Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cigar Review: Saint Luis Rey Regios

             I will be honest, I read Cigar Aficionado every time it comes out at my local shop.  I enjoy the articles and have always used it as a guide to check out new cigars.  I know some folks scoff at the ratings, but everyone is different, and I appreciate subjectivity and seeing what is hot out there.  The Saint Luis Rey Regios scored a 94 this year, and that just so happened to coincide with a good deal I saw on a box at my friendly neighborhood local LCDH.  I decided to jump, figuring if I did not like them, I could pass them on.  In reality, I let them sit for a few months, then finally cracked the box and was pleasantly surprised.  Tuna had highly recommended the brand to me on several occasions, other then his occasional rant about good and bad boxes of the Double Corona.  The Regios is a Hermosos No. 4, which is really a robusto size to most of us, and I account for it in that regard.  The brand was started in the 50's by a couple British chaps, and apparently was a favorite of Old Blue Eyes himself.  They are very small production, noted for a oily darker wrapper, and a bit fuller body.

Dry Draw: Damp, woody, with red pepper settling on the lips

First Third: The body was rather impressive at first, with cedar taking hold of the nose, and creating a dry overall woody appeal.  Undertones of cocoa, rich nuts, and a touch of pepper were hiding in the finish and draw, complimenting the flavor profile.  At times, the draw would get creamy, while the retro banged out hits like John Lennon.

Second Third: The draw became a bit more balanced, with less body, and more flavor.  The nose still had the cedar, but it became much smoother, and picked up the nut flavors, similar to walnut.  The cocoa flavors begin to balance with the body as well, and the Regios really becomes a treat.  Some cigars tend to have one note dominate, while others sit in the background.  The Regios had several fighting for my attention.  Beneath it all, smooth cream awaits to enter the mix.

Final Third: The cream starts to hit the nose, while the cedar left, and the hints of red pepper in the retro became faint.  The creamy texture began to arrive, with a touch of clove, and vegetal flavors as well.  The clove really began to blossom as I neared the nub.  Sweet cocoa floats in and out, and at times may remind me of a sugary coffee drink as well.  The finale is rather delicate in comparison to the first third in terms of body on the draw, but the retro stayed true.

Construction: No complaints

Final Thoughts: What can I say, the Regios came out of nowhere for me and is a killer change of pace cigar that is very unique.  I think it has body that will attract some, and may keep others away.  I am so glad I only gave a few of these away.  The rest will continue to nap for a long time.  In my opinion, the Regios is an after dinner cigar, better with a spicier meal then a rich meal like a Montecristo.  I paired it with a wee bit of Knob Creek, and the bourbon complimented the cigar perfectly as I sipped sparingly.  Granted, there is no telling if the CA rating was legitimate, as many may argue one way or another, but this box is excellent, and I would have no problem recommending the Saint Luis Rey Regios to any Habanos or Nicaraguan smoker really.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cigar Review: Cohiba Maduro 5 Mágicos

Catfish is possibly going to kill me for reviewing the Cohiba Maduro 5, but I believe it is important to review because if the maduro for Habanos. They don't make a lot of maduros, just making a maduro regional this year, so the maduros they have are very limited in nature. The correctly placed it under the Cohiba umbrella, thus elevating the Habano to a whole new level and increasing cost as well. I am not the biggest maduro guy out there, I think a more natural or Colorado wrapper are better, but when done correctly there can be a terrific flavor profile delivered. The Cohiba Maduro 5 is fairly new to the market, if you look at the Habanos portfolio overall, and it was introduced in 2007. There are only three vitola offerings in the line, and today I look at the middle size, the Cohiba Maduro 5Mágicos.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cigar Review: Por Larrañaga Legendarios Edición Regional España 2012

             Recently I had a rather divine experience with the Por Larrañaga Encantos, which kind of threw me for a loop.  Every Por Larrañaga I had smoked prior did not settle well with me.  However, the Encantos got me intrigued on the Regional releases, and I had received a Legendarios as a gift with it from my good friend Guy in France. The Legendarios is much bigger, a double robusto that looks larger then a 50 ring gauge. The Spanish market released the size in 2012 in dress boxes of 10.  Most of them seem to have sold around $250ish on the world wide web, but I cannot accurately speak of pricing.  I can say that the Legendarios has a reputation as being one of the finer releases.

