Size: 5 x 48 Robusto
Today we take a look at the Cuban El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme (2018)
I have not smoked one before this; or I just can’t remember because my brain is like a dry sponge. Fingers crossed it crosses the river Jordan to the land of milk and honey.
Kind of a rough cob looking stick. Not pretty. A little lumpy and bumpy. Veins are standing at attention. Seams are clearly visible. The triple cap is nice. The stick feels full; no hard or soft spots. Solid, baby. The slightly shiny wrapper is the color of caramel/peanut butter.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
A potent mix of floral notes, milk chocolate, creaminess, black pepper, and caramel bitch slap me hard. I read other reviews and most said they smelled next to nothing. A mystery. And I don’t remember them reviewing really old versions. Maybe because I did so much coke in the early 80’s, I’ve been given a superpower called The Schnoz Rules!
The more subtle notes are dried fruit: raisins and dates, a touch of mint, vanilla, plus a bunch of tiny elements that are lumped together and smooshed; so much for the big schnoz.
The cold draw presents flavors of rich tobacco, black pepper, caramel, mint, vinegar, and some citrus. All those wonderful aromas and almost none of them made it to the draw.
The draw is exactly how I like it. I will save my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for my next cigar which inevitably will need it.
First up is a gentle breeze of black pepper and creaminess. Complexity digs its heels in immediately. There is sweetness that seems to come in different life forms: a light honey at play, vanilla wafers, milk chocolate, salty caramel, and a sweet coffee thing.
There is an earthiness at play. In that, I mean some sort of root veggies mixed up and confused…none wanting to stand out among the others. The black pepper could do me a solid and stand down. It’s a bit too strong at this early juncture.
Creaminess begins which takes the edge off the spiciness. And prune! Just in the background reminding me of Hamantaschen. A Jewish cookie thing served around the holiday of Purim. I was a strange kid. I loved prunes at an early age. Never connected why I shat myself so much. But I was glad. I remember sitting on the toilet as a kid and seeing that big red rubber enema bag hanging from the shower…along with that 10-foot-long hose with an insertion piece the size of a fist. Something about the 1950’s…I don’t know if it was a Jewish thing or a 50’s thing. But every friend’s house had one of those things in the bathroom. Makes me shudder. If it was ever used on me, I can’t remember…I’ve blocked it out completely.
The strength is a solid medium.
And with only half an inch burned, the cigar explodes with nuance, balance, subtleties, and richness. This is going to be a fun review. For me, anyway.
It becomes very fudgy with black walnuts. Usually what you saw in the toilet when you were young and drank a lot. God knows what we put into our stomachs when we were ‘partying.’
The stick is filled perfectly. A nice leisurely smoke that is satisfying and interesting. And the price is right for a Cuban.
The spiciness begins to fade. It allows the small flavor bits to rise to the top: A variety of nuts, there is a slight steak sauce component as I can taste vinegar, cumin, and soy. Not off putting as it seems it must.
The honeysuckle, caramel, vanilla, prune, chocolate, and creaminess join hands and sing “Only Fairies Wear Boots.”
Ah…this is a great treat. A wonderfully balanced and flavorful cigar and I’ve only smoked an inch. My good buddy, Kellie from Denver, sent me this stick. We send each other dick pics but she doesn’t have one…so I guess it’s just me sending them.
The burn is spot on.
A nice lemon twist enters. Savory, sweet, and tart. Just how I like my women.
Back when I had my recording studio in the late 70’s to mid 80’s, I had a secretary. She was a coke whore. But good looking. The first time I bed her, I did the nasty down there. The smell was so bad that I blacked out for a few seconds. Impulsively, I recoiled in horror and just prayed to God I be spared.
Everything else worked like clockwork. She asked why I wouldn’t continue eating her fruit cake…she asked if it was because I was a Jew? I jumped on that excuse. “Yeah,” I said. “Jews don’t do that because it’s a sin.” She bought it. A brainiac she was not. But then I did the wrong thing.
I got her on her knees but didn’t realize that if you can draw a straight line from her quedgie to my nose. Each time I thrust, I gagged. I flipped her over. I think that was the only time I had my way with her. Although she did wake me up in the middle of the night twice with surprises. Ah, to be young again.
Where was I?
Floral notes shimmer. Not a lick of fish market smell. Or a girl’s jock strap.
