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Cigar Review – St. Luis Rey Gen2 Toro

New for 2013, the St. Luis Rey Gen2 is the brand’s first new release since the debut of the Serie G in 2006. Following in the footsteps of Romeo y Julieta’s Havoc, the Gen2 has been described by Altadis U.S.A. as “a bold new version of a classic”, blended for a fuller-bodied smoking experience than the original S.L.R., and sporting big ring sizes and a new look aimed at a modern audience. For today’s review I pulled out a sample of the Toro (6×54) that had been marinating in our humidor for the past few weeks.

The cigar was evenly filled beneath a veiny Sumatra wrapper leaf with a slightly marbled look to it. Cold draws gave off an unexpected taste of fruity sweetness.  After an easy light, the starting flavors of the Gen2 were of mild black pepper over a smooth, earthy and leathery base. About an inch in the pepper moved to the background as a light, buttery sweetness entered the profile. The wide-open draw on the cigar conveyed its layered flavors perfectly.

By the time I had burned into the 2nd third of the cigar the smoke had become super-creamy, and the flavors had reached an awesome harmony. I suddenly realized that this was turning out to be one of the most well-balanced cigars I had ever smoked. The flavors meshed together seamlessly, creating a smooth and nuanced profile that was totally unique. As I neared the last third the pepper re-emerged, adding another tasty dimension to the impressive array of flavors.

In the final stretch the Gen2 remained smooth as all get-out, with a still-effortless draw and a burn-line that refused to waver. Notes of leather, pepper, cream, nutmeg and graham continued to work my palate as I took the cigar down to the nub.

While I was expecting quality from the St. Luis Rey brand, I didn’t expect the Gen2 to be the kind of cigar that would appeal to me personally. Boy, was I wrong. This stick was nothing short of great. Vivid flavors with medium complexity, a flawless burn and draw, and one of the cleanest finishes I’ve ever experienced earn the St. Luis Rey Gen2 an A+ in my book. I strongly recommend this to anybody who enjoys good cigars and is looking for something new to rave about.