Sunday, December 26, 2010

Augusto Reyes Cigars, Epicur, Domincan Republic

     Somedays, all I want/need/crave is to smoke a good cigar on my drive home. An hour to myself with the windows rolled down, playing some Van Morrison and sipping on a rich espresso. I watch the other drivers clutch their steering wheels too tightly, beady eyes searching the crowd of traffic for a break - any break - to swerve in and steal another 5 feet of momentum.


     I do not.

     I sit in the lap of luxury; surrounded by that which brings me joy. True enough, perhaps it does take me an extra 5 minutes to get home - but I do it safely, and even manage to enjoy that hour. That hour with myself, my music, my cigar. Yesterday I was lucky enough to have a torpedo cigar from Augusto Reyes of the Dominican Republic ( ).

     The Reyes family has been on the same land, growing tobacco, for over 150 years. I live in a beautiful city by the ocean; Vancouver, British Columbia, which at that time simply didn't exist... there were some traders and that was about it. There were two native settlements, and the railway hadn't yet been able to breach the awesome Rocky Mountains. 150 years ago, the Reyes family was already doing what it did best; growing some of the finest tobacco in the country for consumption worldwide. There is indeed something to be said for that much history behind a line of cigars.

workers @ Reyes Cigar Factory, Dominican Republic
     One of the most startling experiences of smoking my first Augusto Reyes cigar was the immense depth and layering to it. The cigar was much like a wine from well-aged vines. I would be remiss if I didn't make it absolutely clear that my cigar went through several evolutions one could say; there were incredibly different flavors profiles from the first 1/3rd to the second 1/3rd and even the very end. It was a brilliant experience and I'm very much looking forward to my next!

Augusto Reyes, Epicur
Domincan Republic
$5 USD/cigar **GREAT VALUE**
  • visual:     this is a well constructed cigar, and upon looking at it this is self-evident. Well crafted, when smoked I found the cigar burnt evenly, with very thick white ash that held firm
  • aroma:     layers upon layers, as stated above. Fully intense notes of cedary-wood, followed by dark berries and cocoa, even some creamy espresso notes at the last 1/3rd (which I smoked down to the last 1")
  • palate:     if there is a short coming to this very under-valued cigar, it is in the initial stages of smoking it... I found the palate started with a sharpness that bordered on harsh and acidic. Certainly it is a taste that one needs to grow used to, as it develops then into a rich peppery-spicyness with a background of dried blueberries and 80% dark chocolate. from 1/2 to the bottom 1/5th was the best for me, when all of that flavor developed with nuances of rich dark coffee. A brilliantly developed cigar if one can get past the first 3 minutes
  • conclusion:   for $5 I think anyone would be hard-pressed to find better value. I was smoking mine with espresso, which in hindsight was a poor choice. This cigar has intense spicy characteristics, blended with dark flavors of wood, berry and coffee... perfect pairing for an American Whisky (Jack Daniels Single Barrel would be my preference). The American Whisky is aged in American oak, which lends sweetness, vanilla and caramel notes... all of which will balance the richly flavored cigar. Trust me.

One of the Reyes family enjoys his handywork


And so I enjoyed my hour to myself, and laughed a little laugh at the guys in the next car who stressed and schemed and sweat their way through traffic... I could wait. I had all the time in the world because I had that little time to share with the Reyes family and their great passion.


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