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.