San Luis Rey Lonsdale

Another fine day to have a quiet smoke on the porch, but not in front of the house but in the back. I know, I know, this is very important information for you. This time it was very easy to pick a cigar from my humidor. I delved somewhat deeper into my humidor to surpass the Robustos and other shorter cigars, to find a candidate among the Lonsdales, Coronas and Double Coronas. This one beckoned, and again it’s a San Luis Rey. It’s a very well aged cigar, it has aged for maybe ten years. Also some sad news. This Lonsdale was discontinued in 2006, since SLR isn’t a main brand anymore, and the tobacco is needed for other brands.

Cuban San Luis Rey Lonsdale (42 x 165mm, Cervantes, Lonsdale, Box Code Unknown)

Color and Looks: Colorado (grey/green). No frays, has some veins, well cut. Looks a bit rustic, but is straight as an arrow. No spots and slightly box pressed. Draw seems ok.

A cru: Smells like a good cigar shop. Grassy and hay, but not young.

Taste: The first whiffs are excellent. No salt on the lips but there is some soapy sensation. After all those Robusto like cigars, this Lonsdale seems rather thin. It’s a good smoke, chocolate. Especially the smoke from outside the cigar is outstanding! White ash throughout. It has some wood but it’s different from other woody cigars. It’s like plywood with furniture wax. Also some almonds. This goes well with carbonated water. It’s a mild cigar. It almost smokes like a (dry) Dutch cigar. It’s funny and maybe a bit insulting, but the best thing going for this cigar is the second-hand smoke, which is simply stunning.

It smokes easily. No problems with draw or burn. Good build. Ash falls off quite quickly. No tunnelling. This cigar makes my Lavazza Sinfonia Espresso taste woody, sharp and dry. The cigar is better. I like this one. I thought the beginning was pretty decent, but the second part is great. Give it some time and you’ll have a happy moment. I’m having this pre dinner, but I think it will work well anytime in the day. Still I don’t consider this to be an everyday smoke. It deserves more respect. Now I try it with double burnt Robusto coffee. Definitively the better choice for this cigar. The coffee tastes creamy, so it complements well.

Why isn’t it perfect then? I recon it could have evolved some more. The last part is rather bland and does nothing for the cigar. It also lacks some complexity. I’ll do another test. This time I’m going to try it with a Bourbon. I chose a Four Roses Single Barrel (the new 50% one). Like the coffee tasted creamy, this Four Roses tasted sweet. Still something unexpected happened. The first sips of Four Roses were done in the second part of the cigar, but when the cigar became bland in its final stage, the Bourbon started to taste better. The cigar’s final stage announced itself with dying down tastes and an addition of menthol. It never became harsh or sharp, but you just know the end is near. Also the ash became darker, even black. Since the Lonsdale is a long cigar, the weaker end wasn’t such a problem.

86 Points


Saint Luis Rey Regios

Another fine day to have a quiet smoke on the porch. This time it wasn’t so easy to pick a cigar from one of my humidors. In the end I settled for something that I always call the “Almost Robusto”.

This Cuban San Luis Rey Regios (48 x 127mm, Hermosos No.4, Corona Extra, Box Code Unknown) is slightly different from the typical Robusto size. Robustos are very popular these days, since they offer a relatively short smoke (nobody seems to have time anymore) with good aroma since it has an impressive ring gauge. Mind you, Robustos are nothing like a Behike, which looks like a tree trunk and makes you over stretch your jaws. Cigars are supposed not to be altogether healthy for you, but nobody thought it would break your jaw physically.

Back to this SLR then. Saint Luis Ray saw the light of day in 1940. Saint Luis is a district in Vuelta Abajo. And just like Por Larrañaga it comes in only three models: Serie A (Corona Gorda), Double Corona and this Regios (Corona Extra). When Por Larrañaga has a lot of Regionales versions. San Luis Rey had only one. In 2009 they issued a Pirámides. SLR is said to be on the stronger side and also uses tobacco leaves from the Semi Vuelta regions.

Color and Looks: Colorado Maduro. No frays, firm, not much veins, well cut. Some green and black spots and slightly box pressed. This one has aged a long time.

A cru: Sour, woody, elegant smell, old leather bicycle saddle, oaky. After I cut it, out comes a fresh, almost ozonic smell with hay and grass. I was a bit surprised by this.

Taste: Very good draw at first and the first whiffs of smoke smells very promising. Inside the mouth and the smoke on the outside, the smoke your average innocent bystander would smell is excellent and elegant. Now some ammonia. Lots of rich smoke that’s very woody. Ash is extremely white, but only from the wrapper. Inside it’s black but no brown core ash. This one should be smoked inside ones library.

After two centimetres the draw becomes cumbersome. You have to work this cigar and there is almost no smoke. Obviously the cigar gets rather hot. As long as it seems blocked there is a piney addition. After 2,5 cm the ash fell of and immediately the draw was good again and the smoke returned. The ash cone worked like a plug. No pine anymore, return of the oak and spice, but still rather linear. I smoked this with a Lavazza doppio espresso and again with some sparkling water. It was OK with the coffee, and it was just OK with the water, but nothing special. I didn’t try it with something else since probably nothing would go very well with it, but of course I could be wrong.

Halfway through, lots of menthol on my tongue, which was a sort of nice effect when drinking sparkling water. You could say the cigar turned a little but overall it’s pretty linear and hot on the tongue. In fact there isn’t a lot happening really. Near the very end I got some notes of inner tubes from a bicycle.

Apart from the problems with its draw, and the lack of evolution, this cigar would have benefitted from a creamy component. But sadly it doesn’t have this so, to sum up this cigar you could say it’s OK. It’s not bad really, it’s decent, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this. Lacks in balance and is a let down after the promising start. As I mentioned before SLR are said to be strong cigars. I couldn’t detect that when I was smoking it, but when I finished with it I noticed my hand were trembling, so there might be some truth to that rumour. Definitively a pre dinner cigar since this got me craving for some food afterwards.

74 points