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Cigar Review: Byron Serie Siglo XX Londinenses

23 Mar 2015

So far this year I’ve reviewed two interesting smokes from United Cigar: the Atabey Ritos, an expensive cigar that’s complex and nuanced; and the Garofalo Robusto, a mild-mannered smoke that’s affordable, flavorful, and satisfying.

Byron Siglo XX ReservaBoth creations are impressive, not only in their performance but also in their packaging (more on that later). So I’ve made it a point to try and smoke my way through the rest of the United Cigar portfolio, which includes Bandolero, Fleur de la Reine, La Gianna, and Byron.

The latter is named for Lord Byron, an English poet and a leader of the Romantic movement. The Byron cigar line is the revival of an old Cuban brand from the mid-nineteenth century. “Many cigar factories produced numerous brands with Anglo-American names to attract UK and US markets, which had tremendous demand for premium cigars at the time,” according to the United Cigar website.

Today Byron is made in three different blends—Siglo XIX, Siglo XX, and Siglo XXI—to represent “what Cuban cigars were in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.” They are handmade in Costa Rica, stored in an aging room for one year, and then packaged in beautifully ornate porcelain jars or individually humidified tubes.

The Siglo XX Londinenses (5.5 x 54) is dark, firm, and clearly crafted with care. Underneath the cedar sleeve and double bands is a virtually veinless wrapper with a well-executed cap and potent pre-light notes of green raisin, cocoa, and earth. The Byron Siglo XX’s wrapper, binder, and filler are undisclosed.

The cold draw is quite tight, which is a bit of a concern, but fortunately it seems to open immediately after setting an even light. The ensuing flavor is medium-bodied and balanced with notes of creamy nut, sweet cream, dried fruit, coffee, cedar spice, warm tobacco, and cinnamon. Yes, there’s a lot going on here. The texture is dense and the smoke production is moderate. The final third witnesses a slight increase in spice and body.

Aside from the draw being a tad too resistant for my liking, construction is absolutely perfect. The gray ash holds well off the foot, and the straight burn line doesn’t require a single-touch up.

Like Atabey, the Byron Serie Siglo XX Londinenses is competing in the ultra-premium market with a sky-high price of about $30. Surely some of that cost is sunk in the flamboyantly elaborate packaging and the humidified tube (which is reusable and excellent for the golf bag, by the way). That said, this is no mediocre cigar on masquerade. No, the flavors are as numerous as they are harmonious, and the experience is downright memorable. Pony up for an indulgence, and be prepared for a cigar that’s worthy of four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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  1. Cigar Review: Fleur de la Reine Maduro Cinq | The Stogie Guys - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    […] Garofalo Robusto, a mild-mannered stick that’s affordable, flavorful, and satisfying; and Byron Serie Siglo XX Londinenses, a $30 specimen that’s memorable (it should be at that price) and […]