Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Saga Short Tales Tomo I – Tales of High Priming by De Los Reyes Cigars. This is a cigar we previously assessed back in June 2016.
Filler: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf, Dominican (including Negrito)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: De Los Reyes SA
Short Gordo: 4 x 58
Two years ago, De Los Reyes Cigars launched a new line under its Saga brand known as Saga Short Tales. As the name indicates, Short Tales is a line the focuses on smaller and short-sized cigars. Saga Short Tales is a series of ten unique blends, each in a different size, with a different theme. Each cigar’s theme pays homage to tobacco and/or cigar making. The first installment is known as “Tomo I: Tales of High Priming”. It’s a cigar that earned a spot on the Cigar Coop Countdown in 2018. Today we take a closer look at this release. This is a cigar that has been aging for over two years in the Cigar Coop humidor.
As the name “Tales of High Priming” indicates, the cigar incorporates high priming corona leaves from the tobacco plant. The corona leaf grows at the top of a tobacco plant and is subject to getting more sunlight and nutrients. The end result is when these tobaccos are incorporated into the blend, it results in a fuller-strength, fuller-bodied cigar experience.
The blend of the Saga Short Tales of High Priming incorporates high priming Corona tobaccos including U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf and Reyes family-grown Dominican tobaccos (including Dominican Negrito). In addition, the cigar utilizes an Indonesian binder to facilitate combustion of the high priming tobaccos in the filler. The cigar is finished with a Nicaraguan wrapper. The blend comes in one size – a 4 x 58 Short Gordo. The cigar was packaged in ten-count boxes that resemble library books. This packaging design is a staple for the Sage Short Tales line.
When I first assessed Tales of High Priming two years ago, I put this as one of the most powerful cigars ever to come out of the Dominican Republic. At that time I was curious to see what age would do to this cigar. I think it’s fair to say there was some mellowing, but it’s also a cigar that I would still put in the powerhouse category. After starting out medium to full in strength and body, it doesn’t take long for this cigar to move into full territory for both attributes – where it remains for the duration of the smoking experience.
As mentioned, Tales of High Priming is a full strength, full-bodied cigar that easily is one of the most powerful cigars ever to come out of the Dominican Republic. While the strength level will definitely be felt on this cigar, it’s not at the expense of the flavor. The cigar delivers notes of cedar, generic wood, natural tobacco, black pepper, and a subtle black cherry note. Many times higher priming tobaccos have burn and combustion issues – no such problems with the Tales of High Priming as it consistently scores well in this area.
The age did some nice things to the flavor profile. The Tales of High Priming smoke delivered a mix of chocolate, cedar, red pepper, earth, and bing cherry. The chocolate note was something I didn’t pick up a couple of years ago, but it was not an integral part of the smoke – particularly during the first half. The second half of the cigar is more earthy, but is still balanced nicely from the red pepper, chocolate, cedar, and cherry notes. As for the spice, it has a presence in the flavor profile, but doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
With two-plus years of age, there was a slight downtick in the boldness of the cigar, but in the grand scheme of things, this cigar still is going to be considered a very strong cigar. While this cigar has plenty of firepower, it continues to come up big in the flavor department. I liked what some of the additional age did to some of the flavors – including the emergence of a chocolate note that I didn’t notice when I first smoked this. Given this is quite a bold cigar, I’d recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would definitely smoke again. It has a great price and it’s worthy of a box purchase.
Key Flavors: Earth, Cocoa, Herb, Pepper, Citrus
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full (Initial Stages), Full
Body: Medium to Full (Initial Stages), Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Purchase
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop