Saint Luis Rey Reserva Especial Titan (5 1/2 x 60)
F: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
Origin: La Flor De Copan, Santa Rosa De Copan, Honduras
Confession time: Though I have been familiar with the Saint Luis Rey brand for about as long as I’ve been working in cigars (just about 10 years), it was never one that really grabbed my attention. It always seemed overshadowed by more popular Altadis brands like Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo. That is, until I smoked one right at La Flor De Copan where they are produced.
Smoking a cigar at the factory where it’s made always forces me to pay a bit more attention than usual. It’s hard not to draw up a strong appreciation for a handmade smoke when surrounded by the people, pride, and culture present on the roller’s floor. With cigar romanticism induced by the Honduran factory setting in full effect, I smoked an SLR Titan slowly and deliberately, convincing myself that this unsung smoke deserved a proper shout-out during the process. And so, here we are.
Pre-light draws were pretty distinct in flavors of cocoa, musty earth, and vegetal sweetness.
Post-ignition, the Titan opened up with big creamy earth carrying hints of leather before a mild black pepper finish. After stacking about an inch of grey ash I began to pick up trickles of maple syrup sweetness and some light floral tones in the expanding profile.
During the second third the flavors changed lanes. Here the profile became dominated by smoky cedar and a heftier black pepper spice, all awash in a smooth and steady swirl of cream with nuances of butter and nutmeg.
It was within the final third that this ol’ classic really began to shine for me, as bold flavor was at its peak. This portion of the smoke was meaty in character with hickory notes and a raging peppery backdrop. Like smoking a blackened ribeye, I tell ya. After a couple inches of this lip-smacking savoriness the intensity of flavors tapered off to a rich and creamy cedar that finally put a cap on the profile’s progression. A distinguished farewell.
The original Saint Luis Rey Reserva Especial is an underrated cigar.
There, I said it. I have smoked a good number of flashier, more fashionable brands that didn’t come close to conveying the full, well-rounded, and complex flavor I found in the SLR. Burning the fat-ringed Titan size allowed for generous plumes and a cool burn that made it easy to enjoy the myriad tasting notes that surfaced during this review session. If you, like me, have slept on this cigar thus far, consider this your wake up call. Grab a batch here and be surprised at what you’ve been missing out on.