Cigar review: I got Esteli on my mind

Cigar review: Some cigar brands put out consistent, well received product on just about all their releases. La Gloria Cubana is such a brand.

Through the years from the gaudy days and domain of E.P. Carrillo to the present holdings of General Cigars, they know how to make a cigar. The newest creation puts La Gloria Cubana back in the limelight for many cigar smokers.

Putting it succinctly from the mouths of the crew of La Gloria:

La Gloria Cubana Esteli takes the brand on a flight of exploration to Central America.

A modern, fuller-bodied take on the classic La Gloria smoking experience, La Gloria Cubana Esteli represents the best of Central American tobaccos and deepens the profile of the brand’s original “white box” blend.

Steve Abbot, senior brand manager for La Gloria Cubana said, “We named this collection in honor of the artisans of our factory in Esteli who did a fantastic job creating the blend and bringing a deeper taste profile to the La Gloria portfolio. We’re confident that fans of La Gloria Cubana will enjoy the modern flavor of ‘Esteli’ and recognize the spirit of Nicaragua in this exciting new collection.”

Distinctive and savory with the characteristic spice that’s prevalent throughout the La Gloria portfolio, La Gloria Cubana Esteli begins with a bold, dark wrapper from Nicaragua’s Jalapa Valley, a leaf that imparts the lion’s share of flavor to the blend and sets the stage for a multi-dimensional taste experience.

A rich blend maximizes the wrapper, as Honduran Jamastran and La Entrada fillers and a Jamastran binder come together to deliver a complex smoke with notes of cedar, spice and white pepper. This is a medium-to-full-bodied smoke that burns to a stark white ash.

La Gloria Cubana Esteli is handcrafted at STG Esteli  with these three frontmarks:

Robusto (4.5” x 52); SRP per cigar $4.99; 25 cigars per box

Toro (5.5” x 54); SRP per cigar $5.99; 25 cigars per box

Gigante (6.25 x 60); SRP per cigar $6.99; 20 cigars per box

As always, how and where I receive a cigar does not impact my subjective judgment when I review. Please try the cigar yourself and make up your own mind.

 

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IMG_4054.jpgAppearance/Construction: A smaller version of a robusto , dark brown almost black wrapper. Small veins evident but not an issue.  Oily to my touch , good construction as it is soft but not spongy. The cigar band is a handsome,  eye opener, with the red border and Estelli printed on it.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: I got blasted with a heavy black pepper with my first couple of puffs which took me by surprise. It’s like asking for a light for your smoke and get a flame thrower instead. All right perhaps that’s an exaggeration but you get the drift.

First third: The cigar did calm down a bit but the pepper was very strong and  also had a very nice interplay with a rich blend of cocoa, nuts and mint.

Second third: The spice ratched down a bit more as the overall cigar flavor introduced a more earthy blend of hay and wood.

Final third: This section confused my taste buds somewhat as the smoked produced an uneven mix of heavy spice which overpowered the other flavors I just started getting used to.

Smoking Characteristics: Burn became slightly uneven as I smoked and needed one relight.

Conclusion/Overall Impression: This La Gloria blend was not up to the standard I expect from the  line of cigars that I have smoked since the 90’s.  Companies need to experiment with blends and I applaud that attitude. However, I think this cigar does not quite make my cut yet.  I do have more in my humidor so will try again as they season for a spell.

Final Thoughts and the Numbers: Even though this was not my favorite Gloria blend , it is not a bad stick. Give me your feedback on the smoke and maybe your experience was different.

 

Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3 out of 5

Smoking Characteristics: 3 out of 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3.3 out of 5

Keep smoking

 

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