Cigar review: Saint Louis Rey – Serie A Box Code: Nov. 1995
This box was abruptly cracked open after a 13 year sleep in the humidor specifically on my request and generously gifted by a good friend, so big thanks to Viken. I figured this at least deserved a proper review as one doesn’t get a chance to find such home aged treasures so easy. So enough of the chit chat and let’s get into the nitty gritty of things.
As you might see for yourself the wrapper held a nice colorado color and was devoid of any veins (not much plume to report to which I was surprised due to its 13 year old age, but I could have just whipped it off while handling it). I had it a bit on a dry side below 63% RH (still no to dry) to avoid any draw and burn problems - there were none. The draw was excellent, easy and slow yet not to fast to rush the cigar. The cigar provided a nice amount of smoke and created wonderful white and firm ash.
It was truly divine and nothing like I expected it to be (isn't being positively surprised the best thing in the end?). If I was to guess I would have not been even close to SLR Series A as the profile was even mellower then what I was expecting, however the taste was wonderfully complexed. As for taste I was drinking a nice Bordeaux (with my NY strip) so it didn't really jibe perfectly overpowering the cigar which I rectified soon enough by poring a bit of my Caol Ila aka peaty nectar of Gods ;-) Now for the taste there was no harshness of a young cigar to be noticed whatsoever. Also I didn't get any licorice, chocolate or too much cedar taste so easily associated with Series A, but rather the musky meaty earthy tones which later developed into espresso and dark chocolate all over laced with subtitle yet noticeable sweetness that I could only describe as combo of honey and caramel. From my memory the progression from start to finish was not as pronounced as with many younger examples I sampled before although there certainly was a progression it was much more delicate and smooth. The overall flavor of tobacco and cedar was there even though it didn't dominate the palate (as with many fresh cigars) it maintained the presence through, while allowing other flavors to show through and enhance the overall tasting experience. I don't do analytical scoring, however if I did this one would score right there at the top in the category of delicate and refined flavors experiences I had a chance to enjoy.
The biggest mistake I did was not pairing this up with more suitable restrained drinking choice as it certainly did deserve a much superior match. What I gathered from this experience is that really there is no myth of aging cigars that indeed it is a reality - they do get better with age just like fine wine. Now as for the fact that I was perhaps a bit overmatched to truly gouge the subtleties of such a fine example I will plead the 5th.