I had high hopes for this cigar and it had everything going for it. Great looking cigar with a light brown wrapper, an interesting shape and a great smell of hay and tobacco.

  • Cigar Reviewed: El Rey del Mundo Especiales Piramide Edición Regional Italia (2008)
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: Briones Montoto
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Piramide
  • Price Paid: $21
  • Date Released: 2009
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,020 Boxes of 10 Cigars & 276 Boxes of 50 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)

El Rey del Mundo Especiales (ER Italia) 1.png

This cigar epitomizes the reason cigar lovers have come to hate the idea of Edición Regional releases of Cuban cigars. Unlike, say, the Ramon Allones Phoenicio or the Por Larrañaga Magnifico, the El Rey del Mundo Especiales was boring, bland and even annoyingly flat in terms of taste for pretty much the entire stick.

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The main flavors, that I could actually taste anyway, were a little pepper, chocolate, cedar and some spice, but everything seemed to be muted for the whole smoke, almost like I was smoking through a filter.

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The cigar had a decent draw and burn, and it was a smooth cigar no doubt, but the lack of any dominant flavors really hurt the experience. It burned very fast, but never hot. After smoking it for one hour and 20 minutes I did not even feel like I had smoked at all, hint, it was not very strong.

77 Overall Score

Extremely mild and almost totally tasteless, albeit very smooth, the El Rey del Mundo Especiales is a truly disappointing example of what Cuba can put out. While Cubans are typically less spicy than non-Cubans, they usually have a bit more flavor to compensate. Well, that was not this one. This is one of those sticks you would give to a first time smoker who wants to try a Cuban cigar, if you liked them enough to waste $20 on them that is.

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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.