Saint Luis Rey
Finding a Cigar Oasis in the City Desert
Whether you travel occasionally or often, whether the travel is for pleasure or business, take the time to get to know the city you visit. One fun way is to find a cigar bar convenient to your temporary living address. Even with many cities in the good ol’ USA banning smoking indoors altogether, most were reasonable enough to allow the cigar bar to live on. This is especially valuable in the colder weather months of the year, since taking a relaxing evening stroll for a smoke in January on the windy streets of a city like Chicago or Cleveland can be brutally cruel.
The cigar bar will often allow you to connect with some folks, both who live there or, like yourself, are visiting. These establishments generally facilitate conversation, so utilize it to get the lay of the land for the area you are visiting from the fellow patrons, who should be “in the know.” Of course, it is perfectly reasonable to just drop in for a good smoke and a drink. Most good cigar bars provide a platform to connect with some of the better pairings of cigars and libations that an area has to offer.
So, how do you find out where these little havens are in a city that may be strange to you? In my experience, you cannot always rely on the hotel concierge, or worse, the standard hotel desk clerk. Check with the concierge, but also go online. I simply go to www.google.com, select the maps link, then the “Find Businesses” option, type your hotel’s address in the location box, add “Cigar Bar” in the search box and then hit “Search.. You will soon know your options and can have a map, phone number, etc instantly. One last piece of advice: Call ahead. With the way the smoking bans are proliferating, a once-quaint cigar bar may now be merely another coffee shop dotting the urban landscape.So, let’s get smoking!
Saint Luis Rey
Size: Robusto (5.5 inches long, 50 Ring Gauge)
Price: $3.50 to $5 range
In honor of Nick Perdomo and his family, one of the independent cigar manufacturers out there, I review a cigar from one of his finest lines. This line is recognized by the industry, including a 92 rating by Cigar Aficionado magazine.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
I purchased this latest Saint Luis Rey as part of a mixed sampler pack. I have smoked these occasionally over the years and they can be a decent value smoke. In this case, I needed a quicker smoke, as I knew I could not get more than 45 minutes hammock time on this unseasonably warm, late autumn day. The feel of Fall was in the air, as it was slightly cooler compared to the hot, dry summer – certainly no complaints.
The Saint Luis Rey I’m reviewing here is the new Honduran blend cigar that is now being rolled in Honduras, as opposed to the Dominican Republic.
Look and feel
The cigar passed the look test. It was rolled firmly, and had the classic Saint Luis red and gold band. The wrapper leaf appeared to be dark, which was to be expected in a Nicaragua-grown wrapper.
Aroma and Taste
The pre-lit aroma was fine and the first half of the cigar’s flavor was just okay. The taste was unmistakable as that of tobacco, with a strong wood dimension. The second half was not as balanced as I would expect, and the smoke was becoming quite harsh, while that same wood flavor persisted.
RATING: 8.5 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
I have smoked a number of these in the past, and I have had a fairly consistent experience each time (as described above). For this reason, the 8.5 rating is a firm one. This cigar packs a punch in the nicotine department, so make sure you have eaten beforehand. A newbie smoker may want to avoid this cigar altogether.
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"Cigars change thoughts into dreams." – Victor Marie Hugo