite.
    Appreciate the review. Confirms maybe I do have a little good taste.

  2. Tom Pacher Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 5:58 pm #

    Hey, if you guys figure out why George Rico named a cigar after one horrible tragedy, maybe you can then find out why Partagas named one of (IMHO) their best cigars after a tragedy where a U-Boat sent nearly 1200 people to their deaths aboard the Lusitania in 1915. Gran Habano has been kind of hit or miss to my tastes, but if you get the right cigar, you can usually get a good smoke at a bargain price, notably below MSRP.