La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli
Following up the review of the CAO Flathead that I got last week. I’m smoking another cigar from ever increasing world of General Cigar, the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli! I must be on an LGC kick or something because I also reviewed the Gilded Age recently as well. I guess when you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll. A little back story on this cigar. La Gloria Cubana is leaving behind it’s roots of traditionally making cigars with Dominican tobacco and now they’re venturing into using Nicaraguan leaf. LGC is actually making two new expressions, the Serie R Esteli and the Serie R Black which was released earlier in the year. Both are made with Jalapa tobacco. Jalapa is a mountainside region in Nicaragua that is known to produce tobacco with high mineral notes in it.
The La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli is only going to be sold through brick and mortar stores around the country. It’s all large ring gauge cigars that are full of flavor. It uses a combination of Jalapa ligero and viso leaf and combined with the Jalapa Sol wrapper this is an absolute Nicaraguan puro! Below are the sizes that they are releasing this cigar in initially:
No. 64 (6.25” x 64), SRP per cigar is $7.49
No. 60 (6” x 60), SRP per cigar is $6.99
No. 54 (6” x 54), SRP per cigar is $6.49
I was sent samples of the No. 54, it wasn’t labeled on the cellophane as to what size it was so I had to go hold it up to my cigar size poster and double check! Time to get down to it and see what this stick has in store!
As I said above all of these La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli cigars are coming in rather large ring gauges. So the first thing I notice is the size of the stick. It has a beautiful dark wrapper that has some decent sized veins in it that have been flattened. So I don’t anticipate them causing any problems along the way. The wrapper has a beautiful sheen to it, the oils are just pouring out of this cigar and its glistening under my lamp in the garage.
As you see in the pictures this cigar has a double band on it. A typically placed band close to the head and a band around the foot. The footer band is mainly silver and has the words La Gloria Cubana going diagonal around it. With a black and red striped border on the top and bottom. Very classy looking foot band, nothing too in your face.
The main band on this La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli has the classic LGC logo in the middle. The traditional yellow colors have been replaced with red black and silver where they are typically yellow and gold. I actually really like what they did to change this up for this release. It gives the appearance of a bolder cigar just from the packaging. Below the logo the band states ‘Serie R’ and ‘Esteli’ in reverse type to make it pop out some. Overall a great looking cigar. I’m ready to take off this foot band and give it the pre game warmup!
I went through all 5 of the samples sent to me and performed the pinch test on them. I wanted to pick out a perfect one for the review. After rolling it through my fingers a few times I determined this was the one I wanted. It had a nice bounce back in the filler and I think it was just ready to be smoked.
I went ahead and nipped the cap off of the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli and tested the dry draw. No hindrance to the draw here it was a very nice smooth pull. So I think I chose a good stick to do this review. Let’s get the flame to it and get to smoking!
Being that this is a larger stick I made sure to give extra time on toasting the foot. I didn’t want to deal with 2 hours of uneven burns. So I made sure the foot was good to go before I even started puffing. It took a few good hard puffs to get the smoke coming through the barrel, but once it did it was excellent.
The first third of this cigar was just pouring out smoke. Nice thick clouds and it was burning at a nice even pace while resting on the ash tray. I knew I was about to be in for a 2 hour ride. I know I’m a slow smoker and plus this is a decent sized stick. So it was time to settle in and catch up on some reading.
During the second part of this La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli I began to have a bit of trouble with the draw and the burn. It started getting a little crooked on me so I touched it up and it lined back out for a bit. Then later on it started giving me trouble again. I decided it was time to purge the cigar and get rid of some of the built up tar in the barrel. When I purged it, the end of this stick looked like a dang blow torch! It cleaned it up and began burning correct again.
That is until halfway through the final third. As I was just sitting there reading all of a sudden this cigar just went out on me. No rhyme or reason. I didn’t let it set that long either. So I purged it again and then re-lit and everything was fine again. The burn line didn’t get all crazy it just went out. The overall smoking experience was good, just had a few trouble spots which are annoying, but I made it through.
So despite the burn issues, lets talk about some flavor on this stick! During the pre light I picked up some really delicious smelling cocoa on the foot. There were hints of hay and barnyard as well. It has a very aromatic pre draw, it’s nice and airy when drawing it through the barrel. There is a cleanliness about it that makes it nice and crisp. An exciting flavor on the foot is the hint of spice that I picked up as the flavors were fading away. It was a nice little kick to the pants if I do say so myself.
During the first third of this La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli the flavors were all incredibly smooth. There was a nice dose of spice on the retrohale which is custom for Nicaraguan cigars. There was a nice sweetness on the tongue, those cocoa notes were hitting me just before the spice took over. I also got a nice dose of creamy nougat mixed in with all the others.
The second third brought on more complexity. The floral notes picked up, especially on the retrohale. The spice had calmed down and let way to the signature coffee notes and some earthy undertones behind it all. This has become quite complex in terms of flavor all while dealing with the burn issues on this third.
The final third brought more of the same as the second third. However the spice kicked back up on it’s way out. I was loving how the flavors just flowed in and out of each other all the way through this cigar. It made for a nice smoke. Overall I would label this more on the medium-full side. I don’t think it quite made it into the full strength category. It’s definitely full in terms of flavor and complexity though.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, I believe I would.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Only if they make it in smaller vitolas.
Would I Buy a Box?
Potentially! Especially because the packaging of the box is so unique.
I really enjoyed this La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli despite the burn issues I had it was a great smoke overall. I thought the flavor complexities really brought something new and exciting to the table. The packaging is beautiful and for the most part it was a great smoking experience. I’ve already given a couple of these cigars away to friends who love this kind of cigar. For me, that’s one of the highest compliments I can give to a cigar is who I give it away to. So if you see these around your local B&M’s give it a shot. I doubt you’ll be disappointed!