El Rey del Mundo Flor de Llaneza
Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:13 PM
This brings us to the cigar of this review. The El Rey del Mundo Flor de Llaneza is a cigar that I have been anxious to try for a long time. Back in the mid 1990's when I started enjoying cigars, some of my first box purchases were from the ERdM brand. Over the years, I've sampled many from their line but for some reason never tried the Flor de Llaneza. For some reason, this is not one of the front marks or models commonly found on retailers' shelves. At least not in my neck of the woods. It is also not a cheap cigar and it only comes in cabs of 35. I surmise that both of these factors is a deterrent to putting this in stock.
To add fuel to the fire, some recent tantalizing reviews suggested that the FdL was a good cigar worthy of a spin. The natural and maduro versions were reviewed in the Fall 2005 issue of Cigar Magazine and did very well. Some folks never go by reviews. I say it depends on the nature and quality of the review. In some cases, reviews are useful for introducing cigars that you might never otherwise have considered.
And so, when I visited with tone-ny this winter and he brought me on a whirlwind tour of NYC cigar shops including JR Cigars, I finally had my chance to pick up a few loose sticks. I bought the FdL in natural (Ecuadorian Sumatra) and maduro (Connecticut broadleaf) wrappers. So, without further do-do, on with the review. Accompaniments were freshly brewed coffee and a chocolate chip oatmeal "heart-shaped cookie my daughter made for me. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Prelight and Initial Stage
The FdL is a stout belicoso-shaped cigar. The wrapper was a velvety EMS with fine veins. The head of the cigar was wonderfully constructed, symmetrical and coming to a point sharp and strong enough to puncture a tire. Clearly the rollers who roll this cigar are highly skilled. The bunching was full but not overly crowded and the overall feel was light but with a perfectly appropriate elasticity.
Prelight aroma was light but amazingly earthy. More than simply tobacco, there was a rich "barnyard" scent that I often encounter in Habanos. Clipping the head took all of my modest finger strength. On figurados, I prefer to make my cut further down than some I think. It's no fun trying to suck a golf ball though a straw and I like to expose a good portion of the bunch to support a good draw while minimizing the chances for tar buildup. My trusty Davidoff nearly stalled part way through the cut. This was some beefy leaf! But the cone did come off and with a flick of the flame, the game was afoot.
Initial impressions were of a delicious sweetness punctuated by sharp peppery and spicy notes. If you've ever had good craft-made ginger beer, you'll know what I mean by this. The draw was right on and from the first puffs, the FdL delivered gobs of thick smoke, enough to encircle my head like a wreath. The aroma was light in terms of tobacco and suffused with a very pronounced floral, almost perfumey character. The strength or body was medium and the smoke was mellow and moderately creamy. The ash was a brilliant white and although appearing solid, was actually quite delicate if amazingly dense. When the first ashing came at about an inch, it hit the garage floor with an audible "thup." So far, this cigar was living up to the hype by delivering a very high quality smoking experience.
Finish and Final Impressions
The draw and smoke volume stayed very good throughout the cigar. After about the first third, the sweetness receded as did the floral notes. In crept a certain tanginess and dry woody notes. I found, however, that this cigar genuinely responded to different smoking techniques. If drawn on slowly, the floral and sweet notes came back to the fore. If huffed with more authority or if double-pulled, the cigar delivered more of the peppery and woody notes. And so this continued until the final third. Here I started to notice more earthiness in the tobacco flavor and some more toasted wood notes. At the very end, the tanginess amplified to the point where things started to become significantly unbalanced.
Calling it quits at around the final inch, I felt satisfied that the FdL had lived up to the press as well as my expectations. Though a delightful smoking experience, I feel that this cigar would benefit from more time to enhance the overall balance. Some slight indications of harshness suggest that with time, the Flor de Llaneza could become an even more marvelous cigar.
The El Rey del Mundo Flor de Llaneza is a top notch cigar from Honduras. Construction and tobaccos were of exceptional quality and its characteristics make you believe that in time, this cigar could deliver a sublime experience. Too delicate to serve as a poker smoke, it is a cigar that rewards the attentive and adventurous smoker. Recommended.
Posted 20 February 2006 - 07:39 PM
Posted 26 February 2006 - 08:50 AM
Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:51 PM
I would add that the maduros with 3-5 years of age are phenomenal smokes. Similar profile to an Anejo with undertones of sweet raisin / graham crackers.
Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:57 AM
Jim nice to see you posting again, how have you been?
Edited by siriusstoogie, 09 June 2008 - 06:58 AM.
Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:10 PM
This has been called Llaneza's best smoke by many. Too bad you have to buy boxes of 35 or so.
Both Maduro and "Natural" are great. I definitely need to try these again.
Posted 10 August 2008 - 03:34 PM
Joe - just saw your post... The 03's are just fantastic. Hoard those for the next quad state!
Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:23 PM
It is nice to see the cigar/food pictures from you again.
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