Saga Golden Age Corona Gorda

Do you remember anything from 2014? C’mon, sure you do. Beyonce and Taylor Swift were tearing up the charts, The Big Bang Theory and NCIS were must-watch TV, everyone was whistling Let it go from Frozen and after 50 years, the US re-established diplomatic ties with Cuba. Coming back to ya, now? 2014 also gave us an introduction to the Saga brand by De Los Reyes Cigars at the year’s IPCPR show where they debuted two lines: Blend No. 7 and Golden Age. The new face of the company is the 6th generation Reyes, Nirka, who is slowly taking things over from her Dad, Augusto.

Since their debut, Saga has now grown to four lines that now include Short Tales (2016) and their latest, Solaz. We reviewed the Short Tales Belicoso (TOMO III) in 2019 and gave it a boxworthy recommendation. De Los Reyes Cigars also produces other familiar brands including Patoro, Debonaire, Indian Motorcycle and Don Julio and often collaborates with the Kelner family on tobacco and blending. We decided to go back to 2014 and evaluate the eye catching Corojo-wrapped Golden Age, a creation the Reyes family states is “…a cigar much like the ones they use to smoke in the times of Hemingway.”

We landed our choice of vitolas, the corona gorda, to get as much of that delicious corojo wrapper as we could. Even with almost 2 years of age, this cigar still has eye candy appeal flaunting a deep, marbled rye hue, a seamless roll and plump pigtail cap. The wrapper shows some veins yet they do not distract from the pleasing aesthetics and the roll has an even give throughout its length that is neither unusually soft or hard. Aromas are a mix of milk chocolate and fudge with some hints of barnyard. Removing the convenient pigtail provided a nicely open draw without the need for an additional cut.

Our corona opens with a toasty, nutty draw preceding a lush mix of oak, salted caramel and black pepper intonations. The rich draw is mouthwatering. Hints of baking spice on the retro and a light spice dovetail into a light finish of coffee and spices. Warm, smooth and medium bodied, the nutty, woody nucleus becomes more dense and smoky. And it gets better. A profile with a sweet draw and a bump in spice emerges that melds with intonations of creamy chocolate, residual black pepper, hints of cinnamon and tangy cedar. With a bold layer of espresso on the palate, Golden Age concludes with a hardy mix of cedar and dark chocolate, adding alternating notes of peanuts and pecan on the tongue.

Our corona was smooth to the nub with performance to match. A great smoke producer, Golden Age’s combustion was a tad uneven at first, but once it righted, it remained flawless and held a strong, 1”+ ash. High levels of complexity aren’t there, but clearly the blend is so well sculpted (perhaps the aging helped) that the balanced flavors fuse perfectly together along with the textures and body thereby giving the package a high air of refinement. Very enjoyable, satisfying and light in the wallet, Golden Age is a go-to anytime you want to either wax nostalgic about your favorite bygone era or ruminate on your next adventure. – In Fumo Pax!

Recommendation: Go To

Did you Know: In 2019, only 30% of the roughly two million cigars produced at the De Los Reyes factory were their own brands – the rest were contract brands.

  • Profile: Med-Full
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length / Ring: 5.5″ x 46
  • Purchased: B&M
  • Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Dominican Corojo 2006
  • Binder: Dominican San Vincente
  • Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano
  • Production: De Los Reyes Cigars, Santiago
  • Blade: N/A
  • Fire: Colibri Firebird
  • PricePaid: $8.50 [Box $178.50]
  • Humidor Age: 24 mo.
  • Box: 21
  • Other Vitolas: Robusto [5″x50], Toro [6″x52], Lancero [7″x40]

N O T E S

Smoke Time: 1:10
Draw
: Open
Construction: Intricately marbled, rye hue; pigtail cap; evenly firm, not hard; light oil; some veins; seamless; nice cap; holds strong, 1″+ ash.
Aromas:

  • WrapperMilk chocolate, fudge, light barnyard
  • Foot – Fudge

Tasting Notes:

  • Initial: Lush toasty draw, thick with nutty notes; woody nucleus with nutty overlay; smooth profile of oak, dominant salted caramel and baking spice intonations; light finish of coffee and spices; heat of light spice on tongue; warm with smooth texture; medium bodied; takes on more of smoky air and becomes more dense.
  • Transition: Sweet, smoky draw; noticeable bump in spice; thin layer of espresso lingers on palate; creamy chocolate intonations meld with residual black pepper, hints of cinnamon and cedar; fuller bodied; detect light hints of puffed rice at bottom end of retro.
  • Transition: Dense, hardy mix of of cedar and dark chocolate depositing notes of espresso and baked bread on palate; medium spice persists on tongue; intonation of roasted peanuts and still smooth to the nub

Complexity: Excellent – Lush, rich and flavorful with distinct transitions that check all the enjoyment boxes
Balance: Excellent
Touch upsN/A
Combustion: Wonky early but becomes near flawless
Weaknesses: N/A
Recommendation: Go To

Recommendation scale:

  1. Go-to
  2. Boxworthy
  3. 5 packer
  4. Yard ‘gar
  5. NR [No Recommendation]

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