Saint Luis Rey Gen²
The warm, I mean crazy hot weather has arrived in El Paso. We will be running over 100 degrees each day until June 27th. It is going to be a rough next couple of weeks, but I think I’ll be able to manage with my new Trane A/C unit. Just don’t ask Tony how his experience has been with his new A/C. It looks like I’ll be smoking a little later in the evening when it drops down into the cool 90’s or be making my way down to the local lounge to escape the heat on a regular basis.
This week, I’ll be checking out the second generation of the Saint Luis Rey by Altadis U.S.A., the SLR Gen². The Gen² is available in three vitolas: Robusto (4 ½ by 54), Toro (6 by 54), and Titan (6 by 60). I located the press release for the Saint Luis Rey Gen² at Halfwheel.com, which had this to say about the cigar:
Gen² is not just a new version of a classic. It is much more. It is the heritages of many generations of know how. It is the expression of wisdom and passion from some of the most expert craftsmen in the world as they bring forth a most sublime smoking experience. From our recent consumer research, we know that US Consumers are always looking to try something new; this was one of the aims of the launch – to offer something new, compelling and punchy to these targeted profile.
Gen² is a rare combination of quality, tradition, innovation and the passion of centuries expressed in a singular cigar.
There is only one formula for pleasure!
Quality + Passion + Innovation = Gen²
Price: $5.75 to $6.75
Size: 6 by 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 40 Minutes
The brownish red wrapper has small and medium sized veins throughout. The medium sized veins stand out a little more due to being lighter in color than the rest of the wrapper. Most of the cigar is evenly packed with just a slight give. The middle of the cigar has one soft spot. As I examine the foot, there seems to be a small void in the middle of the tobaccos.
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper gives off sweet woodsy notes at its core, with additional notes of cherry and cinnamon. The foot aroma is much of the same as the wrapper. A large double cap has been applied decently. A perfect draw is revealed after I cut the cap. Cinnamon and spices make up the flavors on the cold draw that is leaving my mouth a tad dry.
The Saint Luis Rey Gen² is producing a copious amount of white smoke. No effort at all is required to pull the smoke through this six inch cigar. The dominant flavors are cedar, earth, and light cinnamon. The light smoke is drying my mouth and the finish is short. A creamier profile would compliment the cedar nicely. I cannot tell if I am getting some irritation in the back of my throat or if it is just a lingering spice. As I retrohale the smoke, I’m hit with a blast of pepper and a slight spice sting. The burn line is thick and wavy, while the ash is dark grey and flaky, holding to about an inch. The flavors are on the high side of medium and so far the strength seems to be right at medium.
The cigar continues to pump out tons of smoke as I have it resting in my ashtray. Also, the burn line that was iffy in the first third is now back in line. The sweet cedar I grabbed off the wrapper during the pre-light has introduced itself into the profile, along with presence of pepper and some toastiness. As I burn deeper into the second third, some heavier earthy notes have arrived. The ash remains flaky. The flavors are still holding strong and I am starting to feel a little nicotine. The strength is right where I enjoy it. Hopefully, it stays at this same level for the remainder of the stick.
The earthy notes have really picked up as I make my way into the final third. The earthiness has a mineral quality, along with a diesel-like flavor. The SLR Gen² is developing some heat. The cedar jumps back into to the profile as I let the cigar rest a little longer between puffs. Additionally, a bread-like flavor and cocoa have arrived. The pepper has subsided a little on the retrohale but a charryness has shown up. Putting a close to this Saint Luis Rey Gen², the strength is starting to kick my butt. I can’t tell if it is the nicotine that is making me sweat or the 90 degree temperature at 9:00 PM.
The SLR Gen² delivered some enjoyable flavors throughout. However, as the cigar progressed the toasty / charred notes became more pronounced. I was unable to nub the SLR due to the heat that is was producing with an inch and half left. While the burn got off the path a few times it always managed to find its way back. I am happy to report that the other sample I smoked and paired with sweet tea did not develop any heat or charred flavors. The sweet tea brought out the sweet cedar notes and additional notes of cocoa in the Gen². My second experience with this cigar was much more enjoyable. Even though I still wasn’t blown away, I would pick this up again if I came across it at the local shop. At a price point in the $6 range, I think this cigar is well worth a try.