Blind Cigar Review: George Rico | S.T.K. Miami Barracuda Limited Edition Maduro 2014

We received such great feedback from readers and the participants of our inaugural series of collaboration reviews that it was a no brainer that we would continue with another round. In this second round of collaboration reviews, you will see some of the participants from the first round returning, as well as some new participants. For new readers who are unfamiliar with our previous collaboration reviews, we have invited cigar reviewers from other cigar review sites, podcasts, blogs, etc. to join the Blind Man’s Puff staff in doing blind reviews using our format. Toasted footThis collaboration review is with a new participant, from Toasted Foot., along with his partner Willy, have a great site which consists of reviews, news and a great feature called “What’s in Your Humidor” which they describe as “featuring a peek inside of the humidors of the manufacturers, bloggers, shop employees and personalities that make the cigar world what it is”. We highly recommend that you check out their site.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

Vital Stats:

Vitola:
Length: 5.6″
Ring Gauge: 46
Country of Origin: United States
Wrapper:
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory:
Blender: George A. Rico
Number of reviewers: 5—– () (shuckins) (Djangos) (jliu) (SosaCub4Life)
Price: $7.50
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: December
Contributed by: George Rico Cigars

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 87

“Rustic, blotchy, natural brown with a fine sandpaper feel. Well packed cigar with no soft spots. Nicely adhered triple cap and a pigtail flare.” – (jliu)

Aroma: 88

“Has an oak and natural tobacco aroma to the wrapper. Off the unlit foot, there is a mix of oak, hay and dry natural tobacco. On the cold draw, which was quite easy, natural tobacco, hay and oak are noticeable.” – ()

First Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The first third of begins with a very nutty burst of flavor that quickly subsides. Some herbal spice begins after the initial nutty burst. The retrohale is the high point of the first third with a pleasing mix of spice and black pepper. As the cigar continues on, there are cedar and redwood notes that join nuts, spice and natural tobacco flavors.” – ()

“The start has been very nice. A good balance of spice and creamy. There is no one overpowering taste, they all blend together well to make a nice well balanced and interesting start.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Second Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The second third of the cigar sees the strength go from medium to mild. Pepper begins to give way to flavors of grass, cedar and mild herbal spice. On the retrohale, there is a good deal of spice. This is the most enjoyable part of the cigar.” – ()

“As we get into the middle third, the flavors have improved significantly. There is definite tobacco, leather and now a cedar like quality as well. There are some rich coffee undertones. The pepper is now present in each draw and this adds more complexity that this was lacking in the initial third. No issues with the burn or draw at all. The smoke production remains excellent.” – (Djangos)

Final Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“More pepper started showing up the closer to the end it got and provided a nice little kick to the cigar. The leather and coffee mix stayed around to keep the heat at bay. The tobacco kept its cedar flavor, although it remained dry tasting until the very end.” – (shuckins)

“Last third core flavors are everything the first and second third was (cream, roasted nuts, cedar, bread, black pepper). The only difference is the creaminess is considerably amped up. Mouth feel of a 2% milk, but not quite a whole milk.” – (jliu)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 94

“No issues with the draw through the entirety of the cigar.” – (Djangos)

Burn: 89

“The burn line got off quite a bit during the middle and has corrected itself some towards the end. I never had to do any touch ups or relights.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Construction: 88

“Well rolled and very solid, but the cap was a little sloppy.” – (shuckins)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 89

“This was not a bad cigar, but neither was it a great one. This is not one of those cigars that I will seek out in the future (once Aaron tells me what it was), and it certainly won’t make an appearance as a regular fixture in my humidor. There is a very definite new boutique aspect to the construction, flavor and burn to this cigar. If I had to guess, I’d assume it’s a new Navarre, because this cigar has characteristics that I would compare with the French tobacco in that one.” – ()

“This cigar was a good example of not judging by the wrapper, because when I first looked at it, my expectations were low. I am proud to have been proven wrong and would happily smoke another one.” – (shuckins)

“Overall, the cigar was quite good once it hit the middle third and onwards. The initial third suffered from a lack of flavors and complexity. However, once the flavors of cedar and coffee appeared, as well as the pepper in the middle third made this a more enjoyable cigar. I would like to try another one before I decide on this one.” – (Djangos)

“Overall, this was a very good cigar. I enjoyed the earthy and creamy notes of roasted nuts, bread, cedar and black pepper quite a bit. These flavors intermingled very well together. There was a lack of complexity and changes, but being a 60 minute smoke or so, this doesn’t bother me that much.” – (jliu)

“When this cigar first started, I had some high hopes, but then it just seemed to stay the same and the flavors kind of faded. The longer I smoked it, the more I disliked it. If I would have quit after the first third I would have given it a much higher score.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 63

  • Appearance 87% 87%
  • Aroma 88% 88%
  • First Third 91% 91%
  • Second Third 90% 90%
  • Final Third 88% 88%
  • Draw 94% 94%
  • Burn 89% 89%
  • Construction 88% 88%
  • Overall Experience 89% 89%

Total Score - Good

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To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

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