Popular Post Chef Posted May 26, 2019 Popular Post Share Posted May 26, 2019 For our stateside FOHers, Happy Memorial weekend. What gorgeous weather today. It was actually warm enough for me to throw down the slip'n'slide for the kiddos. They loved it. I ended up getting a sandal tan in the short time it took me to fill it up with water. As my girls started slipping, sliding, and of course, screaming, I took a seat in the shade and sparked up an itty, bitty Reyes. Here's how it went... It was a little breezy out, and all I had was my soft flame lighter. Hence, I had to put the flame directly to the foot. It got smoking right away, and at first light, BAM!! The pepper hit me immediately. It coated my palate front to back, the roof, and even down toward my throat. The pepper on the retrohale was quite punchy as well. Boy, I didn't expect that at all. It certainly wasn't the spiciest cigar I've smoked. Not even close. But I was caught off guard. Also, my mouth was dry, which accentuated the spicy tingle. I cracked open a bottle of water right away. After a few more puffs, my palate adjusted and could start to discern some actual flavors: a distinct floral note, which I'll get to later, creamy coffee, and a little woodiness. As I smoked through the first inch or so, each draw yielded less and less creamy coffee and transitioned into more of a toasted tea leaf. Have you ever prepared tea-smoked duck? The aroma reminded me of the smoking leaves. Pretty darn aromatic. Oh, ya, and that floral note? It isn't like the floral note I've picked up with other young cigars. This floral note is a little unique. It has a faint herb nuance to it, like the bouquet of dried flowers and thyme ground in a mortar. The smoke is plentiful, and the body and flavor are both medium-full, at least. As the Reyes glides into the next third, the wood matures into nuts. The pepper persists, but is a good bit milder than the initial sampling. It's not just pepper anymore either. It has a hint of a kitchen spice to it. Ginger? I'm not quite sure. It's pleasant, though. We're half way down now, and the foot smoke starts yielding a lovely earthy scent. I certainly didn't expect it either, but it's put a smile on my face. It's not very intense, but unquestionably present. The floral herb element is still very much there as well, in particular, on those long, thirsty draws where the cherry gets hotter than it would like. It's own way of offering caution. And though the cigar doesn't punish me with bitterness, it eventually expresses its discontent with a burn that goes askew. But alas, I am shown mercy, and within a few minutes the burn line self corrects. Now into the last third, the Reyes finally teases with a touch of sweetness. Up until this point, the sensations on the tongue and lips have been markedly neutral. The foot smoke, which I was totally in like with in the previous third, lures me in further with a touch of cocoa. I swear; it's there. The toasted tea leaves become deeper and richer, which is aiding in the balance of the spicy, nutty, herbaceous bed of flowers. Remember that mortar full of dried flowers and thyme? Now add some of those smoking tea leaves, a couple of nuts, a dash of ginger, and a pinch of black pepper. Grind it all up, add a little water, and make a paste. That's what you get in the last third. You can taste stuff, but not taste it at the same time. Just balanced. As I wrap up, I will say that this was a superior short smoke. The construction was very good, allowing the ash to hold on for over an inch at a time; very good for a cigar of this ring gauge. Look at the tooth. Nice! I should also mention, however, that I smoked a Reyes about a month ago from a sampler pack. As good as today's smoke was, the one from the sampler was atrocious. Possibly the worst smoking experience of Cuban cigars to date. Wait, no, I take that back. It's neck and neck with three, count 'em, three Lusitanias (MSU) that were so plugged, I threw them all away....back to back to back (not all in the same day). I hope to find some consistency with the Reyes, as I would really like to take this journey again, soon and often. My final rating? 90/100 8 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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