Brand: El Rey Del Mundo
Size: Choix Supreme 5” x 48
Near the end of February, I started feeling guilty about the pile of reasonably well aged Cubans hanging out in my humidor. Not guilty that I had them, but rather because I hadn’t enjoyed one in quite a while. I decided that the perfect way to wind down after work would be to fire up an ‘El Rey Del Mundo’ that had been aging for about 18 months and was starting to show some nice bloom around the cap. After snapping the obligatory photos and prepping a Gosling’s rum & coke, I was pretty close to restoring balance in the world. The ‘El Rey’ and I headed for the garage to begin the review.
Construction: First impressions mistakenly led me to believe that the El Rey was well made. The cigar sported a tawny coloured wrapper with a few fine veins. The stick was consistent in firmness, and well capped. I chose to punch it and got no distinct taste off the cold draw. A mild, earthy tobacco smell was present on the foot.
First Third: The El Rey offered a slightly woody taste with an earthy finish through the first third. The draw was medium firm, leaning a little to the firm side. The burn was flawed and required a few corrections. I would describe the first third as mild in both flavour and strength. Moving into the second third of the cigar, I opted to guillotine cut the cap in hopes of opening the draw a little.
Second Third: As the second third progressed, I hit a spot where it was tough getting the El Rey to draw. After a little perseverance, the draw opened up and we were back in business. The flavour of the El Rey developed a bit, giving me more of the leather character I associate with so many Cubans. I started to pick up hints of tea on the finish. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the tea notes were likely enhanced by the 18 months or so of aging. The burn improved a little during the second third and required little maintenance. While the flavours developed, the strength remained mild.
Final Third: Hitting the final third gave me more of the earth from the beginning with a leathery finish. The subtle tea notes disappeared and the flavour started to go “off” a little. The draw was decent at this point, but the burn remained imperfect during the final third. To make matters worse, the wrapper began to unwrap somewhat as you’ll see in the photos. For the sake of Cigaropolis, I soldiered through a mildly unpleasant final third before outing the stick when it began really heating up.
Overall I would describe the El Rey Del Mundo as being simply an average cigar. Nice flavours showed themselves at times in the first and second thirds, but draw, burn and construction issues outweighed and detracted from the hints of Cuba that I was able to enjoy. The strength of this cigar was medium at its strongest. Would I recommend this cigar? No. Not based on the experience from the single “El Rey” that I had. Would I buy another? Unlikely, but for the right price I might try another down the road someday.
13 butts and counting….