While the Persian Kings aren’t listed on the Gran Habano website, they do exist, and 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.
A 6″ x 50 ring gauge cigar, three of the Rajahs were picked up at Blew Smoke Premium Cigars in Gilbert, AZ at the suggestion of the store’s owner, Dean DiStasio. The cigar has a sticker price of $4.60, and with state and local taxes came out to $5.22. The final price will vary at your local tobacconist, of course. The Persian King is also available in a 6″ x 60 ring gauge vitola named the ‘Tiger.’
The cigars are made in Honduras using a Nicaraguan wrapper and Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. No confirmed information seems to exist on the binder, but the guess is likely Nicaraguan or Honduran.
The cigar shows a consistent flavor profile of wheat cracker notes, though it’s not terribly strong. There is the occasional touch of sweetness that creeps out, as well as some alder wood notes. The third cigar smoked for this review seemed to have a much fuller body than the other two, giving it a medium-plus body profile and falling more in line with the expectations of a primarily Nicaraguan cigar.
The Persian King gave left a hint of dry mouth at the end of the smoke, but showed absolutely no harshness or bitterness at any point.
Technically it offered a consistently good draw and yielded plenty of smoke. It managed to stay lit after being left alone a few times, and never seemed to present a weak point either technically or in flavor.
If anything, the phrase that best describes the Persian King is ‘a very pleasing smoke,’ something that was noted every time the cigar was smoked. This cigar isn’t so much about earning points as it is about delivering a very enjoyable cigar at a reasonable price. But if push comes to shove and points are necessary, it’s an 88-89 point cigar when taken on its own, and a 92-93 when factoring price and its history.
GIven the price, performance and interesting story behind these cigars, it’s a no-brainer to recommend them. If your local retailer is carrying them, definitely pick some up.
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