Dry Draw: Very light, touch of honey, but not much

First Third: Sweet tea came to mind, with a touch of earth.  The finish was very sharp, and had a distinct bite to it.  I could not put my finger on it, but it was very unique, and what sets Por Larrañaga apart as a brand to me.  At times I got floral notes, others citrus peel.  The flavor is rich in nature, but not along the lines of cocoa of coffee.  The general body was strong at first, but subsided quickly, and settled into a sharp earth bite that did not hit until post exhale on the finish. It grew slowly with ligero hints as the base.

Second Third: The flavor was all post draw by now, with the draw being rather mild, then what seemed like a Harley of flavor exploded on the tongue.  Tons of musk hit the nose, as well as the initial honey notes. The richness picked up on the draw, more rounded in terms of balance, while the sharp earth gained some pepper qualities and hinted at clove.  Cream, vanilla, and sugar all entered the mix about the halfway point, but the earth was still blasting the tongue.  The midpoint had tons of flavor, and I could see why this cigar is applauded among collectors.  The flavor just seems to climb up the tongue, roll back down it, and then explode on the finish for quite some time.

Final Third: The draw switched to a more rounded creamy texture on the draw, and the finish was incredibly long.  I began to feel the ligero notes in my noggin, and it felt like the ligero was dripping down into my throat.  The floral notes came back, more pronounced then before, as well as the clove flavors.  The nose had this sweet bell pepper things going on that just added to the overall ridiculousness of complexity.  Speaking of ridiculous changes, ginger hit the draw and the earth finally subsided a bit and let the rest of the flavors come through.

Construction: The draw was a little less then I prefer, which was a tad disappointing, but not a huge deal.

Final Thoughts: Holy shitballs Batman, the Por Larrañaga Legendarios is arguably one of the most complex Cuban Cigars I can remember smoking to date.  This is a cigar that is so good, you have to age it.  I cannot imagine what would happen if you let this sit for a good 6-7 years.  The flavor profile is a bit strong for me, so much so that I think even Logan may like it.  Any fan of the brand should seek this out, regardless of price, as the Legendarios is a special occasion cigar that should be aged and enjoyed accordingly.  I have to give a great thanks to Guy for the gift, this was one amazing cigar to review and smoke.  I want to say it lasted well over two and a half hours.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cigar Review: Vegueros Entretiempos (SUE MA-14)

In the late 1990's, Habanos S.A. announced four new brands to the market. It was the end of the Cigar Boom and Habanos S.A. was hot. A lot of companies out of the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua earned a bad reputation for turning around cigars too fast, and while the same could be said about Habanos S.A., there was still some mystique to cigars coming from the island of Cuba. It was during this period that Habanos S.A. announced four new brands, and while they were released in different years, the release dates were fairly close in hand. One of the brands was Vegueros. The line mimicked in some ways the vitolas being released in the Trinidad and Cohiba brands, but it was a brand being made in the tobacco growing region of Pinar del Rio, and not in the capital of Habana. The brand continued on until 2012 when it was announced that the brand would quite literally be discontinued. The brand had crumbled from four offerings to two since 2010, and was truly limping on the way Diplomaticos currently is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cigar Review: Quai D'Orsay Coronas Claro 2013

I dedicate this review to Tuna and his palate of glory. Say hello to my little friend, the Quai D’Orsay Coronas Claro. A brand blended specifically for the French market, and refined for the most discerning palate. They only make two vitolas, the Imperiales in the Churchill vitola, and the Coronas Claro in the traditional Cuban corona sizing of 5.5x42 ring gauge.