Cigar Review: A Cuban by any name

Cigar review:

Reviews can sometimes be tricky.  The pedigree of a cigar might make your expectations unrealistic. In some ways, its similar when race horses are bred from champion lines. On paper you are going to have an outstanding sire. Other times the horse  cannot match the parents  accomplishments. This line of thinking might be what General Cigar and the Carrillo company thought when this new blend was announced. 

From an article from Cigar Aficionado about this blend.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is back with General Cigar Co.—sort of.

The two have teamed up for a new collaboration called La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva. It’s a regular-production line that will debut next month at the IPCPR trade show.

“The blend is very much in keeping with the spirit of the original La Gloria,” explained Perez-Carrillo during a visit to Cigar Aficionado headquarters in New York City. “When La Gloria first came out, I really liked the Nicaraguan tobaccos
that were available at the time. The Nicaraguan visos and ligeros that we use for this project are La Gloria all the way.”

Based on a blend he created in the 1980s, the new cigar is made with a Sumatra-seed wrapper grown in the Los Rios province of Ecuador’s Quevedo region. The rest consists entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco.

“Sumatra has a certain texture,” Perez-Carrillo said. “A certain silkiness and a particular smell. I think it’s a tangy wrapper, peppery and medium to full-bodied.”

The La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva is packaged in 20-count boxes and comes in three sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 inches by 54 ring gauge; Torpedo, 6 by 54; and Presidente, 7 1/2 by 54. They’re set to retail from $7.59 to $8.99.

The  non Cuban La Gloria Cubana blend was created in Miami in 1972 at the El Credito cigar factory, but wasn’t the focus until Perez-Carrillo took over the company in 1980. It gained a cult following and, by the 1990s, eventually grew into a national brand causing Perez-Carrillo to move his production to the Dominican Republic in order to meet demand.

La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva

La Gloria Cubana got the attention of General Cigar, which purchased the brand in 1999 and offered Perez-Carrillo a job. He accepted, and stayed with General for 10 years, developing brands like La Gloria Cubana Serie R and La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami. In 2009, he parted ways with General and later branched out on his own.

La Gloria Cubana is often characterized as the quintessential boutique brand, due to its small, Miami-made roots, limited availability (in the early days) and respect among cigar connoisseurs.

“It’s the mother of all boutique brands,” said General Cigar president Régis Broersma to Cigar Aficionado.

This isn’t the first time that Perez-Carrillo has collaborated with General since he left the company. In 2014, the two created a one-off brand called Re+United.

Unlike Re+United, which was made at the General Cigar Dominicana factory, the new La Glorias are made at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory, also in the Dominican Republic.

Although owned and distributed by General, the new La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva allows Perez-Carrillo to work with his own creation once again. When asked about his feelings toward La Gloria, he answered: “I still feel very close to the brand.”

This  review  is based on my subjective thoughts and how and where I received the cigar does not impact my opinion.

Brand/Name of Cigar: La Gloria Cubana/Coleccion

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Size: 5 x 54

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Robusto

Price: Received from General Cigar for review

Where and When Smoked: Los Angeles, Ca. 3/25/18

Appearance/Construction: A blondish/brown wrapper with a slick oily feel. Solid with no issues in appearance, small veins. A distinguished looking smoke with a classy two band combination.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: Initial third of black spice, caramel, earth and nuts. Strong , complex cigar making you sit up and take notice. No subtleties in this blend as you are commanded to respect the taste.

As the cigar starts to hit the second third, pepper overtakes the early version and your eyes open up. There is also a mix of cedar and slight citrus.

The cigar takes a turn in the final third with a flinty metallic bite which was not for me. I  tried  to ignore this but it was impossible to hide.

Smoking Characteristics: The burn line became uneven and needed a relight. The ash was dark grey with several hot spots as I smoked.

Conclusion/Overall Impression: The talents of both parties in this joint effort probably thought the cigar was going to be a hit. It might be but not for me.

When I started the cigar it appeared to be a quality blend but the finish faded the overall experience.

Final Thoughts and the Numbers:  This cigar was touted as a venture of the best and the brightest. How could you not think that with the combined skills of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and General Cigar. It simply is not a premium cigar in my estimation.

Appearance/Construction: 3.8 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3 out 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3 out 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3. 2 out of 5.

This is a middle of the road cigar which might be ok for some, but I was expecting much more. You should buy one and give it a try as I could be totally wrong about this smoke. I have one more in my humidor which I will try in the future and give you an update.

Keep smoking

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