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The Dark Side by Addiction: “REs and ELs, gotta catch em all!”

Posted by dabyrdman33 on August 6, 2010

Confessions of a Cuban Cigar Smoker

 

REs and ELs, gotta catch em all!

 

I’m writing this having worked 20 of the last 24 hours so it might not have that twang you are used to. I apologize for that, but apparently the people who live in my house and whose daily well being causes me to have work like a slave are too fond of living indoors and eating hot meals for me to quit my job so I fit this in when I can.

 

The following I know mostly to be true (I’m speculating on the 2003 price of Cohiba DCs).

 

Let’s talk a little bit about Regional Edicion (RE) and Edicion Limitada (EL) cigars. As I may have mentioned before the ELs have been produced since 2000. Each year between 3-5 of the global brands (those would be Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo, Partagas, & Romeo y Julieta) have a specially rolled cigar produced in limited qualities. These cigars are typically both new blends and sizes that aren’t typically available in that brand.

 

ELs typically start out as high as giraffe pussy, the 2003 Cohiba Double Corona was just under $500 a box when introduced. If you could find it today for under $1500 that’s a pretty good price. They don’t all appreciate so heavily but this isn’t an uncommon scenario.

 

In 2005 Habanos SA discovered that they could make their cigars even more Pokemon like with the inclusion of Regional Editions. Any distributor can pretty much partner with Habanos SA to produce a cigar from one of the non global brands. REs are allegedly only available in the region they are produced for. I say allegedly because my humidor seems to straddle some magical divide between Switzerland, Germany, Asia Pacific, Canada and several other regions. Look hard enough, spend the coin and someone will ship you what you want.

 

Today we are reviewing the 2006 Regional Edicion for Germany, the Bolivar Colosales. I think I’m the only fan of this cigar.  I’m certainly the only person I know with more than a couple on hand who isn’t trying to sell them.  And I’ve never heard many other people talk about them favorably.  It’s probably the size as much as anything, it’s a handful of cigar without getting “I’m compensating for something” big.  The wrapper on this one is a light brown sugar cookie color and coarse to the touch highlighting a number of veins.  It has a soft floral hint to the nose and the draw is just a touch sweet. 

 

The cigar lights evenly and easily and the draw is graham crackers, pepper and the lightest touch of leather.  The Graham cracker is like the pie shell on a key lime pie, it’s not the main taste but it definitely contributes. It’s in the front of the taste, before the smoke even hits your teeth. And less than a quarter inch in it’s already coating my mouth. The pepper exists only thru the nose exhale and it’s light and refreshing, an excellent counterpoint to the grahaminess. The leather is also just enough. This cigar has supreme balance in these three notes.

 

The rest of the nonreview parts are pure speculation. I mean I’m pulling this stuff from so far out of my own ass you need to be a proctologist to handle it.

 

So what’s the big deal REs and ELs? Rarity if you ask me. The ELs are produced in larger allotments but REs can be as limited as 400 boxes. So getting one of those 400 boxes is prolly a coup of some kind I suppose. But most of the time these cigars are being bought blind because vendors won’t sell em as singles. And the cheap ones are in the $225 range; while the Montecristo Edmundo Dantes, the only RE I know of that was from a global brand, started at $799 for 25. At the prices of some of these sticks it’s prolly cheaper to actually visit the regions they represent.

 

The ash falls just short of an inch and the leather takes on some decidedly chocolate notes to it. It’s very light but delicate. So few of the REs favor the profile of their marcas it seems and this is no exception.  It’s like meeting someone on the street who looks like your cousin if they were taller, had a bald head and weren’t wearing an eyepatch. 

 

The pepper has gone away on anything but the longest nose exhale. My mouth is entirely coated in the smooth goodness of Graham and chocolate. It has a good punch to it, between medium and full. Enough kick to satisfy but light enough that you can eat just an appetizer and be ok with it. 

 

The chocolate has become a little more ethereal, the Graham is still there but in the background. The smoke seems to have developed a slight creaminess to it, but it may simply be the way the graham and chocolate mix.  It’s a beautiful smoke, and the volume of smoke is spectacular and thick. 

 

What are the REs and ELs like you say? Sometimes representative of their brands, sometimes not. They can be spectacularly tasty or resemble the taste of a tire that was burned and then someone pissed on it to extinguish it, swept up the ashes and rolled that shit up for you. Only a few generalities apply.

 

  • The general consensus is prolly Ramon Allones REs are always fairly solid.
  • You rarely hear complaints about Cohiba ELs. But that’s about the same as saying there is no bad Kobe beef or all Bentleys are pretty pimp.

 

Outside of those rules it’s catch as catch can; good luck and god bless. I’ve had great luck with Bolis especially the Simones, Colosales and Especiales #2. Ramon Allones has been meh to me with Grand Robusto being very flat and almost a whole box of Estupendos being plugged.

 

The cigar settles nicely into this Graham and chocolate mix after an inch or so right up thru the halfway point. There is also a base sweetness that I can’t attribute to either Graham or the chocolate. It’s not a flavor on its own, it’s just a base sweetness of the taste.  It goes from “is this sweet” to “what is that sweetness” so gracefully. 

 

It’s not 1994 or Cohiba Milli good all in your face but it’s a very solid cigar with lovely flavors and smoothness. It’s  a great solid smoke. 

 

The sweetness is so much more prominent it has to be something but I can’t place it. I know I like it tho, and while from about 1.5 inches to about the start of the final third the changes have been exceptionally gradual but I like where the cigar is so much I don’t mind it.

 

In the last third you can catch the pepper on the creep tip sneaking back in. Only a little mind you but it’s there again. My mouth is coated in graham crackery chocolate goodness. As simple as this experience has been it’s still delightful.  It even made Paul Blart Mall Cop not suck.     

 

Appearance –

Construction –

Flavor –

Value – 10 

Overall Experience – 10 

 

Overall Grade – 9.4  

 

Notes: A very good cigar that I’m happy to own plenty of. 

 

You can fall in the trap and run all over creation searching hither and yon for whichever sticks you like. But I don’t advise it. Keep in mind my hypocritical ass is typing this while in possession of around 700 ELs and REs. And that I just traded for two more boxes yesterday sigh……

 

Sleepy bye time now. I’ll make it up to you next with week with at least double the articles and prolly even some pictures. I’ll be on cigar vacation with some of the most serious ballas in the known universe, some damn fine cigars are gonna get smoked!

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