Friday, February 10, 2012

St Luis Rey Reserva Especial Serie G Review

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin: Connecticut
Wrapper type: Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan with Connecticut binder
Length: 5”
Ring: 56
Cost: $3.50

Appearance (0-20): The thick little monster, the SLR Serie G, looks impressive off the bat. The short but stout nature is one that would push some people away, but I say – embrace it. There’s a very nice looking wrapper on this, although it does sport a few veins that are visible. The banding is true to the normal SLR name, with the additional simple band pointing out the Serie G.
Score: 16

Construction (0-20): For as thick as this cigar is, you can feel its stuffed pretty well. Post cutting, the Serie G has very little in terms of debris – another good sign. But as luck would have it, all signs pointing to good was the wrong prediction by my internal magic 8-ball. Upon smoking this, it pitted on me, causing a large run up the side. I was forced to try and salvage things but no matter what I did, it wanted to burn hot deeper into the cigar. Further, it burned unevenly on me as a direct result of the pitting. The ash seemed to flake off oddly, which is never fun when wearing a white shirt.
Score: 6

Strength (0-20): The uneven burn aside, I can still catch the strength that this cigar is putting forth. Another maduro cigar that knows exactly what it’s meant to be – power packed. Thankfully it begins with the power, and it doesn’t dissipate through the end.   
Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): This area was a major disappointment for me. I’ve had a number of SLRs before and at the very least I would consider the taste to be midrange. This particular cigar fell flat on its face. I had to concentrate especially hard throughout to even catch some of the tones. About the only real flavor I could pick out was that of wood, but it was something of a charred nature. You know the taste you get when you get a mouth full of campfire smoke? That taste. There may have been a hint or two of chocolate, but again it was really tough to tell as they really never came to full fruition.
Score: 6

Value (0-20): Unfortunately I feel like the price of $3.50 really doesn’t do it for me. I would much rather invest another $.50 and get myself a Diesel. So on that note let’s make it simple – I’d likely not consider this to be a value packed price. It isn’t an utterly awful price, mind you, but there’s much better on the market for the price you pay.
Score: 10

Additional Notes: Paired with Gurkha coffee at Cigars International.

Overall (0-100): I sincerely hope the SLR that I smoked was just the dud in the bunch, because otherwise this is a subpar showing. Pitting and lack of flavor / complexity throw this into my list of cigars that I wouldn’t go seek out to smoke again. Granted, I will likely give another one a try sometime to see if I just got a bad stick, but it won’t be anytime soon. That being said, the score below is representative of what I smoked. If my particular one was an outlier and the rest have better construction and taste… you could potentially see this score jump up 20 points or so (+7 to construction, +7 to flavor, and 6 to value).
Score: 56

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