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Saint Luis Rey Cigars Taste Test

Saint Luis Rey Petit Corona
Reviewed by Mat Nicholls

Well, sat here smoking this cigar 2nd one in 24hrs I felt compelled to jot a few thoughts onto paper/pc as it were. I am sat currently at a pavement bar in the centre of Rome, having just finished a delightful meal of linguini, and sipping away at my Havana Club Mojito using 7 year old rum I am in a perfect position to start this wonderful cigar.

Pre-burn observations include the wonderful maduro and excellent quality of this cigar. Toasting the foot the familiar coco and cedar aromas waft towards me and blend with the night air. Tentatively I draw lightly to allow the flame to catch, whilst being careful not to allow it to touch the cigar.

The initial draw is perfect, a gentle pull and a melange of spice cedar leather and coffee notes descend on the palette. This really is a pleasure, I have smoked many of these particular stogies and would surmise that the quality of the construction and the draw quality rarely cease to impress. I am such a fan of the oily maduro, as it burns you can detect faint crackles as the oil vaporises and leaves the most pleasant aroma in the air.

After the initial draw and about a third of the way in, the wonderful slate grey ash has built to a point where a good tap will be needed, supping the mojito and refreshing the palette, I twirl the cigar lightly in the ashtray. The tasting notes do not alter dramatically throughout however a creamier vanilla hint is detectable, as well as the pronounced coffee and leather flavours that get slightly more rounded with the length.

In summary I would recommend this cigar as a medium to strong smoke, excellent as a 20-30 min after dinner smoke, and complimented thoroughly with a full bodied preferably Southern French Red or equally with a mojito or large Italian Espresso. Wonderful smoke, a shame it comes to an end but alas there is more in the box so until next time - ciao!

Where the Serie No. 2 was very focused on the taste and aroma, this review seemed more focus on the things I don't really want to hear about - the mojito, the aged rum, being in Rome. Perhaps I'm just jealous of the CA type lifestyle, but many of us who enjoy cigars do so on their back porch or in a cigarette scented bar, where you get funny looks when you don't order a "Miller Lite". The review did leave me longing to try the SLR PC so it did accomplish enough of a description to complete the task.
Score: 6.5/10
Reviewed by Adam Carlton

I liked the initial setting description, not over done, set the tone and made me want to read on. I felt him truly appreciating, feeling and caressing the cigar upon lighting it...I did like his further description of this cigar but it was too Short...he left me wanting more!! Maybe that's a good thing? It did keep my interest!
Score: 8/10
Reviewed by Chris Cacciotti

Once again, just too wordy. Plus the bad spelling and grammar put me off. Way to flowery prose for me. It was not a very good review.
Score: 3/10
Reviewed by Bill Liberman


Saint Luis Rey Corona (5 1/2 - 42 ring gauge)
Reviewed by Kevin Hall - August 2002

Cigar No.1:
After receiving my cigars I put them in my humidor for a couple of days. They arrived in perfect condition. My first cigar I smoked after one of my favorite meals a big steak, baked potato, and a salad. The perfect time to smoke. I found it to have a very enticing aroma. The wrapper was semi smooth. I found it to burn slow and very even unlike some Dominican cigars. The ash was grayish in color. It had somewhat of a medium to full body flavor. Which is my choice of smoke. The construction was perfect. And I found that it didn't have to be lit every little bit. A couple good draws seemed to do the trick. Smoking time give or take 45 minutes to an hour.

Cigar No. 2:
This cigar I smoked on the golf course. Even in the heat of the day this cigar was a pleasure to smoke. These cigars carry a good heavy ash and keep the cigar from getting to hot even when your having a bad day on the course and puffing hell out of it. But it did in fact get a little strong toward the finish. My feeling this could have been my fault. But all in all it still had a good finish. The beginning started out to be on the medium side and toward the middle I found it begin to get that full flavor that enjoy as I do enjoy a full flavor cigar. It finished smoother than I would have expected as hard as I was smoking on it.

Cigar No. 3:
I smoked this cigar in one of my favorite places sitting next to our pool drinking a double shot of good old Kentucky Sour Mash sipping whisky. (Makrers Mark) Watching my family swim. It was a wonderful day sun shining and warm. I lit this cigar and I think it was the most enjoyable. When people say there's nothing like a Cuban cigar they mean it. These cigars start out medium to full body and finish smooth but full flavor and and still burning as even as they started. There is no way that I can sit and say enough about these cigars. But I will say this I do not want to seem ungrateful but I think they could have stood just a bit more aging. But all in all this a fine cigar and would suggest that anyone order the Saint Luis Rey.

Saint Luis Rey Serie A - 1997 (5 1/2 - 46 ring gauge)
Reviewed by Adrian Boliston January 2002

I have been a great fan of the Regios Robusto vitola, and have also had good experiences with the SLR Petit Corona so was pleased to hear that I was about to receive three of these fine Serie A CORONAS GORDAS for the taste test challenge! In fact I started smoking them straight away, as the short overnight journey through the UK postal system would have hopefully not have required extensive recuperation in my humidor! All of the cigars were in top condition. One of the cigars looked very slightly lighter and less box pressed than the other two (quite dark), so I decided to smoke this first.

