I was looking forward to this cigar. It’s a limited edition cigar from George Rico and Gran Habano under the STK series. Only a thousand boxes made. For whatever reason, it just didn’t do much at all for me, although I enjoyed the second half much more than the first. I’m not the guy who believes the stronger the better cigar. I didn’t taste the complexity that I was looking for.
Construction – 12 out of 15
Solidly rolled, cuts nicely, no tobacco flecks, some raised veins. Habano/Corojo hybrid wrapper atop a mix of Nicaraguan binder tobaccos and an unknown long-leaf filler blend.
Band – 4 out of 5
The GAR label is a little garish, but how can you not like something called Opium. Make sure you save the Opium label to put on a salt shaker. Everything tastes better with Opium.
First Puff – 7 out of 10
Pleasant but nothing to write home about. It didn’t strike me as particularly good or bad. For a Nicaraguan wrapper and binder, I was surprised at how mild the initial puff was. These cigars were released in 2011 and there could have been some strength loss from ageing, but it shouldn’t have been this much of a loss.
Draw – 12 out of 15
The draw is just a little tight, but got easier as it progressed.
Flavor – 15 out of 20
The flavor is good, but doesn’t get you excited. It had some coffee and cream flavors (not sure if some of the flavor was from some coffee I had about an hour before, but no cream in my coffee), but in the second half it got a little stronger, a little more complex.
Aroma – 10 out of 10
Ash/Burn – 8 out of 10
It generally burned evenly, some canoeing towards the end as the burn tried to follow the raised veins. A nice salt and pepper ash that stays on the cigar.
Value – 10 out of 15
At $7 a stick, I’ve had a lot more enjoyable cigars, but it’s still good.
Strength: Light to Medium
Drink: For this one I’d try a mixed drink such as a Margarita or Gin and Tonic. Maybe even some Absinthe to go with the Opium.
Food: Appetizers would work with this cigar.
You may also want to check out the GAR Opium review done by my son.