While ADV & McKay Cigars Co. S.R.L. was founded in 2016 the company did not release its first creation until a year later. That debut release named ADVentura The Explorer was followed by ADVentura The Navigator, and the company added ADVentura The Conqueror during its first IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in 2019.

Easier this year, ADVentura announced there would be two distinct new blends hitting the market at the same time: The Royal Return Queen’s Pearls and The Royal Return King’s Gold.

While The Royal Return Queen’s Blend uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, The Royal Return King’s Gold incorporates a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper that covers a Mexican San Andrés binder as well as filler tobaccos sourced from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and the United States. In addition, the tobacco used in both blends has been aged for “a minimum five years” before being rolled and the finished cigars rested for at least four months in the factory’s aging rooms before being sent to retailers.

King’s Gold is a regular production blend that is being rolled at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic.

There are now two different vitolas in The Royal Return King’s Gold line both of which are packaged in boxes of 20.

  • ADVentura The Royal Return King’s Gold Robusto (5 x 52) — $13.60 (Box of 20, $272)
  • ADVentura The Royal Return King’s Gold Toro (6 x 54) — $14.80 (Box of 20, $296)

  • Cigar Reviewed: ADVentura The Royal Return King's Gold Toro
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
  • Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Binder: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & U.S.A.
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $14.80 (Box of 20, $296)
  • Release Date: August 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The ADVentura The Royal Return King’s Gold is a good looking cigar with a very rustic, espresso brown wrapper that features not only a reddish tint but also quite a bit of oil. There is also some very obvious tooth to the cover leaf as well as plenty of thick veins running up and down its length. Aroma emanating from the wrapper and foot is a combination of strong dark chocolate and peanut butter, black pepper, hay, cedar, earth and barnyard, while the cold draw brings flavors of sweet raisin cake, cinnamon, hay, leather, spice, anise, clay and dark chocolate.

Starting out, the first third of the ADVentura King’s Gold features a very creamy profile full of a dominant almond and cedar combination interspersed with lesser notes of leather, gritty earth, tea leaves, roasted coffee beans, cinnamon and a mild floral flavor. There is a nice amount of raisin cake sweetness seemingly taken directly from the cold draw noticeable on the retrohale where it is so far playing nicely with some black pepper that is also present. In terms of construction, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut while the burn is visually problematic but not bad enough to actually need correcting as of yet. The smoke production is well above average, while the strength ends the first third closer to the medium mark than mild.

The combination of almond and cedar flavors continue to dominate the profile of The Royal Return King’s Gold until just after the halfway mark, when they are replaced by a more standard creamy leather flavor. Secondary notes of espresso beans, cocoa nibs, hay, earth, cinnamon, dry tea leaves and a bit of floral flit in and out in various amounts, while the amount of raisin cake sweetness and black pepper on the retrohale are both holding steady. Construction-wise, the draw continues along its excellent path, but the burn needs a bit of help with my lighter early on. Strength-wise, the ADVentura manages to hits a point close to medium by the end of the second third.

Although the dominant flavor changes again during the final third of King’s Gold toro, that is only one of many overt changes in the profile, not all of them for the better. This time, a distinct roasted espresso bean flavor is on top, followed by lesser notes of almonds, hay, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, leather, earth and floral flavors, but none of them are distinct enough to threaten dominance. Unlike the first two thirds, both the raisin cake sweetness and black pepper on the retrohale have reduced in strength noticeably, leading to a less complex profile overall. The draw is still giving me no problems at all, while the burn has evened up nicely and never comes close to needing another correction. Finally, the overall strength level goes nowhere fast, failing to cross the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with about an inch left.

Final Notes

  • It strikes me as a bit odd that out of the two new releases, the cigar named “King’s Gold” is not the one with the golden wrapper that looks the most like, well, gold.
  • The bands on these cigars are quite unique and are seemingly made of a type of pliable material that resembles thin metal, more like those found on the Chinnock Cellars Terroir as opposed to the much thicker and shinier—Macanudo Vintage 2006.
  • ADVentura has stated that while it is a regular production cigar, King’s Gold may experience stretches where it is not available to ship to retailers due to challenges sourcing Connecticut broadleaf tobacco for the blend.
  • The clay flavor note from the cold draw is not one I have tasted before in a cigar as far as I can remember. It instantly reminded me of the combination of clay and mud found at the bottom of the Panama canal that I tasted many times while swimming there when I lived in that country as a child.
  • The box—and I use that term lightly—used to house the ADVentura The Conqueror took eighth place in halfwheel’s 2019 Packaging Awards. 
  • The cigars for this review sent to halfwheel by ADV & McKay Cigars Co.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 37 minutes.
89 Overall Score

After a wonderful sweet creamy and complex first third, the ADVentura The Royal Return King's Gold starts to lose focus, eventually ending with a much more standard profile by the time the cigar finishes. The overall balance was quite good, while the construction was excellent with plenty of dense, white smoke and a burn that only needed to be corrected once in two of the three samples. In the end, The Royal Return King's Gold is easily good enough in the first half to warrant picking up and trying for yourself, but I am hoping that a bit more time will prove beneficial to the overall profile.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.