Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reyes Family Premier

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I finally got around to smoking the Reyes Family Premier cigar that I received from Mr. Frank Santos of Reyes Family Cigars. This cigar is described as being "rich and robust!" on their website. The cigar uses a Maduro Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and a filler of Nicaraguan tobacco from the Condega and Jalapa regions. The cigar I smoked was the corona size, but in actuality it is larger than a classic corona being 46 ring gauge by just a little over six inches in length.

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The cigar's wrapper had an unusual look to it, with it's microscopic toothy projections resembling little hairs all over the cigar. It was reddish brown in color with dark brown "varicose vein"-like markings throughout. The feel of the cigar was slightly fuzzy with a few soft spots here and there. After clipping the cigar, I found the draw to be free and clear with minimal resistance.

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The cigar had a nice deep earthy aroma to it while the foot of the cigar smelled of sweet dried prunes. I anticipated getting similar earthy sweet flavors after lighting the cigar.

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The flavor profile of the cigar was pretty consistent with a predominate woody flavor that later became tangy. The other core flavors were roasted peanuts, vanilla, cinnamon and (barely there) pepper, followed by a dark caramel finish. I really had no complaints with the flavor other than it was one-dimensional.

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My biggest complaint however, was in the overall quality of this cigar. The weird hairy wrapper, the burn line and the ash was so ugly, that it doesn't even qualify as being "rustic". That would just give the cigar charm that it doesn't deserve. The burn zone was thick and bulging, and the burn line erratic, requiring frequent touch ups. Every time I took a draw, I could hear the wrapper crackle. The tobacco in the filler was also, burning inconsistently. I don't know if it's too much seco or bad fermentation, but there was always two large holes in the filler making for a frustrating draw.



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if you look hard enough you can

see a smiley face in the ash.

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The ash was a dirty dark gray and looked like petrified wood after being eaten by termites. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but when smoking a cigar becomes a chore, it really isn't worth it. I had to chomp down on it, ash it, and re-light it frequently just to get adequate smoke. Not exactly a pleasant experience.

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I do think this cigar has good potential though, if the tobacco was better fermented and aged. It has decent flavor, but it needs to burn effortlessly to be enjoyable.

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(as a side note)

I really wish to thank Mr. Santos for his generosity in providing me with these sample smokes. Despite knowing that I don't do "kiss a*s" reviews for free smokes, he was still willing to hear what I had to say about his cigars. This shows the dedication that he has for helping to improve their brand. I can't help but be impressed by this, and as a consumer, I will always give these types of cigar companies my business when they create new cigars.

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I'm including the links to other reviews that have already been done on this cigar:

In The Humidor reviews the toro size (6x53)

Cigar Jack reviews the perfecto

Tom and Ed on the Stogie Review with a video review

Keepers of the Flame on the entire line

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