Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Jalapa (Nicaraguan)
Filler: Esteli, Jalapa (Nicaraguan)
Brand: Serino Cigar Co
Factory: La Corona Cigar Factory
CigarNoise Price Range: $11-$14
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Serino Royale Maduro XX – First Thoughts
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been able to sample everything that Serino Cigar Co. plans to launch on 15 June 2016. A huge thanks to Carson for the samples and the opportunity. If you’re looking to try them, Carson graciously donated a sampler box to this month’s Jackpot also.
The aroma from the wrapper is very much like an older leather-bound book, down to the vintage leather and worn paper. The foot yields earth, cocoa powder, and more vintage leather. The cigar itself has an impressive weight to it, feeling heavier in the hand than the other Serino Royale series. A cold draw tastes almost exclusively of cashew – probably one of the most exemplary cashew notes I’ve experienced to date. Lovely.
Serino Royale Maduro XX – First Third
Leather, Earth, Cashew, Oak, Caramel, Honey, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cocoa Powder, Maple Syrup, Baked Apple
My very first draw is of leather, earth, cashews, subtle oak, and faint hints of caramel. Smoking this cigar before anything to eat or drink pays huge dividends – I’m extracting a much more complex experience from the Serino Royale Maduro XX than before. The smoke itself is silky smooth and gentle.
Within just a few minutes, honey notes begin to rise to the top in a phenomenal display of sophistication. Mild spice tickles the back of the tongue and throat, but it’s something you have to look for. This cigar starts off very smooth, allowing you to really grasp hold of all the flavors without shying away from it. A retro hale emphasizes that book leather from the cold draw, as well as a convenient store style chocolate chip cookie flavor that I just can’t get enough of.
At an inch in, different forms of leather, earth and cocoa powder take the lead as primary flavors. If I concentrate on taking my time with this beauty, I’m rewarded with rich, mouthwatering honey notes. The key is not to give in and chief it down – honey will depart in the blink of an eye if you don’t coax it out. This is a gentleman’s cigar for sure.
At times, I swear there’s an underlying layer of maple syrup in this cigar. A barely concealed sweetness that’s different from anything previously mentioned. Also, sorry in advance for my pictures this morning. I’m getting started earlier than usual and the light is hitting the porch in weird and unexpected ways.
Towards the end of the first third, Serino Royale Maduro XX develops a baked apple sweetness on the finish. Leather and earth are still on the top, but there’s a sea of fascinating sweeter notes underneath.
Serino Royale Maduro XX – Second Third
Chocolate Covered Cashews, Dried Fruit, Leather, Earth, Fresh Bread
Picking up where we left off, the second third introduces more sweetness on the tongue than the previous segment. Chocolate covered cashews, hints of dried fruit, earth, and leather kick off the party. With the exception of the dried fruit, most of these notes were present in the first third. Now, however, we’re experiencing a role change. Like a shifting of puzzle pieces.
As good as the flavors are, the mechanics of the Serino Royale Maduro XX are just as enjoyable. A low-maintenance burn and just the right amount of resistance on the draw make for a great morning review. These guys are going to make a splash when they launch mid-June.
Around the halfway mark, the body begins increasing slightly and I’m tasting leading notes of fresh bread. A sour note appeared intermittently for a few moments and then disappeared altogether. I’m really wishing that I would’ve had sourdough bread in the recent past, there might be a correlation there. Not sure.
The rest of the second third finishes with bread, leather, cocoa, and those ever-so-slight hints of dried fruit.
Serino Royale Maduro XX – Last Third
Cedar, Leather, Walnut, Cocoa Powder, Espresso, Heavy Cream
Sometimes, entering the last third of a review feels like the last half mile of a run. Or the last couple sets in the gym that you don’t feel like completing but know you have to. Not so much with the Serino Royale series. Just a pleasant experience all the way through.
Now I’m pulling different nuances of cedar, leather, walnut, cocoa powder, and espresso. Thick cream also joins the party midway thru the last third, soothing the palate.
Cedar and walnuts duel it out to the end. Bitterness from the walnuts creeps in with a little over an inch left, but it’s easily overcome with slowing down.