Last month I received some samples of the Gran Habano Persian King for review. I recall speaking to George Rico, owner of Gran Habano, at last years IPCPR about this unique cigar. He explained there were two blends of this cigar; the original, which was released over 8 years ago and a maduro which was announced at the 2016 IPCPR.
Both are Nicaraguan puros but the maduro uses a Sun Grown wrapper. For this review I will be talking about the original which has a blend simply described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaragua
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua
The cigar is available in 2 vitolas and comes packaged in 50-count boxes:
- Rajah – 6 x 50 (MSRP $5.72)
- Tiger – 6 x 60 (MSRP $6.80)
Before I get deeper into the review, I have to say when I hear the name Persian King I think of Gurkha Cigars, so I investigated and found this interesting article about the Persian King cigar published Christmas Day 2010 by a website foamcage.com. The author wrote in that article:
“…they come with an interesting back story, at least as it has been spread by word of mouth and online.
A while back Gran Habano came out with an unbanded, shaggy foot cigar they called the Gran Habano Shaggy. That didn’t go over too well with the folks at Gurkha, who have their own cigar named the Shaggy. So Gran Habano decided to change the name of the cigar to the Chaggy. That didn’t pass muster with the legal folks at Gurkha, either.
Gran Habano decided that the best way to fix the situation while also generating a bit of buzz was to cover the shaggy foot of their cigar with another wrapper leaf and re-release them with the name ‘Persian King’ in a nod to Gurkha’s owner, Kaizad Hansotia. Read into that nod whatever kind of intent you will, of course.”
Fake News? I don’t know. I will let George Rico comment on that. Meanwhile let’s talk about the cigar. For this review I sampled the Gran Habano Persian King Rajah.
To start with, the Persian King is a uniquely constructed cigar with it closed and twisted foot using a leaf different and lighter in color than the wrapper itself. Remember the twisted end is the foot not the cap! This is a naked cigar also, meaning it has no identifying band on it. The medium tan wrapper is a little rugged with some noticeable vein and a gentle sheen to it in the light. It is finished with a well applied triple cap. Solid in the hand, there were no soft spots identified along the barrel.
I proceeded to properly slice the cap, just above the first line of the cap and rolled it about gently puffing on it. I can’t talk about the draw because the foot was closed but the flavors I picked up were a delightful fruit and growing peppery spice.
Well, I guess it is time to fire it up and take the King on a smokey journey.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial peppery nasal sting to start
- Exotic herbal and spice notes rest behind the pepper
- Spice continues as the pepper fades into a natural tobacco sweetness
- The ash is light grey once it passes the footer cover and has a mild flake to it
- Coffee and light citrus enter near end of the first third
- Smoke is smooth and creamy in texture
- The draw is perfect
- A sweet bread aroma wafts from the foot
- Ash fell after first third with a well centered and a slightly protruding burn cone
- Wrapper oils are more noticeable at this stage
- The burn line is crisp and even
- The spice increases moving through the second third
- Lingering coffee notes entice the palate
- Flavors have pretty much blended through the final, down to the cool nub
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Gran Habano Persian King was an extremely well-behaved, solidly constructed, cigar. It had some unique spice and herbal flavors at the start that settled into a sweet undertone with nuances of coffee, citrus and bread. With a smooth and creamy smoke this was a pleasure to smoke and enjoy in the mid-afternoon. It was medium in strength with a full volume of smoke over an extended smoking time. At the price of this cigar, and they can be found for less on-line, this is a easy on the wallet enjoyable smoke.