George Rico S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.625 x 46 “Corona Gorda”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.25 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the newly released George Rico S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition.
Many thanks to George Rico for the samples.

BACKGROUND:
From the Gran Habano Press Release:
“This cigar will still contain the identical Ecuadorian Connecticut and Nicaraguan Habano blends, but this newest edition will be made in our own factory in Miami. G.R. Tabacaleras Co. is collaborating with a new artist, Mas Paz, to design the new boxes for this project, and the proceeds for the Mas Paz Edition will go towards a new charitable cause. A percentage of the sales of this new project will go towards a non-profit organization that will fund renovations for La Casa de la Madre y el Niño, an orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia.”

From Cigar Aficionado:
“After a delay of nearly a year, George Rico of Gran Habano Cigars has announced that he is accepting orders for his newest limited-edition charity cigar, a collaboration project that features artwork by street artist MasPaz called S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu MasPaz Edition.
“Unlike the original Zulu Zulu, which was rolled in Honduras, MasPaz is being manufactured in Rico’s Little Havana, Miami, factory called G.R. Tabacaleras Co. as one of his boutique S.T.K. (“stay true kid”) projects.

“Logistically,” says Rico, “it also made more sense to move the project to the U.S. because we have been working closely with the new artist, MasPaz, who is based in Washington, D.C.”
“As Rico explains, each box of Zulu Zulu MasPaz Edition goes through the artist, who adds a decorative line drawing that resembles a mother protecting her child to the inside lid. The artwork is duplicated on the paper bands that cover each individual cigar.”

The cigar is produced at G.R. Tabacaleras Co.
The first Zulu Zulu was introduced back in 2011. It started life as a cigar that was a part of George Rico’s personal collection.

DESCRIPTION:
The cigar’s art work is gorgeous. It is wrapped in a wax paper sleeve with a beautiful drawing by Mas Paz.
The Habano wrapper is a dark russet brown with bountiful amounts of oil.
It is topped by a triple cap and a small pig tail.
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SIZES AND PRICING:
Corona Gorda: 5.625 x 46
Rolo: 6 x 54
Lancero: 7.5 x 40
Prices range from $8.25-$9.27

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft smells of freshly mowed grass and hay. I can also smell a bit of sweetness and earthy tobacco.
From the clipped cap and foot, I smell strong barnyard, licorice and herbal notes.
The cold draw releases rich tobacco flavor, barnyard, a buttery oily flavor, and spice.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is a little tight but I don’t think it needs poking by my cigar awl.
In spite of the tight draw, large billows of smoke rise from the foot.

We start off with some spiciness, earthy tobacco, herbal notes, cedar, and leather.
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Getting that wax paper sleeve off was a real bitch. It was glued tight and of course, I tore a corner. But it is quite the Picasso-like artwork. I know nothing about art and if Maz Paz ever reads this, my apologies sir.

Half an inch in, sweetness enters. So does creaminess.

Big fan of the Corona Gorda. My favorite size. I wish more manufacturers included this size to their portfolio when only releasing 3 or 4 sizes…instead of mammoth, goliath sized cigars.
Burnt sugar is up next. It is accompanied by that buttery oily sensation. And now a heavy dose of cinnamon and nutmeg sitting atop a good cup of coffee.

The S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition smokes a little faster than I like. The second third is nearly upon me and total smoke time has been 12 minutes. In order to properly keep track of smoke time, I use a stop watch and calculator. It is the only way to accurately describe smoke time while I’m writing at the same time; not to mention taking photos.
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The strength started out at classic medium body but has become medium/full in the last few minutes.
The ash is hanging tough. Which means at any moment it will land in my lap and create a scorched earth policy.

SECOND THIRD:
The sweet spot develops at this point.
Here they are in cohesive order: Creaminess, spice, herbal notes, caramel, burnt sugar, cedar, earthy tobacco, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coffee.

The S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition is night and day from the original Gran Habano STK Zulu Zulu Habano. The Habano had these major flavors:
“Creaminess, melon, sweetness, tartness, cocoa, spice, coffee, wood, and floral notes.”

And the Habano was a medium body stick. The Mas Paz Edition seems to be heading towards full body.
The balance is great. Complexity settles in creating a pinwheel of flavors.
9third

Construction has been good. No touch ups required to the burn line. No wrapper issues.
Black walnuts show up. Along with black raisins. This is a dark and meaty cigar with lots of sweetness to offset the earthiness.

The spiciness ratchets up and is going for gold. I’m a sucker for a cigar’s spiciness when it doesn’t overshadow the other flavors.

HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time has been 30 minutes. Looks like a 60 minute cigar to me.
The S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition is on cruise control and doing just fine.
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Other flavors are apparent but I’m having trouble identifying the little nuanced buggers.
Maple. It erased the caramel flavor. Charry oak finds its way into the mélange of flavors.
Black walnuts are paired with a pasty marzipan almond flavor.

Way in the back, is a small citrus element. It is more tart than really definable at this point. I think it is lemon.

And the hits keep on coming. Shaved coconut. Which adds some cocoa. Now we have an Almond Joy candy bar. Love those things.
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I’m extremely impressed with this huge array of kitchen sink flavors.
I have hit sweet spot 2.0.
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While all the flavors previously listed are there, they have broken up in camps only definable when I take a sip of water.
One moment, the sweet factors warm my palate. And others, like the savory elements, wash in like the tide.
The flavor profile of the S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition has gone bozo crazy. Amazing.

LAST THIRD:
Alas, the last third is upon me. I’ve put in 50 minutes of smoke time. And it seems to have flown by.
This is a truly enjoyable blend. Kudos George Rico.

I normally place the list of flavors right here but it so long that it seems silly.

I don’t numerically rate cigars in my reviews due to its subjective nature. My palate is not your palate. But if I did, it would be way up in the 90’s.

The S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition is my kind of blend. It has been a real joy reviewing it this morning. I wish the sun were out so you could see just how oily the wrapper is. But instead, I must rely on artificial lighting. Still, I’m sure you get the idea.
13third

The char line is absolutely dead nuts perfect. And as I finish typing those words, the ash falls into my lap. Karma check please.

The strength finishes out at medium/full. It never quite reaches full body. And no nicotine. Huzzah!
The final smoke time turned out to be a tick above an hour.
The nub finishes cool and without any harshness.
I highly recommend snagging some. They have just been released.

PRICE POINT:
Remember around 5 years ago when $9-$10 were really expensive cigars? I do.
Now, if a new cigar isn’t double digit pricing, it ain’t with the program.
I applaud George Rico for keeping the price down to where it should be. I have absolutely no qualms about the MSRP price points. Worth every dime.
I’d love to have a couple boxes of these cigars in my humidor. Would be happy as a pig in slop. Or happy as a clam and we all know how happy clams are.

SUMMATION:
If you haven’t gotten the notion that I really dug this blend then you are in a coma.
It has everything going for it: Wallet friendly price, mucho flavorful, the perfect amount of strength, no nicotine, and a wonderful complexity and balance. Nice finish too.
And it takes the wide spectrum of flavors right down to the nub.
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In addition to the George Rico S.T.K. Miami ZULU ZULU Mas Paz Edition, I received samples of two new cigars:
Gran Reserva #5 by Gran Habano
Corojo No. 5 Maduro 2011 by Gran Habano
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