The burn needs occasional touch ups.
Transitions are full of depth. Always moving. Great finish that lingers forever.
“Little Wing” by SRV is playing. Perfec segue.
Still hanging at medium strength; but I sense it will make its move later.
A lovely malty essence arrives. Not so much the candy as it is the elements of a good lager. It brings the nuttiness, cocoa, and coffee to their apex in this mini adventure.
There are $10 Cubans available online, but few are really good. Another is one of my faves…RASS. Normally, a good Cuban can take years to see its fruition. This one only took nearly 3 years.
The burn issues are a bit annoying; but not tantrum seeking yet.
Transitions keep everything interesting.
Complexity is a full dose.
And we hit medium/full.
The tartness is upfront now. The creaminess has dissipated. The pepperiness needs to shut the fuck up. It is overwhelming the most subtle of flavor points.
My first sip of water and flavors blast away: black licorice, mushroom, vegetal qualities, and the spiciness subsides a bit.
I belong to a group on FB called “The Wrecking Crew.” For the non-musicians out there, this was the famous group of session players in L.A. that played on every track of every artist in the 60’s and 70’s.
The post was all about drummer Hal Blaine. So, naturally, I had to post a couple photos of me and Hal. Bragging rights. A few people I don’t know hit the Like button. I reached out to a couple to friend them. They ignored me…lol.
The El Rey hits the turbo thrust button. The entire profile of the cigar just takes off. This happens at the mid-way point.
Kellie…you’re in the will. (I just hope you can afford the debt).
The flavor profile begins to morph. Instead of distinct elements, they clamor together like the 1970’s free government cheese giveaway.
The rich quality of this blend is impressive.
“Let It Bleed” by the Stones. I’m now swaying to the music. I get dizzy and stop.
The potency of the black pepper goes from a mild background thing to way over the top. This will deduct points.
But overall, it is a finely constructed cigar; not counting the burn problems. The draw remains constant and pleasing.
I should have dry boxed the cigar. It is a bit wet and requires re-lighting on a regular basis.
The strength is about to move past medium/full.
The Eagles are playing. Hi Dr. Rod.
Surprisingly, red pepper supplants the black pepper making the spiciness a tangier experience. I prefer it.
Wisconsin has changed me. In SoCal, I’d put on a sweater if the temp got down to 65 degrees. Now…the current temp is 33 degrees and I’m comfortable with the windows open. I’ve gone to the dark side. Folks who grew up here are walking around in shorts, tees, and flip flops.
So, where are we? Complexity is through the roof. My only criticism is the over the top spiciness. It blankets the more nuanced flavors. I dab my eyes with a tampon to wipe away the tears.
Naturally, after writing the last sentence, the spiciness relents. Flavors perk up. No added flavor points. Don’t need them. The cigar is just fine.
I get some graham cracker, the return of the licorice, the maltiness is 20 megatons…The nuttiness gives the blend a very savory element. Meanwhile, the sweet factors are dancing in clover.
Vanilla becomes ice cream. Thick and creamy. The chocolate returns and augments the vanilla creaminess.
Salted caramel is lovely. The minty component has long vanished. But the twist of lemon makes a nice counterpoint.
The El Rey is becoming very intense.
Nicotine rears its ugly head. I swoon a bit.
Two conditions are preventing me from rating this cigar higher: powerful spiciness and the burn problems. Maybe a couple more years in hibernation will handle this.
The cigar lounge I worked at last year sold Cubans under the table. Smokers would buy them and light ‘em up right there. I tried a couple like that, and I have no idea how the cigars pleased so many smokers. All cigar lounges sell contraband to the right customers.
Should you buy some, and I recommend you do, put them away with your Krugerrands and forget about them til 2026…or longer.
Despite the issues I mentioned, this was a totally enjoyable cigar that will please the most demanding palate.
And now for something completely different:
It was my 25th birthday in February, 1975. I was in London. Curved Air’s start of their British and European tour was to begin the following night in London for 20,000 fans.
To celebrate, my band mates and the members of the band Renaissance took me to the famous Marquee Club. It is sort of the English version of the Whisky A Go Go. And it was right off Piccadilly Circus.
I had no idea who was playing that night. It turned out to be no one special. Figures. But I was surrounded by 25 of my friends so it was all good.
