Saint Luis Rey Serie A

11-18-2013

Saint Luis Rey Serie A (5.6 x 46)

Wrapper: Cuban

Binder: Cuban

Filler: Cuban

Box Code: RET MAY13

The Serie A is one of three vitolas currently in production for the Saint Luis Rey marca. This size has been in the lineup for over 60 years of the 80 year history of the brand.

The brand was created in 1938 and is said to have taken its name from the San Luis region of Vuelta Abajo. It is said that the San Luis region grows some of the best tobacco of Vuelta Abajo, making it the best, or the “king of San Luis.”

For being the “king,” the brand has a fairly small market share and is considered by Habanos SA as a “local brand.”

This particular example is fairly young, with a box code from may of 2013, only six months before the review. It has a very slight box press to it, like many Cuban cigars. This type of box pressing is a “true” box press” that is created by the cigar box itself and the pressure of packing the cigars into it, not by an actual press at the cigar factory. The band is a very classic looking gold red and white that sits on top of a medium tan wrapper. There are almost no veins to speak of and the wrapper has an impression of being frail and thin.

DSCN1089

The cigar feels like it has consistent bunching from head to foot though there is a small crack in the wrapper that shows some promise of trouble. The cigar smells young, meaning that there are still strong aromas of earth or barnyard. The cap looks flat on the top and when moistened before the cut it has a bit of a spice and a touch of a sour note. After a clip with a double guillotine there is a draw that is a bit firm but sassafras notes come through with some spice to back it up.

Light with the standard soft flame.

The first few puffs are stronger than expected. The initial puffs have a soft sweetness that is earthy and has a hint at licorice. There is a spice that many Cuban cigars do not have. This spice comes through in the retro-hale as a gentle version of “the burn.” There is the Cuban sharp earth note that defines the country of origin. The first impression is still that of a young cigar. The finish early still has the fermentation feel to it. And the burn through the nose is out of balance with the rest of the cigar. With time this will probably age out.

As the cigar settles in the flavors calm some. There is a velvet texture to the smoke that hangs on until the finish where it turns first to a soft spice then a touch of harsh youth on the back of the palate for a split second. Through the nose there is a wood note and the sharp earth again and “the burn” has settled down quite a bit.

The beginning of the middle third the flavors begin to develop more. The sharp earth flavors move more the initial flavors with a licorice picking up. Cedar forms a base for all the flavors and the soft spice still comes on in the finish with that hint at youthful harsh. But by the mid point there also seems to be a honey like sweetness to it all. There are a series of minor burn issues through this middle third. The draw also becomes more difficult, not impossible to smoke, but distracting. The end of the middle third is where the previously mentioned crack in the wrapper is located. Surprisingly, it causes no problems.

The final third brings on more soft spice. It turns to a an almost sweet cinnamon. The earth ans cedar work quite nicely with the spice. The depth of flavor is quite nice. The body of the cigar is on the fuller end of the Cuban standards of strength. The draw still detracts from everything.

The cigar ends much like this. No more changes in flavor.

Two things will help this cigar:

  1. the draw issues. It was very distracting. Abetter draw would make it better overall

  2. The note of harsh needs to improve.

Both of these things will probably be fixed with a few years of age.

Burn to the nub

Time: 2 hours 5minutes.

burn: 8
draw: 7
taste: 9
aftertaste: 10
construction: 8
balance: 8
feel: 9

Overall: 8.4

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~ by kuzi16 on November 18, 2013.

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