Saint Luis Rey Petit Corona

(Size: 5″ x 42  —  Time: 50mins)

Until this afternoon I had three Saint Luis Rey Petit Coronas lying around in various places. One from a generous trade with someone from the UK Cigar Forums, another which I bought a month or so back, and the final one, virtually straight off the boat from the UK importers. The SLR brand is one which I’ve generally had very mixed experiences with – a Regios (essentially a robusto) with a good few years on it is sublime, a Serie A can be a really great cigar too. But the others have seemed to be a bit, “meh”. All the other SLR PCs I’ve had have been a bit on the unimpressive side, would this one change my mind?

Appearance /15

A typically Cuban wrapper – Colorado in colour, reasonably smooth, with just a couple of small, but prominent, veins. The cap was well applied in the standard fashion. There were a couple of (very minor) blemishes on the wrapper – a dark spot here, a light spot there – but neither big enough or plentiful enough to make any real difference to the overall impression. The squeeze test was just about passed – firm (though a little too much so around the band), but with a nice amount of give around the foot. 13

Smoking Characteristics /25

I’ll be completely honest, I wasn’t holding out much hope. I’d gone for one of the younger SLR PCs I had (it was most easily to hand), and every other SLR PC I’ve smoked has had less than stunning construction. The pre-light aroma was a little leathery and, to my surprise, the cigar lit beautifully. In-fact, I was trying to get my lighter working for another blast when I looked at the foot and decided it was done already – and it was. My first thought after lighting was, however: “Oh no… not again…” The draw was much tighter than I like, and there was almost no smoke coming through at all. I was disappointed, and downbeat. Thankfull though, within a few minutes the draw had loosened to an acceptable level (still on the tight side though) and there was a very satisfying amount of smoke produced – this was pretty much the norm throughout. As for the burn itself – a little uneven in places, but pretty tidy through the first two-thirds. Unfortunately, in the last third it was on the verge of going out a couple of times (just about kept it going mind – CPR type stuff), and the burn went a little wonky in places. The only real issue was the tunnelling during the early going. The ash wasn’t great, being quite flakey, and keeping me on my toes throughout… 22

Flavour /25

The first few draws were very herbal, with quite a bite to it (my fault for going young I suppose – but it’s not something which affects all cigars). Soon the bite dropped away and the herbal flavours give way to a typical SLR leather. After a while, there was a bit of bite again – some astringency around the edges of a tongue (a little like a poorly balanced wine). This soon disappeared too, and a slightly earthy/meaty quality came in (with a little mint at the back end of the draw). Another staple flavour from SLR is cinnamon, and if you wanted the SLR profile you wouldn’t be disappointed, as it very quickly joined the earthiness, pushing the roast lamb aside… Towards the middle of the final thirds, there were a few nutty flavours, especially pistachio, which made an enjoyable appearance. All of a sudden though, without even thinking about the flavour, two thoughts jumped into my head in succession: swimming pool and pine. Now I’m not quite sure why (I’m pretty sure it didn’t taste like the public baths), but it indicated a fleeting ‘fresh and clean’ flavour. (I should note, it was an unused swimming pool – I couldn’t describe it as fresh or clean otherwise…) And, the finale? For symmetry, leather top and tailed this cigar. 22

Oveerall Impression /35

It’s an odd cigar the SLR PC, I’ve taken into account previous experiences as this one didn’t go completely against the grain of any of my previous experiences: still not great construction but with reasonably good flavours, but little depth or complexity. It’s a little like an Andy McNab book (SLR) to a Bernard Cornwell book (Bolivar) – they both have the constituent parts of a great action book, but one of them puts them across in a more refined way. The flavours were medium-to-full, the strength medium – but it never made me stop and just think, “Wow, that was a great draw…”  31

Grand total… 88/100

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