As soon as we got there, drummer Stewart Copeland handed over some writing paper. It was a letter to him from a friend at UC Berkeley where Stew spent a couple years. The letter was written on blotter paper. And the friend dosed the entire letter in his own mad scientist formula of LSD.
Stew ripped off a small piece the size of a dime and handed it to me. I took it and placed it on my tongue. Stew and Sonja insisted I down a giant 20 oz. beer right afterwards. And since I don’t drink, I got shit faced immediately.
We went into the room where the band played and within 15 minutes, I was flying on a magic carpet ride. I looked over at Sonja and tried to speak but couldn’t.
She smiled the smile of the Cheshire Cat. She put her arm in mine and walked me out into the lobby where we found a bench to sit on.
Time no longer had meaning. We sat on that bench for hours. It seemed like minutes. The evening had come to an end. People were filing out and leaving. The 25 friends, who included the two bands, walked over to us. They heard what Stew had done to me and were laughing hard and doing tricks with their faces and hands to freak me out. They had not had their dose yet. I was hallucinating like a mother fucker.
Stew handed out the medication. Everyone took a piece. I told them they had no idea what was about to happen to them, and they laughed at me. (I would have the last laugh).
We ambled outside with Sonja guiding me. Piccadilly Circus was crowded with night crawlers at 1am. Trying to get a few taxis to take us back to my flat was impossible. So, I let out a guttural yell, “TAXI!!!!” and I was heard from the other side of the Circus and came to our location. We all piled into 3 taxis.
Sonja and I were the only ones in our taxi that were heavily medicated. There were 4 others still trying to fuck with me and laughing…I kept pleading with them to stop…but even in my delirium, I knew that they had no idea what was in store for them.
It took about 15 minutes and we were home. We all went through the door while I heard voices asking, “What’s going on? Where am I?”
I laughed. I was already 4 hours into my journey and theirs was just beginning.
It was past 2am.
I sat in the living room staring at a freaky poster on the wall. I watched as the poster melted and took on odd shapes. I laughed hard.
A chick who lied and said she had taken acid many times walked into the living room where I sat alone. She had tears in her eyes. She asked me if it was always like this?
I replied, “No. It’s not usually this good.”
She ran screaming down the hall.
This huge group of people was dazed and confused and all having a good time…except for this chick who bragged she had done plenty of acid, but in truth, had never done it….so she began to bum out a small group of young men who became her caretakers.
And then I got stomach cramps. I didn’t know if they were real. And then a moment of clarity hit me, and I ran for the bathroom. My flat was a basement flat in a several hundred-year-old building. No heat. And it was winter.
The bathroom was tiny and I could see my breath as I sat on the toilet.
This is something you never want to do….take a dump while high on acid. All my senses were concentrated on my asshole. I became my asshole.
But I made it through and ended up feeling much better and returned to the group.
Turns out, the misguided chick had left the flat to get some air in the frigid winter night. She was out there for a bit and began to freak out even more; so, she decided she better get back inside. Turns out, she had locked herself out and no one could hear her knock.
She stood out there for an hour and when someone finally went looking for her, they discovered her in a heap on the front door mat. She was brought in where she proceeded to vomit and cry.
She was bumming everyone out. I walked away.
The inside of that flat was like a circus with everyone doing something different to entertain themselves. Sonja found a lemon in the kitchen and spent several hours “walking her lemon.” My good buddy, Skip, accompanied her to keep her safe.
We were up all night. People began to file out around daybreak, heading to their homes. And hopefully, some sleep.
I managed to crawl into bed and slept….but with some amazing dreams.
Both Curved Air and Renaissance were to open in London that night. CA was made up of hardened Hippies. What’s a little acid? No biggie. In fact, Stew and Sonja smoked hash all day long extending the acid trip.
Meanwhile, the Renaissance boys couldn’t take it and had to cancel their gig.
And I got blamed for their cancellation. Not Stew. Me.
Management was furious. But then management was named Copeland so naturally I took the fall.
Annie Haslam, their lead singer did not do drugs and was not at my birthday party.
She held me personally responsible and from that day forward, never spoke to me again. As we had the same manager, there were times I saw her in the hallways. I would say hi and she would turn her head and ignore me.
That was the last time I did acid. It was a great time and seemed like a good idea to go out on a good note.
We played beautifully that night with 3 encores.
The boys of Renaissance spent that night in bed…whimpering.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS