I found this cigar buried at the bottom of my desktop humidor where I keep my "everyday" smokes, cigars that are good enough for walking the dog or mowing the lawn. I remember liking this cigar a couple years ago, but evidently this single got away from me. It's been there long enough for the cello to take on a yellow tinge and for the label to fade somewhat. Now that this fugitive has been apprehended I plan to bring it to justice.
This is a JR Cigars house brand produced by Rolando Reyes, Sr., maker of Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados. This is enough to make some people run in terror, but not me. I think Rolando makes great affordable cigars. The copy on the JR website says that these "used to sell like hotcakes in plain plastic bags" with no bands. At some point the Rothmans and the Reyes had difficulties, resulting in the cessation of "Special Coronas" production in 1994.
Starting a few years back Lew and Rolando patched things up and now the Special Corona is again available, like the Puros Indios "Special Aged," in packs of 6. (Why Reyes likes six packs, I don't know.)
The No. 5 is a classic robusto size at 5 inches by 50 ring gauge and comes equipped with Ecuador Sumatran wrapper and binder, and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
The pre-light disposition of this stick is unremarkable. It lights easily and the draw is good. The first taste is classic Puros Indios — a light nutty flavor with an earthy base that can be slightly cloying. But there is something different here about the aroma. It's a richer, much more interesting scent. I can only attribute this to the wrapper. It seems to me somewhat floral, but muted, with a very mild cocoa overtone.
Which makes it sound more sophisticated than it really is… I'd say the JR Special Corona is basically a dressed up Puros Indios. A PI in a bow tie. If you happen to like Puros Indios as an "everyday" kind of cigar, you'll probably like the Special Corona as well.
Towards the middle of the stick it picks up a flinty, graphite flavor, and ends with a slightly sour finish. The aftertaste is earthy but mild.
The JR Special Corona No. 5 is not a cigar you'll want to break out to celebrate a special occasion, but it's not bad for a walk around the block. It's slightly more expensive than the standard Puros Indios rothschild, but it's also slightly better.