Gran Habano Persian King | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Panamanian and Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 60 “Tiger”
Body: Full
Price: $6.00 MSRP

3

1

2

Today we take a look at the Gran Habano Persian King.

BACKGROUND:
From the Gran Habano web site:
“The unbanded Persian King, available in both Tiger and Rajah, is a complex cigar with a creamy smooth finish. A unique blend of Honduras and Nicaraguan filler, finished with Nicaraguan Habano wrapper that features a Connecticut Wrapper foot.”

The blend is the result of the father and son team of George and Guillermo Rico.
If you go to the Gran Habano web site, you won’t find it. Unless…you click on Download the Catalog. AND…there it is.
The lovely Natasha Rico sent this cigar to me ages ago. I waited and waited and waited to review it. It should be ready.

DESCRIPTION:
This is a really solid stick and its size means that I’m in for a long morning.
The wrapper is quite nice. A light oily brown color. Invisible seams. Few veins..but a couple long ones to break things up. An impeccable triple cap. Slightly toothy to the touch.

And a 1” long shaggy foot. Gurkha gave Rico some crap about using the term “Shaggy.” Yeah, like Gurkha owns that word but Rico relented and gave it up.
But the foot isn’t so much shaggy as it is a nice Connie wrap with a huge pig tail holding it all together.
The cigar is unbanded.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Rajah 6 x 50 $4.98 MSRP
Tiger 6 x 60 $6.00 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft smells of sweetness, fruit, spice, hay, cream, leather, and coffee.
The clipped cap and foot smell of dark baking chocolate, coffee, earthiness, spice, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of creamy milk chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, sweetness, cedar, and licorice.

FIRST THIRD:
It feels like bad karma to clip that nice big pig tail off the foot. So I clip it clean for the photos. I feel like a moil clipping the end of the cigar off.

Good start: Very spicy with black and red pepper, creaminess, loads of chocolate, warm bread, nougat, herbal notes, caramel, and a very earthy tobacco component.

4

The Ricos have done it again. Taken a redwood tree and made it more than palatable. It is pumping out flavors like a corona.

Now remember, I’ve had this cigar waiting in my humidor for countless months. I figure Natasha probably wrote me off but I wanted to give a review that was honest and one can’t do that by only allowing a giant tree trunk a month of humidor time. I was only given one or two so there was no room for experimentation.

The draw is spot on. Filling the room and sliding between my ears like a greased pig.

My parents corrupted this little Jewish boy when I was young. Every Sunday, we had bacon with breakfast. For shame. For shame. And then off I went to religious school…which I hate. I had to go to synagogue on Saturday; our day of Sabbath.
The Gran Habano Persian King becomes very toasty. Like rye bread toasted with melted butter. You ever had real Jewish rye? I don’t mean the crap you buy at the chain market, but really dense rye bread with a to-die-for crust.

I’m going to take the time it will take to review this cigar to learn another language. Maybe Spanish? This log is so fully packed it is moving at a glacial pace. It is too big to hold between my lips and I refuse to chomp. It took a long time to break that habit.

The char line is dead nuts perfect. I’ve burned through the 1” of Connie shaggy end and it only took 15 minutes. At that rate, this should be only a 90 minute cigar. I can handle that.
I’ve drudged up another old rock n roll warhorse story that loyal readers have read several times but as I have added a lot of new followers since last posting it…why not?

5

A sip of water and flavors explode: Creaminess, coffee, chocolate, spice, sweetness, warm bread, and caramel. The other flavors have dissipated were only an opening night tease. Like an exciting movie trailer that shows the best parts of the movie….

I’m guessing that the Gran Habano Persian King has given me a portent of things to come about near the halfway point. In order to keep the cigar interesting, I must slow down and not be intimidated by its size and try to gulp it down.
You’re wishing I was the type of reviewer that smoked a couple cigars, took notes, and then wrote a complete review the next day….instead of me doing it live and in living color.

The Gran Habano Persian King is a surprisingly very pleasant smoke. The strength is solid medium body. It just cruises along with all those nice flavors intact. Especially the spiciness. I love that. But you knew that already.
A reader sent me a couple of the new Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess. A 5 pack is $75. Whoa Nelly!

So I won’t be reviewing them anytime soon. Ridiculous. $14.50 per cigar. That’s what I paid for my tux rental at my high school prom. Of course, that was in the year 1066. That’s right. We had our prom at the Battle of Hastings.
I’m going to stop writing now and come back at the second third.

SECOND THIRD:
The flavor profile has flattened out. Gone are the bright and sunny flavors. In their place is an ordinary yard ‘gar. I really had my fingers crossed on this stick that it would be a real find and I could debut it to the world. Alas…

I whip up some coffee to see if I can jump start the meandering flavor profile.
That was smart. Now the cigar tastes like….coffee.

6third

I’m getting little hairline cracks in the wrapper but all near the char line so I shall not panic. Nor draw my sword.

Did you know that the word “Vagina” has two meanings?
1. The muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus in women and most female mammals. (Most?)
2. Any sheath-like structure, especially a sheath formed around a stem by the base of a leaf.
I’m here to educate as well as to inform.

Flavors are rising from the grave: Creaminess, coffee (Natch), toasty, nutty, warm bread, the spice is gone, earthiness, and vanilla bean.
I’ll take what I can get as this is a near landmark length review.

7

I should finish in about another 30,000 words. Go snag some No-Doz.
Despite the lack of real appeal, the char line is just brilliant. Kudos for that Señor Rico.

HALFWAY POINT:
Well, I was wrong. The flavor profile has receded back into its shell.
Virtually nothing left. Real bummer. This ain’t going to make the Ricos very happy with me but my first loyalty is to my thousands of readers. I got a wonderful email from a reader yesterday:
“Kohnhed,

“I love the reviews.. Straight forward with no ass kissing of cigar companies. My dad came to visit and I was like; “You have to check this blog.”
“Great minds think alike..

“I smoked the Room 101 payback and the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli.. It’s seems I should look at your reviews while at the B&M. The General Manager at Hill Cigar Co said he uses you reviews to guide people.”

“Tim Beaugard
St Louis”

Now that warms the cockles of my heart. And as you know, I have big cockles.

The wrapper on the Gran Habano Persian King is beginning to have serious wrapper issues. Cracks everywhere. I’m not sure it will make it to the end.
For that matter, neither do I think I will make it to the end if this blend doesn’t perk up and leave the auspices of ordinary yard ‘gar.

8half

I guess this is good-bye George and Natasha Rico. You’ve been so kind to me. And now I thrust a dagger into your kind hearts.

I’m going to hold off dumping the cigar into the ashtray until I get to the last third. If nothing has happened by then, then:
“You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello.
Hey-la, hey-ba-hello-ah
Hey-la, hey-ba-hello-ah (cha uh-cha uh-cha)
Hey-la, hey-ba-hello-ah (whoo-oo)”

That lyric should have been my review.

I’m going to stop digging up cigars from my humidor and just settle in until some reviewable cigars come my way. Nothing hurts more than to disrespect some blender’s work. It does not make me happy. And it has nothing to do with whether they gave me samples or are a sponsor. With me, they get what they get. A truthful man.

I can’t begin to count the number of big manufacturers that dumped me faster than a hot potato because I gave their beloved new blend a so so review. Torano is the worst offender. Yet if you go to their web site and click on “Gallery,” you will see 17 photos that I took. They refuse to take them down even though they are copyrighted. Bastardos! But then, they are the Queens of the $6 cigar.

Some flavor begins to bloom. Not much. I can’t go on. It will take me nearly an hour to finish.

SUMMATION:
The cigar can be had for around $5.00. If you need some stash to give to your moocher friends, then this is the cigar. It is merely a knock around cigar. Clearly, George didn’t put his heart and soul into this blend. It is merely a binky to put in your mouth while doing the gardening. If it falls into the mulch, brush it off and put it back in your mouth.

And now for something completely different:
A little rock n roll…1975.

I know a lot of you tire of my ex rock god stories. But they are fun for me to re-live. And my musician readers can relate.
Normally, Curved Air headlined those big arenas in England and Europe; but on occasion we supported a world class band; like Jethro Tull.

Let me say this: Ian Anderson is a tool. Like Frank Zappa, he never did drugs, did not approve of drugs, did not allow his band mates to use drugs and looked down his nose on anyone that used drugs. And by drugs, I am talking about the Hippie drugs: weed and hashish. In Europe, weed was almost never seen because of the climate and the difficulty to smuggle.
Meanwhile, hash had more bang for the buck in terms of smuggling, and worth more.

Amsterdam was always our first stop of a 6-8 week tour on the Continent. We stocked up on hash and weed. And damn near smoked it all on the way back to the hotel. LOL.

Somewhere in Europe, we hooked up with Jethro Tull for 4 gigs. It was just the two of us on the bill.

We met the band and all was going well. We jammed with them for hours on end prior to sound checks. It was a lot of fun. Especially, since Tull was kind of jazzy because of Anderson’s flute and our violinist and our keys player. All classically trained. Things got wild. Anderson loved us because of our musicianship. I had a great time trading riffs with their bassist, Jeffrey Hammond. I showed him how to play like Stanley Clarke and he showed me Jethro Tull riffs.
And then it became a dark and stormy night.

Each night, the band, except for Anderson, would hunker down in Curved Air’s dressing room; prior to the concert, and smoke some dope with us. Our band leader, Darryl the violinist, never did drugs either, but had an enlightened view of things. He drank like a fish and enjoyed us as we got our goof on.

On the third night, we could hear Anderson SCREAMING for his band mates. The guys made a quick exit through a second door just as Anderson entered our dressing room. He smelled the pot and saw us smoking da’ herb mon. He was livid and infuriated.

He said, “I know my guys were in here smoking dope with you. Where did they go?” His face was beet red…and breathing hard.
We just shook our heads and hunched our shoulders in response…with a stoner’s blank expression of “I don’t know, dude.”
Off he went.

He never found them smoking. They had clustered somewhere else and completely denied smoking dope when Ian Anderson found them. This really put me off on Anderson. It wasn’t like they were shooting heroin.

The next night, the boys were back in town; or rather, back in our dressing room having a good time. We laughed like idiots for the longest time and then Anderson walked in and caught them red handed.

He screamed like a banshee. Now here were some of the most famous rock n roll guys in the world, at the time, and they cowered under the idiocy of their band leader.

They all retreated to their own dressing room and then Anderson started in on us.

Before he got too far, all five of us gave him the finger and told him to fuck off. Spittle was coming from his mouth and this stopped his tirade dead in the water. He stared at us for a moment and turned heels and left.

He didn’t allow us a sound check that night. Bastardo!

And we were never allowed to tour with them again. Methinks a whole lot of bands never toured with Jethro Tull twice.

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1 reply

  1. That story gives new meaning to the title “Thick as a Brick” thanks Phil.