Cigar #1: Friday 21st Dec (evening)

This first cigar was sampled at the Racehorse Inn in Taunton near my home, an Irish pub, which was very crowded, and I was due to be meeting a friend who was late. I ordered myself a pint of Brew X1 and sat down to enjoy the smoke. On lighting I was rewarded with copious amounts of rich smoke. The flavour was fruity with a hint of cinnamon. The draw was medium, and the very initial burn was a tad uneven, but this could be a fault in the way I torched it. The burn soon evened out during the first inch. I was pleased to note that there was absolutely no bitterness, which could have been a result of the good age of these cigars. At the quarter mark the flavour filled out and became even more satisfying, and it is certainly one of the best flavours that I have had from any Havana to date. All of a sudden I was aware of a hand firmly patting me on the back, and it was my friend that had arrived, very late! A result of him patting me was the first ash-drop at 2 inches, which narrowly missed my pint and ended up on the table. Possibly too much ash had dropped, as I had to puff a bit to get a good burn re established. The ash held out well as there was only one more ash drop at the 2/3 mark. The final inch got slightly bitter, but in all this was an exceptional smoke.

Cigar #2: Saturday 22nd Dec (afternoon)

After yesterday I'm definitely hooked on these sticks, so I drove to Clevedon and had a pint of Ruddles Country at the Little Harp, Clevedon. The atmosphere was a lit more relaxed than yesterday, and I had a fine view over the Seven estuary towards Cardiff bay as I flamed the cigar. The draw was medium, and the flavour seemed a bit stronger than yesterday. The smoke was rich and blue-white and a slight hint of roasting chestnuts. The burn was very even this time right from the start. After the first centimeter the flavour mellowed out nicely, and the ash held firm till the two-inch mark, and fell precisely into the waiting ashtray.

At this stage the smoke was thicker than ever, and was visible swirling right across the bar where it was lit by some floodlights. The sun was now setting across the bay as the cigar hit half way. I was so involved in the smoke that I had completely forgotten about the ash, as I was suddenly aware of a large lump of it hitting my leg and ending up INSIDE my shoe! After emptying out my shoe I finished down to the last half inch, as it was only then that a slight bitterness set in. All in all a very satisfying 80-minute smoke.

Cigar #3: Sunday 23rd Dec (afternoon)

This final cigar was smoked at the Compass Inn, North Petherton, together with a pint of Wadworth 6X. There was a slight bit of wrapper that peeled so I avoided removing the band too early on this stick. On torching it burnt well straight away, with lots of rich smoke and a very even burn. The flavour was so good & rich that I am regretting the fact that this is the last stick! The worst bit was that I'll probably have to wait till the New Year to order some more of these fine sticks when the UK postal service has recovered from the Xmas rush.

Saint Luis Rey Regios - BM NISU 12/98
Reviewed by Dr Evan Ginsberg (December 2000)

I have smoked many Regios and I always find the word consistent comes to mind. These cigars have a light tan wrapper with some thin veins present. The Cabinet selections which I have acquired in the past have been much darker brown and much oilier, as these showed no oily sheen. The construction is very nice, softened in my travel humidor as I brought them with me on a road racing weekend to Nevada, and my travel 'dor runs a bit moist. The draw was smooth predictable and pleasant. The most obvious flavour associated with this smoke is toasted nuts. I would go a bit further to say toasted almonds come to mind. The cigar is just to the lighter side of medium body, medium strength, and medium flavour. I attribute this to the lighter wrapper of the box selection, as the Cabinet smokes that I recently enjoyed, also from '98 were a bit fuller and most definitely medium to medium full in all the above categories. (This is assuming that I actually know something about cigars, and I'd hate to give that impression.) The most enjoyable and different aspect of the three cigars of this tasting were light hints of orange peel that dance about on the tongue in a nice tingling, lively way. This is a wonderful sunny afternoon smoke, perhaps easily enjoyed with a light glass of Pinot Noir or fruity vodka cocktail. I prefer a full powerhouse smoke after dinner, definitely not this cigar. The burn was even from start to finish. No relighting was required. the ash remained intact, and actually took some effort to flick away. The finish, of course, stepped up a notch in power and richness, but never became more then medium strong, with a nice light spicy note at the finish. Overall I would rate this cigar as very nice, and quite pleasant. The SLR Regio has always been on my A list of cigars. I recommend a box or cabinet for all medium bodied robusto fans.

I'd like to thank C.GARS Ltd for being so gracious to include me in this tasting, and I hope my notes are worthy of the C.GARS readers time.

Saint Luis Rey Churchill
Reviewed by Dr Joe Garguilo (December 2000)

27th November - Cigar 1

Occasion / Circumstances: Saturday Evening, After Dinner, without alcohol before or after.

