At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, De Los Reyes Cigars showcased a line known as Saga Solaz. The Saga brand has been the workhorse brand for De Los Reyes Cigars since the company reorganized five years ago. Prior to 2019, De Los Reyes had been focusing on its Saga Short Tales series – a series of unique smaller sized cigars – each with a different blend, different vitola, and different theme. Saga Solaz offers a line in the Saga portfolio devoted to an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar. Today, we take a closer look at the Saga Solaz in the Churchill size.
Like the other Saga branded cigars, Saga Solaz has a theme associated with it. The name Solaz in Spanish refers to comfort and pleasure after work. The Solaz is a cigar that is designed to be enjoyed after a day of work. It’s not a cigar intended to be a powerhouse smoke (like Saga Short Tales Tomo I-Tales of High Priming). It’s quite the opposite as it’s positioned as a smoother mild to medium cigar line.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Saga Solaz Churchill and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, the Saga Solaz features Dominican-grown tobaccos from the Reyes family farms. These tobaccos include: Criollo, Olor, and Piloto Cubano varietals. As with production for all De Los Reyes Cigars, production is handled at the De Los Reyes S.A. facility in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: De Los Reyes S.A.
The Saga Solaz is offered in three sizes. While the past few years have seen De Los Reyes Cigars focus on smaller and thinner offerings in the Short Tales series, the Solaz line goes in the opposite direction. Two of the offerings include a 58 ring Gordo and a 7 inch Churchill size. All three sizes are presented in 24-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 58
Churchill: 7 x 48
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper of the Saga Solaz Churchill had a light brown color with a weathered look to it. There was not much oil on the surface of the wrapper. While there were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, the wrapper wasn’t on the rugged side.
The Saga Solaz has an inner band and outer band. The inner band is black in color with gold and black trim. The upper center of the band has a window with gold trim exposing the wrapper. To the left of the window is the text “The Journey is yours” and #makeyourownsaga. To the right is the De Los Reyes logo. The lower part of the band has a gold stripe. Draped over the gold is the text “Solaz” in a modern font.
The outer band is the standard gold-colored Saga band with the text “SAGA” in a stencil font. The SAGA text is aligned over the window on the inner band to allow the wrapper to be seen through the stencil.
A straight cut was used to commence the smoking experience of the Saga Solaz Churchill. After the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered classic Connecticut Shade notes of wood, cream, and a slight amount of citrus. In my opinion, this cigar produced a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. Now it was time to light up the Saga Solaz Churchill and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Saga Solaz Churchill started out with notes of toast, cream, citrus, classic wood, cedar, and a touch of black pepper. Early on the toast, cream, and citrus notes moved into the forefront. Meanwhile, the wood, cedar, and black pepper slipped into the background. The retro-hale produced more notes of toast and wood.
As the Saga Solaz Churchill entered the second third, the cream notes and citrus notes receded into the background. Meanwhile the toast notes remained grounded in the forefront. There were a couple of points where the cream popped back into the forefront, but overall the citrus and cream slowly diminished. Just past the midway point, the cedar and black pepper notes increased in intensity.
The final third of the Saga Solaz Churchill saw the cedar notes join the toast in the forefront. There still were notes of cream, citrus, classic wood, and black pepper in the background. These background notes were subtle, but rounded out the flavor profile nicely. This is the way the Saga Solaz Churchill came to the close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Saga performed extremely well. The cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. There was a slight amount of curvature from time to time on the burn line, but the cigar was never in danger of coming off track – and there was not anything above the norm required in terms of touch-ups. The resulting ash was charcoal gray. This was an ash that was firm and came off the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Saga Solaz Churchill also performed very well. There was a nice balance of openness and resistance throughout the smoking experience. For a Connecticut Shade, the Saga Solaz Churchill produced a nice amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
The Saga Solaz is definitely the most dialed-back offering under De Los Reyes’ Saga brand to date. The Churchill size also keeps to that profile. This is a cigar that is mild to medium in both strength and body. There was a nominal increase in strength and body, but overall the cigar remained in the mild to medium range.
In terms of strength versus body, the body had a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
The Saga Solaz Churchill is an excellent offering. It’s a relatively straightforward classic Connecticut Shade cigar in terms of flavor and its milder profile. The milder profile works perfectly with the flavors produced. There is enough complexity on this cigar that will keep any cigar enthusiast’s interest. At the same time, this is a Connecticut Shade that didn’t produce anything in terms of bitterness. When it comes to Churchills, I’ve found it difficult to find a Connecticut Shade to satisfy me. This is one of the better performing Connecticut Shade Churchills. This is a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast – and it fits perfectly to De Los Reyes’ vision of enjoying this cigar after a long day (and not just as a morning smoke). As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again – and it garners box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Toast, Cream, Citrus, Wood, Cedar, Black Pepper
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Mild to Medium
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
News: De Los Reyes Cigars Introduces Saga Solaz at 2019 IPCPR
Source: De Los Reyes
Brand Reference: Saga
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop