Wednesday, March 31, 2010

El Rey de los Habanos

It's been a long, cold winter free from anything of note, cigar-wise. So here's a review of a stick that's been sitting in my humidor of several months now . . the El Rey de los Habanos, Inc. in the torpedo size.

This cigar hails from Don Pepin Garcia's own Miami factory (of the same name). Here are the specs:

Contents: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Corojo Rosado Claro
Size: Torpedo 6 1/8 X 52
Body: Medium
Acquired From: Outlaw Cigar Co.
Price: $7.00 a single
Smoke Time: 1.75 hours

A fine looking, well made cigar, it smelled sweet and spicy. The wrapper is a beautiful rosy-brown. The cigar is tight and fully packed with no lumpiness. A quick clip of the head found the draw a bit tight; often typical of a torpedo. The cold draw flavors were sweet, spicy and a bit peppery tasting. We're off to a good start!

First Third
After firing it up, the first puffs were mild and earthy with none of the expected spiciness. Where was that characteristic Pepin pepper? No matter, the flavors were butter-creamy smooth with notes of mild cinnamon up front. The draw was still a bit tight throughout, but the body was easily in the mild-medium range. The ash was firm but a bit flakey and the ambient smoke had a pleasant, earthy aroma.

Second Third
The flavors picked up a bit with a hint of citrus coming ahead of the rich tobacco taste. As I moved through the second third, coffee flavors began to settle in along with the mild citrus. Body remained in the mild-medium range. Only one minor burn correction was needed in this third.

Final Third
The citrus flavor was growing and getting somewhat sour in this last third, but not unpleasantly so. Removal of the band took some of the wrapper leaf with it (a pet peeve of mine) but it didn't result in an unraveled leaf. The draw remained a bit tight so I clipped a little more off the head, with no effect. The body moved into the medium range and although there was now bitterness in the flavor it was not objectionable. Even by the end of this third the cigar never went "bad," there was just not much "good" left.

I'm not a fan of citrus flavors in cigars, so I was not thrilled with this smoke. That's just me. I was a little disappointed that there was none of that Pepin "kick" to this stick. There's really nothing wrong with it, just not anything really great with it for me.

Would I smoke this cigar again? No
Would I recommend this cigar? Sure, if you like mild flavored, citrusy cigars.


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