This weeks guest review comes courtesy of our friend Rich Meade
from the Stogie Review Fan Forums.
G.A.R. by George A. Rico
This cigar is a new release from George Rico, the man behind Habano Cigars and the highly rated 3 Siglos. G.A.R is the first in Rico’s personal line of cigars. Not much information is available online about this stick, mostly wordy hype. The cigar is marketed as full bodied, and is reportedly Rico’s first box pressed stick.
On to the review!
Wrapper: Corojo (Ecuador)
Binder: Connecticut (Ecuador)
Size: Corona Gorda (box pressed 6×46)
Price: $7.50 (I paid $8.35 in store)
Drinking: Sweet Tea and water
The GAR is a deep rich brown with a slight tint of red. It has a very silky slick feel to the wrapper with a couple veins hiding on the back side. The cap looks like its a triple, but a poorly done triple, but it is smooth and round. Its evenly packed and has what I would consider the standard box press spring to it. The cigars band is located at the foot, and really grabs your attention in the Humidor. Its got a kind of military style stencil lettering, and the what I think is the Gran Habanos crest on the back in black. I have to say its unconventional, and some may call it cheap, but I think with all the brands out there, anything that makes you stand out is a good thing. The cigars come in a rounded off (square with round corners) box, that is painted white with the same type of lettering, again, another attention grabber.
The wrapper has a very very light semi-sweet cedar smell, and the foot has a very floral aroma with hints of cumin. The cold draw is nice and free, and give a very aromatic cedar flavor, again with hints of cumin. The first draw gives a ton of flavorful smoke, with the sweet taste of maple. There are some subtle floral notes, and through the sinuses is a little spicy and has some hints of cedar. The finish lingers slightly with a nice subtle spice on the back of the tongue and throat. This stick really is pumping out the smoke with rolls of curls coming from the head and foot while resting. It has a nice “cigar shop” aroma, sweet and potent.
The stick has settled into a smooth and creamy character. The flavors are in the medium-full range, and are still sweet, and have taken on a more toffee/caramel tone. There are still some subtle floral hints which give it a more rounded character. The finish is still slightly spicy, and through the nose gets easier and gives ever so subtle notes of pears and what I would call ginger. The ash isn’t particularly strong, which is the norm with a box press, but when it falls it consistently leaves a sharp peak of what is most definitely the ligero. The strength isn’t really apparent yet, to this point I would place this firmly in the medium body range.
The majority of the 2nd 3rd was the same as the first. Creamy and smooth, with toffee and floral flavors. Near the end tho things change up a bit. The sweetness has lessened and the toffee is accented by cedar and leather. The floral notes through the sinuses are still around, and the spice on the finish is still hanging around. For the most part the burn has been spectacular, slow and razor sharp, but right as the flavors change one side of the stick decides it doesn’t want to burn. One quick touch up and everything is back on track. The strength is starting to make its presence known, by giving a little tickle in the stomach and a euphoric head swim.
Last bit (2hr):
The last 2 inches or so, has gotten pretty squishy and a little flame retardant. Having to relight twice really killed the remaining flavors, which incidentally moved more into the full spectrum, with the dominating flavors being leather and wood. The spice remained firm on the finish, and no real changes to the nose. This last bit also had a bit of flaking of the ash, which was only slightly annoying. I set it down as it went out for the 3rd time at around an inch.
The G.A.R. was an enjoyable smoke. The nice sweet flavors are a nice change of pace for me, and the slow burn really made me feel like I got the most bang for my buck. On an a both positive and negative note, this stick really pumps out the smoke. Each pull gives you a huge mouth full, and even sitting in the ashtray this thing chugs away like a steam engine! I will go out on a limb say that smoking one of these alone in your shop’s lounge will put a nice thick layer of fog for others to stumble through. The strength of this stick is a little deceptive. The amount of flavors and the smooth creaminess of the smoke really doesn’t give you the impression that this is a powerhouse. But don’t let that fool you! This is not a smoke I recommend having in the morning nor on an empty stomach. Some hardened vets should be able to handle this badboy, but beginners beware! It does have readily readable flavors that beginners and experts can enjoy, and can hold its own being the 3rd or even 4th stick of the day. I do think with some time in the humi, these will develop even more, calming down the powerful nicotine kick, and developing the flavors even more.
George A. Rico has given us a nice debut stick, that in my mind lives up to the hype. I look forward to seeing what else Mr. Rico has in the works.
Liked It: yes….I did.
Buy It again: Yep!
Recommend it: Absolutely, slow and steady, and great return on the investment.