Initial Impressions: Pale or Light brown wrapper, very few and small / thin veins. Excellent, consistent shape, with a very nicely applied cap. Not oily but a silky touch to the wrapper cigar is firm, with no soft sports. Well, but not densely packed.

Interesting Note: It appears to show its 'filler components' a bit, i.e. I can see an inner and outer core to this cigar. The inner being lighter in color than the outer. The size of these cores is about equal to approx. 3/8" to the inner and 1/4-5/16" to the outer.

On lighting: Quickly taste a sweet spiciness, very distinctive, even unique to my palate. One side ran slightly within 1/4 of Ash formation.

Smoking: Draw firm and even. Taste is consistent with initial comments.

Flavour: Not rich, also not a strong 'smoke'. Burn has also evened out (no running). The flavour is filling out about 1/4 way through the cigar. A subtle richness showing, with more of the traditional 'bite' of tobacco becoming evident Very pleasant cool smoke. Rather light, gray, and very fragrant smoke, certainly a 'perfume', filling the room. The taste is dry, i.e. not running with juices. A sign of a well matured tobacco. Too much juice and thats all you taste; here the tobacco truly gets a chance to burn and thus show its distinctive nature very delicious no doubt.

Ash: A very tight light gray, with some black, more 'flaky' bits on the surface. Perhaps some evidence of the 'cores' mentioned above. At about 1 1/4", the ash has begun to curve, as if ready to drop, but actually is holding fast. Dropped the first ash at 1 1/2" in, 1 piece, evenly firm.

Overall a very classy smoke. Delicate almost, but not in any sort of a 'weak' fashion. Extremely well crafted. This cigar should be enjoyed for its own merits. Although I'm sure it would be fine with food, or drink for that matter, I think the subtilties of this cigar are best appreciated one on one.

3rd December - Second Cigar

Occasion/Circumstances: Midday, long walk with the dog!

Oh how I needed this smoke! Mondays are always rough! I'm sure most would agree, there's always too much to do. Leftovers from the prior week, things to settle, fires to put out. This was one fire I couldn't wait to start. Although very tired, and home late (it's usually past 1am before the work is done), I often find this the best time of the day. For me this may be the true test of a cigar. No disappointment here. Once again the Saint Luis Rey delivered a wonderful smoke. This cigar seemed a bit richer on the palate and perhaps a bit sweeter in taste. Very smooth and delicate, that perfume rolling all around me. An even smoke, with all the positive qualities of the others, and in fact, no negatives at all.

Overall Conclusions

I very much enjoyed the Saint Luis Rey Churchill. I don't usually smoke this size cigar, preferring coronas during the day and robustos at night. The Saint Luis is a very refined cigar, elegant in feel, silky in taste, consistent in construction. Not a cigar to be taken lightly, but one that deserves rapt attention. Its well worth it. This is not a 'football' or third drink cigar to me. The 'perfume' description of this smoke fits well I think it is a cigar not to be messed. Just enjoy the time with it and know for that 45 minutes or so, that all is right with the world...

Saint Luis Rey Churchill
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

Having read about this cigar in all the tomes on Cuban cigars, I was ready for a full-bodied, sweet, floral smoke. The mavens were wrong, again (or my selection was far superior to those written about). While there were floral tones with a hint of sweetness, I did not find this cigar to be full-bodied, at all.

All samples measured an exacting 7 x 47 (17.8 x 1.8 cm). The caps were all perfectly placed but the foot on each was not cut evenly. The wrappers all were a deep, rich Colorado-maduro brown and showed evidence of outer veins. My selection had been laid down for 4 months and had begun to show a rich oily sheen, already. The cigars were fabricated at the Miguel Fernandez Roig Factory, in Havana, though I understand that they are now made in other factories in the area.

Belying its size, this cigar is milder than its brother, the Regios, more towards being medium bodied, and perfect for any time of the day, though I would hesitate smoking one after a heavy meal.

The cigar cut well, and had a light woody flavor, before lighting. It was fresh smelling and, upon lighting, gave off a light fragrant flowery aroma, making this a cigar easily smoked indoors or in mixed company.

My first impression was of sweet/tart Queen Anne Cherries (Perhaps my palate was finely tuned since I had recently eated cherries the day before - others might simply note a sweet/tart berry flavor. Regardless, this fresh taste was really worth the smoke). This lasted through the first half of the cigar and as I smoked it, it developed a hint of honey. There was a little toastyness noted while smoking the cigar which came and went. Towards the last half of the cigar I noticed a slight spice but it was rather elusive, at best. There was a hint of freshly raosted coffee at the last third of the cigar and by that time the tartness had dissipated, entirely. Overall the cigar was an excellent selection.

There were a few negative aspects of this cigar, none of which took away from the pleasure of the experience. The ash flaked from the first and the appearance of the wrapper was not very smooth. I kept having to brush away ashes from my shirt and had to relight the cigar twice. The ash was a light gray and revealed a magnesium rich silver ash from the filler.

I recommend this cigar and suggest it be in every smoker's humidor.