Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary

Posted: 19th January 2011 by Shawn in Non Cuban Cigars, Tatuaje

Barclay rex 100th Anniversary

Like the name implies, the Barclay Rex 100th Anniversary was produced by Tatuaje as part of its “Exclusive Series” to celebrate the shops 100th year in business. As for the specifics of this cigar, this is a Toro measuring in at 6×52 with a blend consisting of a Nicaraguan binder, filler and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The release it self was limited to Barclay Rex: Fine Tobacconists with only 195 cabinets of 25 for a total of just 4,875 cigars.

The Barclay Rex is relatively unique in that it has been wrapped in Connecticut Broad in addition to having both a covered foot and nippled head. As for its appearance, the deep, rich, dark, oily tones of the Connecticut Broad leaf shine deeply in the light of my desk lamp, although, this particular cigar doesn’t appear to have the toothy look I’ve seen on other Tatuajes with broadleaf. In fact, the wrapper is silky smooth, there isn’t allot of veining, discolouration or patches to be found, not that I would expect anything less from an exclusive release. As for the construction, this cigar has more heft in the hand than I’ve felt in a long while, its just solid, hopefully this is a good sign of things to come.

Pre-light: Both the body and foot share but a hint of aroma, an aspect which surprises me as it is rather uncharacteristic of Nicaraguan tobacco or most Tatuaje Cigars. What I can sense however are mostly fragrances of barnyard, cedar, earth and spicy hints. After clipping the cap, the draw is also muted and rather tight keeping to flavours of mild tobacco, cedar and perhaps a hint of spice.

Light: The light took a little longer than normal for a close footed cigar, but after about a minute or two I found myself successful. The draw caught me off guard in a number of ways, first off it produced poorer than normal volumes of smoke than I would expect from a Tatuaje LE. Secondly, the notes from the draw weren’t nearly as powerful as I’d heard reports of, instead smooth and cool notes of semi-sweet cocoa, earth, roasted nuts and just a touch of spice are present. The aroma from the lit foot is fantastic, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon overwhelm the nose – a treat for the senses.

First Third: 20 minutes in and the draw has loosened up somewhat, although the smoke output isn’t great, however the flavour profile doesn’t appear to suffer. Overall things are still relatively mild throughout the first third, notes of semi-sweet cocoa, earth and spice are abound, roughly the same as the light but pleasant. When taken in, the expelled smoke offers velvety cocoa nuances, some espresso, leather and earth – actually rather complex and quite strong for the first third, but welcomed nonetheless. Construction at the end of the first third is great, the burn has kept a nice sharp edge and held onto almost two inches of ash, thus far things are looking good.

Second Third: About mid way through the second third, I can finally feel a tangible shift in the body and flavour of this cigar. Semi-sweet cocoa has faded to a dark chocolatesque note followed by heaping mounds of earth, espresso and spice. Taking expelled smoke in through the nose again reveals fragrances of dark chocolate, espresso and more leather with spice in tow that seems to pair more fittingly now with the draw. The burn near to the end of final third is unfortunately not great, while some blistering was apparent at the onset of the second third, the wrapper has begun to split so badly that it is now unravelling. Despite the aforementioned, the burn was relatively even and the ash held for about an inch before dropping in two even segments.

Final Third: Coming to a close, the Barclay Rex has aimed high but fallen far short of its target. Having lost most of its flavour and complexity in the final third, only spice, espresso, earth, leather and burnt tobacco remain from what I can surmise and, unfortunately, the same can be said for the retro-hale. Not bad, but just not my cup of tea. Between the lack of flavour, hot burn and the rather horrid construction issues of the latter two thirds, I’ve decided let the cigar die out with an inch and a half to go.

Final Thoughts: For a cigar once described as the Pork Tenderloins big brother, this really didn’t live up to the hype for me. The Barclay Rex started off with great flavour and complexity showing quite a bit of promise up until the second third where the flavour profile and the cigar itself fell apart. For those that read my reviews, you know I’m usually not one to pick apart a cigar based on construction, but the terrible wrapper problems I experienced were an exception. Case and point, if you are paying $10 or more for cigar then it shouldn’t blow up on you, period. In conclusion, my experience with the Barclay Rex is a great example why it’s important not to get caught up in the hype surrounding a release. Before trying this cigar, I read many reviews and talked with quite a few people who had said it was great. With that said, our tastes and preferences are a subjective matter and while my palate generally tends to agree with the massses, this time it did not. However, on the same accord, just because I tried a cigar and didn’t like it, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot.

Total smoking time was about two hours.

Thank you for reading.

  1. Ryan says:

    I have to agree with your review, though I’m sure you and I are in the minority on this. The stick is just not as good as everyone makes it out to be. A good cigar, for sure, but not legendary.

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