Last fall, Regius Cigars announced plans to make a limited edition box-pressed corona vitola as a winter release. While it would be banded with the company’s familiar black label that adorns one of its core lines, it wouldn’t be exactly the same blend, and it will have undergone two years go aging prior to release.
Just 200 boxes of 25 cigars were produced, with retailers receiving them in November.
It’s the latest in what has become a growing collection of limited editions from Akhil Kapacee, and he’s got more in the works having just announced the final installment of the Regius Exclusivo U.S.A. Series, which debuted in the middle of 2014.
Regius came to the U.S. market in November 2011 after launching in the United Kingdom. It’s been a steady growth for the company, having been picked up for distribution by Quesada Cigars in July 2012 and finding its way into more and more humidors around the country. In addition to the core lines and previously mentioned limited editions, Regius has released cigars in partnership with noted British cigar merchant Mitchell Orchant, Winston’s Humidor and Havana Club in Hawaii.
- Cigar Reviewed: Regius LE Corona 2015 Winter Edition
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 5/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona
- MSRP: $10 (Boxes of 25, $250)
- Release Date: November 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 25 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
At one level the Regius LE Corona 2015 Winter Edition looks like a fairly standard cigar, but there is something interesting about what the box press does to its appearance. While not the most squared off cigar I’ve ever seen, it is certainly well-pressed, and transforms it from a typical round parejo into a candy bar shape, reminding me of a piece of KitKat bar. The wrapper itself is a muted, matte shade of brown with primarily small veins and no visible tooth but still has a bit of texture to it. There’s a bit of a soft spot just below the band, but otherwise the cigar feels well constructed, with the appearance and cap reinforcing that idea. From the clean cut foot I get a bit of sweet, damp wood as the lead aroma and while it seems like there’s more behind that, it’s so subtle it’s hard to pick out other than some apricot in the second sample. The cold draw varies a bit from a touch firm to a touch loose, with a subtle fruit sweetness that reminds me of applesauce and dried mangos in one sample to very mellow wood in another. There’s no pepper to speak of for either the tongue or the palate.
On the first sample I’m greeted by a somewhat sour, biting and unorganized flavor; I’m tempted to try and equate it to twang but I don’t think it’s earned that mark. Fortunately it sheds that fairly quickly and seemed to be a fluke, quickly bringing on a good bit of pepper, coffee and earth to set a fairly robust baseline, with the burn line progressing quickly up the cigar. While prominent, the pepper isn’t dominant for the most part, making quick, sharp appearances in the nose and a bit of more subdued lingering flavor on the tongue. That said, there are times where it picks up quite significantly, standing tall in what feels like a thin smoke that doesn’t linger on the senses very long. The burn line has been good it not perfect, with one cigar needing a quick touch-up in the first third but the other two samples performing well.
The transition into the second third is a fairly uneventful one, with the same robust but smooth flavors dutifully carrying on, until right around the midpoint an assertive blast of pepper comes through and quickly enlivens the nostrils. I begin to get a bit of chalk from the cigar, and like the majority of its flavor mates is fairly subtle, save for when it gets a boost from the pepper. The parting puffs of the second third have an interesting duality of some punchy flavors wrapped in a soft smoke; pepper is present but not aggressive, and the robust notes of toast, smoke, earth and coffee do more coddling of the senses than outright enveloping, other than for a handful of puffs in the second sample. While the flavors aren’t jumping off this cigar, the blend doesn’t seem to be trying to do too much, which is certainly appreciated and duly noted. A bit of warm cake donut and coffee bean come together nicely heading out of this section; it’s a bit muffled of a flavor combination but the overall goal is good. Construction has been solid to to this point, never needing more than a quick touch-up due to a momentary lack of attentiveness, with ample smoke production and a fairly even burn line.
There isn’t much more change to be found at the start of the final third of the Regius LE Corona 2015 Winter Edition; I’m still getting a pretty robust overall offering, though there’s little if any nicotine strength to be found, which isn’t always a bad thing. The wood is a little more prominent that it has been at previous points, not particularly dry or damp, it’s a neutral but noticeable flavor that contributes more to the palate than the nose. A twinge of sourness comes into the flavor with just over an inch to go, settling squarely in the middle of my tongue, though much like what I picked up at the start of the cigar, it too is fleeting, and I take the stick down to a fairly tidy nub as the flavors from earlier return to finish things out.
- I’ve never been crazy about the term Arbiter Elegantiae used on the Regius bands. It means arbiter of elegance and sounds a bit arrogant for my liking.
- One thing I do like about the Regius bands is the set of letters that are included on one end, in this case visible when you take the band off: RB IF JT AF ST NP IO ID SD AI AK MP. It’s the initials of all the people who helped get the Regius Cigars brand launched.
- While I appreciate a full-bodied, knock on your backside cigar as much as the next guy, there is something incredibly enjoyable about a cigar that doesn’t do that, and if anything leaves you in the mood for another, which this Regius certainly did for the most part.
- The ash on this cigar wasn’t the most cooperative I’ve ever had, with the first cigar’s dropping off at every point where I wanted to take a picture of it. Should you smoke this cigar, you’ve been warned: tap the ash often.
- The black Regius band used on this cigar also appeared on the Regius Seleccion Orchant Robusto LE that I reviewed in August 2013.
- Regius Cigars will complete its Exclusivo U.S.A. trilogy next month with the release of the Regius Exclusivo U.S.A. Oscuro Especial.
- Brooks Whittington reviewed the Regius Black Label Robusto in December 2011.
- Regius Cigars is distributed by Quesada Cigars, which advertises on halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 20 minutes on average.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar carries the Regius LE Corona 2015 Winter Edition.
To say I was nervous about this cigar after the first puffs would be an understatement, but it was a fleeting issue that never returned to this cigar. I love the vitola and what it does for this slightly tweaked blend, which while not the most dynamic I've ever tried, scores well in balance and consistency, offering good amounts of clean pepper and a robust core flavor profile without overpowering strength. While I would have liked a bit more vibrance from the flavors, the overall blend is certainly sound and enjoyable. Whether or not you've had the Regius Black Label or not, this is a cigar worth giving a shot.