Winston’s Humidor of Midlothian, Va. was one of Regius of London’s first U.S. accounts. One of the perks of being an early support of the brand came in August 2012, when the Regius Winston’s Humidor Third Anniversary Culebra arrived.
Like some other culebras, Regius put different wrappers on each of the three parts of the culebra. Only 100 boxes of three culebras was released with a price of $63.
More info was given in a press release:
Regius of London and Winston´s Humidor jointly announce the release of their limited edition cigar in honour of Winston´s Humidor´s third anniversary as a premium cigar tobacconist.
The cigar is in a Culebra (snake) format, in a set of 3 as is traditional. Each cigar has the same Nicaraguan binder and filler, but in a variation, 3 different wrappers are used – one for each cigar. There are 9 cigars in total in the box – 3 sets of 3.
The three wrappers used are Nicaraguan “claro” (light) Cuban Seed grown in Jalapa, an “oscuro” (dark) version of the same leaf and a Connecticut wrapper grown in Talanga, Honduras.
Kevin Edmiston, President of Winston´s Humidor, states “My goal to celebrate the third anniversary was to take the enjoyment of the cigar to the next level. I provide people with not only a memorable keepsake, but also an insight into the fundamentals of tobacco. I want to show my customers some of the history behind the Culebra, hence the description inside the box, and also how something seemingly so insignificant as the thin wrapper leaf can completely alter the flavour of the cigar”.
Akhil Kapacee, CEO of Regius of London said “Kevin smoked the Lord Madsen cigar which is not available in the States. He really enjoyed it and so we made the same cigar in Culebra format, with 2 other wrappers, creating a really interesting contrast”.
The three wrappers used are a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan wrapper grown in Jalapa, an oscuro version of the same Jalapa tobacco and a Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Talanga, Honduras.
Culebras seem to mystify cigar smokers. Legend has it the culebra was invented by rollers in Cuba who were told they could only bring home one cigar from the factory per day. As such, the rollers took three cigars and twisted them together to make one culebra.
For most factories, the bending of the cigars is a two person job. Straight cigars are put in the hands of two different workers and twisted. String, tobacco veins or ribbon is applied to the top and bottom of the cigars in order to keep them together. The cigars are made to be smoked individually, meaning you need to undo the string.
This would not be the last culebra Regius would make. Last year the company announced another culebra to honor Alfie Turmeaus Tobacconist, which is now part of C.Gars Ltd. While the details (size and wrappers) are the same between the two releases, Akhil Kapacee of Regius of London said the filler blend is different.
There will once again be a culebra this year, although Kapacee has not provided anymore details.
- Cigar Reviewed: Regius Winston’s Humidor Third Anniversary Culebra Oscuro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua Jalapa Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 39
- Vitola: Culebra
- MSRP: $7.00 (Boxes of 3 Culebras, $63.00)
- Date Released: August 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 3 Culebras (300 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I’ve smoked a dozen different culebras and this one is a bit different. There are some really sharp angles to the bends, producing really thin parts of what is already a pretty thin cigar at 39 ring gauge at its thickest. The oscuro wrapper looks like beaten aged leather with a dark chocolate color. It’s a mild cold draw, but there’s dark hay, generic sweetness and peanut butter.
The first third continues the milder trends with a wide range of chocolates ranging from bitter dark cocoa to sweet milk chocolate. Eventually, a stronger dry grainy note takes command of the profile surrounded by the chocolate notes with some touches of a generic woodiness on the back of the throat. At times, some saltiness shows itself, but it’s mainly sweet. Normally I can find some way to place a culebra on my ashtray, but this is just too much and as such won’t rest.
I was not bored by the first third, but the Regius Winston’s Humidor Third Anniversary comes alive in the middle parts. A gingerbread and cedar combination can be found after an inch and a half with saw dust underneath. Without adjusting my smoking pace, the cigar naturally warms up, although there’s no harshness. Instead, the Regius gives me with cocoa, toasted notes underneath and vanilla sprinkled all over the place. I find culebras generally burn quicker than their lancero and lonsdale counterparts, this Regius is no different. Still, if you take your time, the flavors and smoke production rewards you. Strength-wise it’s slightly beyond mild, but most certainly in the lighter range of medium.
Unfortunately, the excitement does not carry over to the final third. The cocoa notes are still there, now with leather and a more defined cedar note. The flavors are still developed, but there’s a depth that is missing compared to the first two thirds. At around the once inch mark, Regius culebra is too hot to continue smoking, both smoke-wise and the physically temperature of the cigar.
- Tasting notes for this review are from August 2013.
- I love small ring gauge cigars, but there’s some issues here. The way this cigar bends, there are places where the cigar is no thicker than your typical slice of cheese. It’s not like most culebras I’ve smoked and I think it contributes to why this cigar burned warm.
- That being said, outside of heat, there’s nothing to complain about construction. Smoke production was more than impressive and look at that ash:
- Most culebras are packaged in coffins. Some like Partagás, the Cuban brand, and Davidoff have packaged multiple coffins in boxes, this is not the case with Regius. The cigars are placed in the box at angle next to one another.
- The Winston’s Humidor version was selling for under $60, the 2013 release will be $72. There are a few reasons that could explain the price difference, the likeliest being the general nature of cigar prices going up as well as the fact that SAG Imports is now distributing the cigars.
- Strength was medium, barely.
- I have not smoked the 2013 version of the Regius culebra.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Regius of London is distributed by Quesada Cigars, a site sponsor.
- Final smoking time was a very quick 45 minutes.
I have nothing but praise for the first two thirds of this cigar. Unfortunately, the final third left something to be desired. I really do think the way this cigar was rolled caused problems, which is a shame because the actual blend was one of the more complex Regius of Londons I’ve smoked. Still, it’s a cigar I’m glad I can smoke a few more times.