The phenomenon of brand extension is in evidence once again with El Rey del Mundo Olvidados. The original “King of the World” is a Cuban marca, but in the U.S. we are more familiar with the Villazon version blended by Estelo Padrón in Honduras. I don’t know how many boxes of oscuros I’ve consumed over the years, but for a long time it was my “go to” smoke.
The newest blend was created by protegés of Estelo Padrón for Cuban Imports, who are themselves no strangers to brand extensions: in 2006 they unveiled their Por Larrañaga “Cuban Grade” and last year the H. Upmann “Signature,” both Altadis owned brands. With ERDM Olvidados they add a player from General Cigar to their team.
They came up with a diverse blend for this cigar. The filler includes ligero from Nicaragua, viso from Honduras, and seco leaf from the Dominican Republic. The binder is a Connecticut broadleaf, and the star of the show is a dark Ecuadorian grown Sumatra wrapper.
Big ring gauges are another theme for this line. The Chateau E Epicure is the smallest at 52, and they only go up from there. The full rundown:
Chateaux R Robusto – 5 x 54
Chateaux E Epicure – 6 x 52
Chateaux T Torpedo – 6 1/8 x 54
Chateaux X “X” – 6 x 60
Chateaux D Double Corona – 7 1/4 x 54
Normally I don’t find a ring gauge over 52 very comfortable, but for this review I picked up a couple of the 54 ring gauge robustos (because this was the only size the shop had in stock.) My Palio sliced off the cap nicely, though it was a little cumbersome in the cutter. A prelight pull revealed a nice draw but not much else to enlighten me.
The wrapper on this cigar is rough and maduro in color, much darker than you’d expect from Ecuadorian Sumatra. It reminds me a little of the wrapper on the standard ERDM — it’s a little bit chipped at points and looks weathered. The antique style of the black and bronze band fits in perfectly with this look. The roll is solid and despite the large footprint it takes a light with ease.
What is most impressive about this cigar is how smooth it is. Maybe I’m getting used to all these Nicaraguan cigars that start out with a blast to the palate, but this one was a nice change from that. There’s nary a scratch or burn anywhere here. Just a very easy going, medium bodied full flavored smoke from start to finish.
The predominating flavor here is a sweet woody char very similar to what I find in another Villazon cigar — Flor de A. Allones. The first half of the Olvidados is also characterized by a salty element that went in and out of balance with the sweetness of the smoke. It certainly wasn’t overpowering, but at times I thought it could be a little overbearing.
The middle part of the cigar achieves a better equilibrium. The aroma is almost syrupy, and the flavor is balanced and round. The saltiness is no longer in the smoke as much as it is in the aftertaste. A cool drink is helpful at this point.
But unfortunately the last section was not really to my liking. The flavors become more one-dimensional, focusing on charcoal, and the aftertaste gets a bit sour. I found on both attempts that I couldn’t quite finish the cigar. Up to this point I thought it was pretty good, though overall this cigar is a little too salty for me.
El Rey del Mundo Olvidados scores very well on construction, and would score fairly well on taste — especially in the middle section — were it not for the last third where the aftertaste turns a little sour. The flavors here are very similar to what I find in Flor de A. Allones — which is fitting in a way, since Antonio Allones was one of the founders of the Cuban El Rey del Mundo. But if you like the currently available Allones blend from Villazon, you’ll probably like this one as well. As for me, it’s time to light up something else.
Prices run in the 7 USD range.