Cigar review: Saint Luis Rey Gen2
Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 6" x 54
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra Rosado
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Presentation: Boxes of 21 / 5-packs / singles
This smoke is the balls! A little heavy upon lighting, but it quickly mellowed out becoming a blast to enjoy. I’m a sucker for Sumatra wrapper, and this one didn’t disappoint. Appearance-wise, I found it beautiful with zero defects, though I didn’t like the design of the secondary band; it seemed to stand out awkwardly.
The pre-light flavor was mostly that of cedar and dark tobacco, but when toasted I got a whiff of dark chocolate. The overall burn was excellent with firm ashes that averaged about 1½ inches.
The base flavors consisted of caramel and wood with a nice, earthy aroma; not overly sweet as the flavors would suggest, as this is no Baccarat – but more of a “chewy” smoke in a way that’s different than “creamy.” As for the balance, the cigar was a little more robust to start (medium-full) but mellowed a bit once the flavors took over (mild-med at its lowest point)
I don’t normally enjoy Honduran tobacco as much as I do Dominican (my #2) and Nicaraguan (my #1). Blending it with the Nicaraguan filler was a good move. The cigar burned solid as a god-damned rock with no relights or touch ups, which surprised me given its size. Suffice it to say the SLR Gen2 was right in my wheelhouse, and so freaking good I’d buy a box.
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St. Luis Rey 2nd Gen – The SLR Gen2 can be wrapped up in one word: powerhouse. And yes, that is one word, not two. This cigar is certainly an after dinner smoke. Maybe even an after dinner and dessert smoke.
The smoke starts out with a touch of spice that fades, yet remains somewhat present throughout the smoke. I got a lot of leather and woody flavors, which were good, but the cigar was not well-balanced considering the power dampened my enjoyment of the cigar.
Since the Toro has a large ring size, I think I would have enjoyed it more in the Robusto, which would offer a lot more flavor while cutting down a little on the power-side of the smoke.
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This is a beautifully handcrafted cigar with an incredibly attractive Ecuadorian Sumatra Rosado wrapper. Right off the bat I get a medium bodied sweetness with a kind of anisette / black licorice flavor. At about a quarter of the way in, the cigar shifts into full gear as the flavor and strength intensify and the anisette flavor grows even stronger.
Halfway through, this cigar turned into one bold son-of-a-bitch. The draw is great as smoke billows from each puff. Then the flavor shifts for me but stays with the after dinner liqueur theme as I start to get a kind of dark cherry/amaretto taste. (Wow, hope I don’t get too shit-faced.)
As I get to around the two-thirds mark, there’s no mistaking this for a full-bodied Saint Luis Rey. It starts to get more woody and charry and I realize this is a wonderfully made complex smoke! This marriage of flavors makes it a really nice cigar – and I would definitely make the Gen2 a regular in my arsenal, while making sure it stays way clear out of the hands and mouths of the novice smoker, because it’ll confuse ‘em, then kill ‘em!
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I liked the complexion of the new Saint Luis Rey Gen2. The Sumatra wrapper looked like fine briar wood with hundreds of tiny burls running through it. The packing was solid throughout, and when clipped, offered an easy cold draw with a distinctive leathery note.
The cigar toasted well, and when lit, the first few puffs were mellow, creamy, and a little sweet, with a shot of pepper on the finish. A retrohale at about the 1/2-inch mark offered a light mix of pepper, nutmeg, and some chariness.
To start, each puff was smooth, flavorful, and well-balanced, as thick, chewy, aromatic smoke flowed freely from both ends. The burn was clean, revealing a white-gray ash with very tightly packed grains.
The base flavors consisted of sweet wood, nutmeg, and light pepper. As the cigar opened up, the smoke became sweeter with a more distinct presence of nutmeg. At the midpoint, some pepper returned with hints of cocoa. Later on, the smoke intensified, while the sweetness had all but faded and turned more charry in the last two inches.
I found the Gen2 very smooth and creamy with sweet-spicy notes, and excellent balance. More experienced smokers will appreciate the complexities of this exceedingly rich and flavorful cigar. I'm ready for another.
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If nothing else, the SLR Gen2's name and bold, modern-looking secondary band promise a new twist on an old favorite. Its beautiful, slightly reddish Ecuadorian Habano wrapper certainly looks the part, although I did find a soft spot in two of three samples.
Taking a cold draw, I detected a strong taste of figs before noticing that my lips were tingling. Despite that, it took the flame well. Right off the bat, I got some dried fruit sweetness in a basically-earthy smoke. There's some pepper in the mix, but it's not overwhelming. The smoke is medium across the board: body, strength, and intensity.
The ash taps off in solid, one-inch nuggets. I observe a sweet, leathery aroma, and by the second half, it has become more peppery on the retrohale.
The burn, while not perfect, never quite requires a touch-up. Not a deal-breaker for me, especially given that it's an Ecuadorian Sumatra-seed wrapper.
Despite the promise of a modern, bolder experience, this was still a classic cigar to me: not especially strong, full-bodied, or intense, with just a bit of nuance to keep things interesting. Definitely recommended for smokers who enjoy flavorful medium smokes, or even as an evening cigar for smokers of milder cigars.