El Rey Del Mundo Kon Tiki 1973 Los Andes Regional Production
Ring gauge: 50
Cigar length: 184 mm / 7.24'
Since I haven't seen many reviews on this special edition, I decided to have a go at it. This cigar was produced in a suitcase-sized box of 50. If you don't have a large humidor, that would cause a problem.
The packaging was impressive, but perhaps not as elegant as one would expect for a cost of over $2,000, with a limited run of only 1200 boxes. As I opened the box the odor of fresh grass struck me. The enticing smell made me decide that I couldn't wait 6 months while it aged in my humidor before I tried the first stick. With a factory stamp of LGR MAR 19, it certainly hadn't had much time to age. Throwing caution out the window, two days right off the truck it would be!
With what I hoped to be a good cigar, I paired it with Ron Zacapa XO Solera, Grand Reserva Especial Rum.
The wrapper was nice, few veins, but not baby bottom smooth. I loved the feel of it in my hand, the weightiness and the length promising to engage me for at least the next 90 minutes. I loved the slightly rounded tip. To me the narrowing of the end of this vitola would intensify the flavor of the smoke. I retreated to my front deck, set up my drink and ashtray, and was ready to rock.
Ignition! Personally, I don't care for an in-your-face overpowering cigar. Nor do I want one that tastes like I'm puffing air. I've always been a fan of El Rey. The El Rey genetics were there in the first puff. Just under medium in strength by my estimate. Grass, wet soil, a hint of strength, a bit of a pleasant after taste. I enjoyed the flavor, the pleasant aroma of the smoke, and breathed a sigh of contentment. This wasn't a complex cigar, but the simple, satisfying taste alone was enough. The draw was perfect. Goldilocks would have been happy with this, as the draw wasn't too tight, nor too loose. It was just right. Firm and satisfying.
First Third: I expected to experience some harsh notes because of the youth of the cigar. To my unexpected pleasure such wasn't the case. The intensity of the flavor increased, but the strength did not. The taste continued to be medium in intensity, conveying grass, vanilla, with a background of pleasant woodiness. The burn was even, without irregularities, again, somewhat surprising for such a young cigar.
Second Third: The cigar continued in much the same manner as the first third. A hint more of strength and intensity as I passed the half-way point at an hour into the smoke.. Some slight complexity developed, with a hint of molasses. The second third could be summed up with one word. Yummy.
Third Third: Unfortunately, no cigar can last forever (with the exception of a Monte A stick). There were no inconsistencies. No surprises. No set-backs in draw, or burn, or taste as I neared the end. The grass taste, to me, was reminiscent to of a Siglo. Earthiness and molasses increased slightly, reminding me I was nearing the end. I found myself already looking forward to the next one, wondering how long I would force myself to wait before I'd try another? How would it develop with age? Normally, I wait at least a year after the production date to smoke the first one. But in this case, with 50 sticks, I figured I could be adventurous, and I'm so glad I did. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, boasting the medium intensity and profile I enjoy most.
Overall Rating: I understand everyone has different taste preferences. For me, this one hit the ball out of the park. This was an effortless, relaxing smoke. If you want a complex cigar, this may not be for you, but for me, I couldn't ask for anything better. Perhaps a hint more complexity with aging could further improve the profile, but I'd have a hard time otherwise finding a way to improve it. At $40+ US per stick, I understand it might be a might expensive. But at least for that money you're getting a stick that will bring you two hours of enjoyment. I would rate it 94/100.