Pre-Release Review: Regius Exlusivo USA Claro Especial Lancero

               Coming off the success and national release of the original Regius USA Exlcusivo line, Regius and Exclusivo USA have slated a new release for September 25th.  The latest offering is called the Claro Especial, and employs a similar wrapper that is cured a bit differently to provide less wrapper flavor, and emphasize the filler and binder flavor to the palate; a double binder was added specifically. The result Regius and USA Exlcusivo were looking for, was a little less spice and power, with full flavor, balance, and the signature clean finish Regius is known for.  Personally, when I reviewed the red line, it was a bit too strong for me to freak out over.  I revisited one two weeks ago, and the aging had brought it down closer to what I like.  So when Akhil told me the Claro Especial was a milder take, I was very excited to try it.  Unfortunately, my sinuses and throat have been in a state of despair, so I do not know if I could accurately review a cigar right now.  Given this was a prerelease, I made it a point to sneak one in so Coop was not the only one reviewing these before their release. 

 

The release is available in four sizes again, the same sizes as the initial Red Band release.  Release date is tomorrow and the cigars are available at Top Quality Cigars and licensed retailers of the USA Exclusivo line. Given the Red Band was recently reported by COOP as slated for National Release, my guess is this release will also go national.  

Fat Perfecto: 5 3/4 x 60 x 54

Pressed Perfecto: 6 1/2 x 56
Toro Extra: 6 1/2 x 56
Lancero Extra: 7 1/2 x 42

Blend Profile: Nicaraguan Puro with double binder


Dry Draw: BBQ sauce…I know…my sinuses are jacked, but that’s what I got

First Third: ORALE!!!  Mexican coffee hit me fast, along with green pepper on the nose and cinnamon on the finish.  The finish was long and clean, just as I expect from a Regius release. The flavors are distinctly different from the initial release, and the coffee flavors are very unique.  Cedar notes enter as well through the nose and sit on the finish.  The green pepper flavors were delicate on the nose and not overpowering at all. 

 

Second Third: The coffee flavors shifted to a rich coca bean note, that arose on the palate on through the nose.  At times, it came close to milk chocolate, but the richness was not lengthy.  The cocoa finish was quick and sharp, morphing back to the coffee notes on the finish with some cedar.  The body actually decreased towards the midpoint, and I am really beginning to think a pair may make this cigar shine.  The cocoa continued to coat my tongue throughout the middle, and the green pepper flavors returned as I neared the final run.

 

Final Third: I love it when a blend comes together, and the finale of the Claro Especial did not disappoint.  Citrus peel was the first note that stood out, along with some cream, nuts, along with an extension on the finish of the rich cocoa bean.  The result, was a reminder of tiramisu, specifically from a 100 year old Italian restaurant on the old side of town.  The overall experience was creamier in nature, and definitely my favorite third thus far.  The initial coffee flavors came back, and seemed to change back and forth with the cocoa bean.  I really enjoyed the switch back between the two on my palate, as the virtual flavor tennis match was nonstop through the nub.

Construction: perfect.  I did notice they added a box code and date on the boxes which I think is excellent and all companies should do for smokers like me that age cigars.

Final Thoughts and Rating: Box Split – 93.  The overall experience I had was better than the red, but not as crazy good as the Damaris.  Granted, I rated the Damaris in the box split as well, but I am buying a box of the robo as soon as they come out.  The Claro Especial is more my style then the Red, and along the lines of a medium smoker’s profile.  What is odd is I enjoyed the lancero size the most out of the Red Line, but for some reason my gut tells me, I will like the larger rings of this blend.  I am going to redux the Toro Especial next week and add it to this review when my nose and throat heal for comparison.  For now, this was very enjoyable, and one of the better cigars I have smoked this year.  It is a box worthy cigar for fans of the Regius line, and given the success of the initial Exclusivo USA release, I would imagine they would sell like wildfire.  I predicted the Red would be a huge hit to the modern palate and the sales seem to back that statement up.  I think the Claro Especial will provide an excellent compliment, that will serve as an earlier in the day cigar for the fans of the Red, while providing a milder experience for those whom the Red might have been a bit too strong for.

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Comment by Guy Buscema on September 24, 2014 at 1:46pm

Dear Dustin,

Very nice review of a good cigar ,Glad you enjoyed It .

Sorry to hear  your sinuses are a bit jacked,but you did a great job in reviewing.

Amicalement,

Guy,

France

Comment by Charlie on September 24, 2014 at 1:55pm

I really liked the original release of the Exclusivo USA Lancero Extra, I grabbed a 5er and everyone I have smoked has gotten better and better. The addition of the Claro Especial doesn't make all too much sense to me but I will grab a 5er of these (I hear they are more widely available, not just sold at Casa) to compare them and see if there is all that much difference. I have really enjoyed Regius' blending style, for me though their cigars arent box worthy only because I get tired of them fast...I do like how they made the ring on the lance a 42...Great review btw.

Comment by Catfishbluezz on September 24, 2014 at 3:00pm

Honestly the success of the first blend was reason enough to do another.  I will not get into detail as to how many boxes he is selling of the Red, but it is a lot...  They are hard to get, because they are selling faster then produced.  The Red line was significantly stronger then his blending has been in the past, so it makes sense to blend a milder version of the cigar really.  The Red turned on a ton of smokers whom had not known of Regius before, while I think the white is blended towards his loyal smokers of the core and Orchant lines.  

They needed the 42 to balance the ometepe BTW, that's why they went larger.  Ometepe is not easy to blend around, and is one of those tobaccos that when blended properly has a distinct flavor, but only when balanced.  

The Red is now being distributed nationwide FYI.  I assume the Claro will as well.  Details are in teh link in the review if you click on COOP.

Comment by Ky70 on September 24, 2014 at 3:45pm

I had the white label fat perfecto and loved it...I noted it tasted similar to the Regius seleccion orchant torpedo. I'll need to smoke it back to back with a red label to note the differences but I'm a fan of both.

In regards to sales, The exclusivo line sales like hot cakes at Casa. Any random visit there and you may find more red exclusivo bands in ashtrays than any other cigars (maybe all other cigars combined). I've seen the exclusivo's restock boxes in the store and they get a bunch of em.

Tomorrow (Sept. 25th) Casa is hosting the "Regius White" release party but the white label exclusivo cigars arrived last week...200 boxes of em (all stacked up and pretty looking) and Casa expects most of these cigars to be gone after the event.

Comment by Catfishbluezz on September 24, 2014 at 4:08pm

Judging by the success and sales of the Red, those 200 will be gone.  I know they sold that many with the Red upon release.  I am going to smoke the toro next, then the perfecto.

Comment by Cigar Coop on September 24, 2014 at 4:11pm

Great review Catfish. 

This is a great line by Akhil.  I can't wait to hear about the Toro Extra.

Comment by Cigar Coop on September 24, 2014 at 4:13pm

I didn't get the cocoa on the perfectos....but it could be my rotten pallet. I did smoke a lancero and I definitely see it though.

Comment by Cigar Coop on September 24, 2014 at 4:14pm

And we agree...Damaris iis really good!

Comment by Catfishbluezz on September 24, 2014 at 4:32pm

it was more cocoa bean really, rich, but distinct and fast on the palate.  My palate was fine, but my nose was off, and that really gets the most flavor blending.  The finale was excellent.

I cannot wait for the Damaris Robo...I asked about it again yesterday lol.

Comment by Cigar Coop on September 24, 2014 at 5:33pm

Your palate is amazing.  

If the Robusto is as good as the Gran Toro, Damaris could be heading for a very high placing on my Cigar of the Year list.

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