Saga Short Tales Tomo 2: Tales of the Land: Cotuí is the second installment under De Los Reyes Cigars’ Short Tales line. As the name indicates, Saga Short Tales is a series of short smokes with each installment having a different theme to it. Last year, the first installment, Tomo (Volume) 1 “Tales of High Priming” was released. As the name indicates, Tales of High Priming focused on a blend built around high priming tobaccos. For Tomo II, “Tales of the Land: Cotuí”, this cigar builds a blend using a never-before used wrapper that is grown in the Cotuí region of the Dominican Republic. Today I take a closer look at Tales of the Land: Cotuí. What I found is that Tales of the Land: Cotuí is a very different cigar then its predecessor Tales of High Priming, however it does not mean it falls short in performance as this delivers a home run by De Los Reyes Cigars.
Saga Short Tales is the third line under De Los Reyes Saga brand joining the Saga Golden Age and Saga Blend No. 9. The Saga brand was launched by the Reyes family at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. Many know of the Reyes family through Augusto Reyes Sr, a very well-respected sixth generation cigar maker in the Dominican Republic. The Reyes family has been involved in the tobacco growing and leaf brokerage business for over 160 years. Recently, the company rebranded itself from Corporación Cigar Export (CCE) to De Los Reyes Cigars, under the leadership of Reyes’ daughter Nirka.
Tales of the Land: Cotuí incorporates packaging is designed in the form of a classic novel – complete with a “story” of the cigar included. Given it is the second blend in the series, Tales of High Priming is dubbed Tomo II – meaning Volume 2. There are ten volumes that De Los Reyes Cigars has produced and will be rolling out.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Saga Short Tales – Tales of the Land: Cotuí and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned, the focal point of this blend is a never-before used wrapper grown in the Cotuí region of the Dominican Republic. Cotuí is a region in the Dominican Republic located about 60 miles Southeast of Santiago. The region is known for its gold mining as well as farming. In the region, the Reyes family worked with Monika Kelner, the daughter of Henke Kelner to produce the wrapper.
In addition to the Dominican-grown Cotuí wrapper, the blend incorporates an Indonesian binder and combination of Dominican and North American tobaccos for the filler. The cigar is produced at the De Los Reyes Factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Dominican Cotuí
Filler: Dominican, North America
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (De Los Reyes)
Saga Short Tales – Tales of the Land: Cotuí is available in one size – a 5 x 54 belicoso. The cigars are packaged in ten count boxes.
The Dominican Cotuí wrapper has a medium brown color to it. It will show off varying degrees of a colorado red tint depending on how the light hits it. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. I found this wrapper to be slightly on the bumpy side. The wrapper has some visible veins, but the wrapper seams are well hidden. There is a short, gentle taper to the toward the tip of this belicoso.
There are two bands on the Saga Short Tales – Tales of the Land Cotuí. These are the same bands found on the Tales of High Priming release. The primary band is gold in color. Prominently displayed on the middle of the band is the text “SAGA” in a modern red-colored font. Above and below the text is a row of a gold rivet-like design. There is also a row of red rivets toward the top and bottom of the band.
The secondary band is green in color. The band features the text “Short Tales” in gold font and is trimmed in gold across the top and bottom.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I do with all figurado cigars, I went with a straight cut to remove the tip of the Tales of the Land: Cotuí. For this cigar, I used my Credo Special T cutter with the 36 ring gauge hole to get an ideal cut. This allowed me to get a smaller ring gauge cut an to take advantage of the tapering of this cigar. I then moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw delivered a mix of cedar, cinnamon, and pepper. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up Tales of the Land: Cotuí and see what the smoking phase had in store.
The start of Tales of the Land: Cotuí delivered a mix of cinnamon, cedar, generic wood, and a mix of red and green pepper. The cinnamon and cedar notes moved into the forefront and provided a nice mix of sweetness and spice. Meanwhile the retro-hale delivered an additional layer of cedar and mixed pepper spices.
Later in the first third, the generic wood notes moved take over as the primary note. By the early part of the second third, some earthy notes were mixed in with the wood. The cedar and cinnamon moved into the background joining the red and green pepper. These background flavors complemented the wood and earth notes perfectly – adding in small doses of sweetness and spice at varying degrees.
The last third of Tales of the Land: Cotuí are similar to the second third. There was a little more in the way of spice, but it was not overpowering. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, Tales of the Land: Cotuí maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. Early n, there was an occasional bit of jaggedness on the burn line. This only warranted an occasional touch-up and didn’t prove to be problematic as the cigar experience progressed. While not a super firm ash, this ash still leaned toward being on the firm side. The ash itself had a silver-gray color. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Tales of the Land: Cotuí performed outstanding. This draw had a touch of resistance – which is something I like. The belicoso tip where it was clipped, held up very well. I also found this cigar produced an abundant layer of smoke.
Strength and Body
If you are familiar with Saga Short Tales Tomo I – Tales of High Priming, you know that is not only a full strength, full-bodied cigar. I consider it one of the stronger cigars to have come out of the Dominican Republic. As for Tales of the Land: Cotuí, this cigar has a different profile. This is a cigar that is medium strength and medium to full-bodied. I didn’t find much in the way of variance with the strength and body throughout the smoking experience.
In terms of strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.
De Los Reyes knocked it out of the park with this blend. One thing I like to say is that this cigar excelled in the area that matters most – flavor. This blend also really came together nicely in the short belicoso format. I also really like how De Los Reyes is creating unique smokes with each installment of Short Tales thus far. Not only are the cigars unique from one another, but they are quite unique of anything out on the marketplace.
This is a cigar that I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. At the same time, this is a great cigar for a novice looking for something in the medium plus format. As for myself, this is not only a box worthy purchase, but one I would fight Chuck Norris for.
Key Flavors: cinnamon, cedar, generic wood, red pepper, green pepper
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.5-Fight Chuck Norris for Them
News: De Los Reyes Releases Saga Short Tales Tomo 2-Tales of the Land: Cotuí
Source: De Los Reyes