Back in 2008, when the Puros Indios cigar company underwent a metamorphosis to become Reyes Family Cigars, the Reyes Family Vintage was slated to replace the Puros Indios Viejo blend. It wasn’t going to be a new cigar though — the only thing that was going to change was the brand name and its associated bands and boxes.
But sometime last year Rolando Reyes, Sr. decided to preserve the Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados names, which has created some temporary confusion in how these cigars are presented. At the moment the Reyes Vintage and the Puros Indios Viejo are two distinct, though similar blends.
True to its name, the highlight of the Reyes Vintage line is an aged wrapper — a swarthy Sumatra-seed leaf grown in Ecuador and aged for eight years. (The Viejo has a Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper that is two years older yet.) The binder is Ecuadoran as well, and the filler is a three country blend from Brazil, Nicaragua, and Ecuador yet again.
At this time the Reyes Family Vintage is available in four sizes:
- Corona Extra – 5 1/2 x 45
- Robusto – 5 x 50
- Toro – 6 x 53
- Churchill – 7 1/2 x 47
The wrapper on the Reyes Family Vintage is appropriately rough and weathered in appearance. It’s dark, a little dry, and rustic. This is set off by the head of the cigar, which is beautifully finished with a triple or quadruple seam. The roll is firm and the draw is easy. My only complaint is that the burn was a little bit off at times, and the ash was extremely flaky. This is not one to smoke in a stiff breeze, unless you’re doing your best impression of Eyjafjallajokull. (I’m waiting for someone to name a cigar Eyjafjallajokull — then maybe I’ll learn how to pronounce it.)
This is one of the smoothest cigars I’ve smoked in a long time. It starts up with a light woody flavor with a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg and is light to medium in body. I like the woodsy aroma of this cigar — it reminds me a little of the Cienfuegos line, which is made by the same company.
The body builds in strength as it moves into the mid-section, but it stays silky smooth. I notice at this point that the aroma from the wrapper has grown a bit sweeter with floral accents, which is a little unusual considering how dark the wrapper is. (Floral notes are common in shade wrappers, and you could argue that Ecuadoran wrappers are shade-grown, but I find it a little unusual anyway. )
The only criticism I can make about the flavor is that it doesn’t change too much through the duration of the smoke. The Reyes Vintage sidles into its last act with the same tune — smooth and woody, only charring a bit at the very end. It’s not a grand finale, but it’s certainly pleasant.
The aged Sumatra wrapper on the Reyes Vintage robusto is superb and it contributes to the exceptional smoothness of the cigar. Construction qualities, aside from a loose flaky ash, were also very good. On the other hand, the cigar suffers from a lack of complexity. In my mind, however, the sweet woodsy aroma of the cigar and its easygoing nature outweigh its simplicity. And what’s wrong with simplicity anyway?
Reyes Vintage cigars are packed 15 to the box, which run around 90 USD, or about 6 bucks a stick. If you’re looking for a smooth and woodsy medium-bodied smoke with a stellar bouquet, this is one to try.