El Rey del Mundo Cuban Cigars
One thing the creators of El Rey del Mundo cigars could not be accused of is modesty. The name translates to “King of the World” – a bold claim for any brand, never mind one which had just started and decided on this name at the outset. Nevertheless, Spanish-born Cuban cigar magnate Antonio Allones – brother and business partner of Ramon Allones – named the brand in 1882 and immediately began creating cigars many felt were worthy of the name. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Allones family had already brought them great fortune, and...READ MORE
El Rey del Mundo Cuban Cigars
One thing the creators of El Rey del Mundo cigars could not be accused of is modesty. The name translates to “King of the World” – a bold claim for any brand, never mind one which had just started and decided on this name at the outset. Nevertheless, Spanish-born Cuban cigar magnate Antonio Allones – brother and business partner of Ramon Allones – named the brand in 1882 and immediately began creating cigars many felt were worthy of the name. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Allones family had already brought them great fortune, and the initial cigars for El Rey del Mundo were manufactured in the same factory as those which bore his brother’s name. In short order their reputation began to outstrip that of their older siblings, and the King of the World had ascended to his throne, in cigar terms at least, by the beginning of the 20th century.
The King himself is seen on the livery still adorning the boxes of El Rey del Mundo today. His outfit could be seen as Taino, the indigenous people of Cuba, and represents the island; his hand grips a mighty cigar; his chariot is pulled by 5 beasts representing the continents of the world. His triumph is clear for all to see, and this confidence was what drove the brand to be the best and conquer the market in such quick time. The artwork, and official brand logo used by Habanos today, proclaims operation “desde 1848” (since 1848) which lends weight to the theory that Antonio Allones merely bought the brand in 1882, rather than creating it then. Whenever he took it over, it was sold in 1905 to Partagas, already the most expensive and luxurious cigar in the world.
El Rey del Mundo cigars are, and have always been, hand-rolled using Tripa Larga (long filler tobacco) from the Vuelta Abajo region. The blend is light-to-medium in strength, a trait which served it will in its early years but began to fall out of fashion in the latter half of the 20th century. The cigars were still popular, but less so that at their peak, and gradually the vitolario was slimmed down until we were left with the small Regular Production portfolio we have today.
El Rey del Mundo Demi Tasse: An extremely slender little cigar, at 30 ring gauge by 3 ⅞ inches. This vitola is known as entreactos on the factory floor – literally, ‘between acts’, as this cigar was designed for the great and good to enjoy during the break at the theatre. Easily smokable in the 15 minutes usually available at such moments, and full of honey, cinnamon and nutmeg flavours.
El Rey del Mundo Choix Suprême: Carrying on the theme for understated names, the ‘Supreme Choice’ is the marca’s version of a robusto-style smoke, albeit a little slimmer and longer at 48 ring gauge by 5 inches. It will smoke for around the same 45 minutes and bring plenty of sweetness and creaminess to the palette.
Like so many other Havana brands which saw their fortunes fade as tastes changed and Revolution gripped the island, El Rey del Mundo have enjoyed a popularity when Regional Edition cigars were chosen that belied the appetites for their regular lines. More than 20 such editions have been released since 2007, including the one and only regional exclusive for Taiwan (known by its Portuguese colonial name of Formosa for the purposes of the programme). While perhaps not as familiar to casual smokers more au fait with the 6 Global Brands, El Rey del Mundo still appear to have a firm place in the hearts of more knowledgeable cigar fans.
El Rey Del Mundo WIH 20 Years Exclusivo Libano: The “WIH” in this cigar’s name refers to the Walk-In Humidor at Beirut International Airport, said to be the largest and best-stocked of its kind in the world. At 54 ring gauge by 5 ⅞ inches long, the cigar chosen to celebrate the milestone is an impressive size, easily matching the stature of the occasion. Plenty of cinnamon, cream and fruit flavours will delight for 90 minutes or more.
El Rey del Mundo La Reina Exclusivo Gran Bretana: Every king needs his queen, and in 2018 La Reina arrived to British smokers. These cigars use the 38 ring gauge by 7 ½ inch size of the Cohiba Lancero – known as Laguito No 1, each La Reina was also rolled at El Laguito instead of with the usual production line. The result is a supremely elegant cigar, full of gentle creaminess.
Despite preferences these days generally being for large-format cigars, from brands with powerful, spicy blends, there is still plenty of room in the market for lighter, more nuanced cigars and shorter smokes. This is what the core El Rey del Mundo vitolas provide; the special releases may diverge from this, but the identity of the brand remains the same. One suspects it will for another 100 years or more. This King’s reign is far from over.
Brand Founded: 1848/1882
Construction: Handmade, Tripa Larga
Continuous Production Cigars: 3