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St. Luis Rey’s Reserva Especial line has been widely revered in the past decade or so, earning multiple 90+ ratings from Cigar Aficionado as well as a slew of other notable sources. While I’m not a huge fan of the brand in particular, I have enjoyed some SLRs in the past, so today I decided to put one of their stogies to the test. I chose one that I had previously overlooked, the Serie G Belicoso Maduro. The blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Peruvian long-fillers and a dark Mexican San Andres Morron wrapper struck me as an interesting mix.
Before lighting up, the veiny and oily Mexican Maduro wrapper on this stick looked pretty appetizing. In terms of pre-light draw, this cigar was an open book. Dry notes of black pepper, cocoa, leather and cedar came through immediately, giving me a very vivid glimpse into the flavors to expect. The stogie lit up easily and evenly, and I began the tasting.
Right off the bat I got a delicious blast of smooth, peppery and crisp flavor. Chocolatey and nutty notes were dominant, complimented by a bit of black pepper, and the draw was absolutely effortless. I was genuinely shocked by the lush, “Snickers Bar” flavor that was just pouring out of this thing. I was off to an extremely tasty start.
In the second third the pepper disappeared, but the creamy cocoa vibe remained. The stick was burning like a champ, no touch-ups were needed, and it stayed nice and cool, which was no small feat considering the mottled, leathery wrapper cloaking the cigar. Right around this point, notes of cedar, leather, and slightly sweet dried fruit joined the party, rounding out the mix nicely.
There was definitely a lot to wrap my palate around here, as this cigar was relentless in delivering a myriad of delicious notes, one after the other. I went into this smoke expecting it to be good, but I guess I under-estimated the complexity of the blend. This was a seriously well-blended and well-crafted stogie, and was definitely the best Maduro I’ve smoked in quite a while. The burn and draw were nothing short of perfect, which allowed me to concentrate on the bodacious flavor without distraction. By the time I was halfway through with the cigar I was already thinking about buying a batch. This stogie should be required smoking for fans of Maduro-wraps. To the masters at St. Luis Rey, I deem the Reserva Especial Serie G Maduro a near-flawless victory, and award you a grade of A+. It just doesn’t get much better than this.