|Casino Gold H.R.S. by Royal Gold Cigars|
The Casino Gold H.R.S. is one of four releases by Royal Gold Cigars that is currently available. It was about a year ago when the launch of Royal Gold Cigars was announced. Royal Gold Cigars is a division of Swisher International, and it marks Swisher’s return into the hand-made premium cigar market. The company has taken an interesting approach by partnering with factories in the major cigar producing countries. With the case of the Casino Gold H.R.S., Royal Gold Cigars goes to Honduras to team up with Nestor Plasencia to produce this blend. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Casino Gold H.R.S. I found this cigar to be an excellent offering – and one that may be flying under the radar right now.
Royal Gold Cigars is run by Alex Goldman. Goldman has much experience working in the handmade premium cigar industry – most notably working as the president and CEO of House of Oxford / Mom’s Cigars in New York. When Royal Gold Cigars was announced, Goldman explained his vision for how he would build the brand. “As a fourth-generation tobacconist, I have cemented relationships that will enable Royal Gold Cigars to develop, source and market an array of premium products that customers will enjoy at competitive price points. Operating as a division of Swisher International gives Royal Gold Cigar the opportunity to tap into Swisher’s leadership and leverage its resources, while maintaining an independent business model.”
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Casino Gold H.R.S. and see what this cigar brings to the table.
While the cigar will be made in Honduras, it will feature a three country blend.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Rosado (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Ometepe, Esteli), Honduran (Jamastran)
The H.R.S. stands for “High Roller Selection”. The cigar carries a casino theme – and this is reflected in the names of the vitolas. The cigar is being launched in five sizes – each are named after the “face” cards found in a deck of cards. The cigars are packaged 21 per box.
Ace: 6 1/4 x 62
King: 7 x 54
Queen: 5 3/4 x 52
Jack: 6 x 44
Joker: 6 x 52 (Belicoso)
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Casino Gold H.R.S. Queen – which is a toro sized vitola. The Jalapa grown wrapper of the Casino Gold H.R.S. has a medium brown color to it. Upon closer examination, there are some darker spots visible on the wrapper. The sapper also has a light amount of oil on it. There are some visible wrapper seams and thin visible veins.
There are two bands on the Casino Gold H.R.S.. The primary band has a gray and metallic red background. The top of the band is sloped with the metallic red background almost giving a look of the start of a ribbon. Across that background is the text “CASINO GOLD” in a large white-colored modern font with gold trim. There is a gold pinstripe at the bottom of this background design and a thick black stripe sits below that. On that black stripe is the text “H.R.S.” in gold font. The back of the band is black with gold trim.
The second band is located on the footer. It is metallic red with the text “Royal Gold” in gold cursive.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I started my cigar experience with a straight cut. After successfully clipping the cap of my Casino Gold H.R.S. Queen, I moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw note provided me a mix of floral, earth, and a slight spice that I could not put my finger on. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Casino Gold H.R.S. to be satisfactory. At this point, I removed the footer band, lit up the cigar, and see what the smoking phase would bring to the table.
The start to the Casino Gold H.R.S. provided a mix of exotic spice and earth notes. There also was a mild raisin sweetness that I picked up in the background. The flavor profile held through the first ten percent where a floral note joined the raisin sweetness in the background. Meanwhile, the retro-hale provided a spice that was a cross between black pepper and some of the exotic spice I was getting on the tongue.
The raisin sweetness started to increase and by the start of the second third, it was on par with the spice and earth notes. The floral notes remained in the background. It was also in the second third, where I picked up a grain note that also was present in the background.
By the midway point, the raisin and earth notes were the primary flavors. The spice receded into the background where it joined the grain notes. The floral notes had diminished considerably and now were more of a tertiary flavor.
By the end of the second third, the spice increased and was prominent with the earth notes as primary flavors. The raisin and grain notes were now secondary. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. I found the end of the Casino Gold H.R.S. to be flavorful with no harsh notes. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, yet cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
I found the Casino Gold H.R.S. to be a well-constructed cigar – and this was reflected in the burn an draw attributes. While there was a slight jaggedness to the burn line, the burn still remained relatively straight and did not have an issues of canoeing or tunneling. The resulting ash firm with a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature was ideal.
|Burn of the Casino Gold H.R.S.|
The draw to the Casino Gold H.R.S. was not too loose and not too tight. It made this a low maintenance cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Casino Gold H.R.S. starts out in the medium range. It remained medium until the last third where there was a slight increase to medium to full strength. As for the flavors, they also started out medium-bodied. The depth of the flavors did increase throughout the cigar experience and by the second half, the flavors were medium to full-bodied. Overall, there is good balance between strength and body for most of the cigar experience.
Swisher International definitely has a polarizing reaction when it comes to the handmade premium cigar industry. With the case of the Casino Gold H.R.S., it is clear they have used their resources wisely. The collaboration between Royal Gold Cigars and Plasencia is a winner here. I found this to not only be a very flavorful cigar, but I found its flavor profile to be different than many other cigars out there. This is a cigar I would recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would reach for again – and it’s one worthy of a box split in my book.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)
Body: Medum (1st half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
* The cigars for this assessment was given to Cigar Coop by Royal Gold Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but this does not influence the review.