Sunday, January 29, 2012

La Gloria Cubana Serie "R" En Crystal

La Gloria Cubana Serie R En Crystal

Fatal Halo Rating

Dimensions: 6” x 54
Burn Time: 2 Hours
Price: $10.00
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Oily Equadorian-grown Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Olor Leaf / Nicaraguan Ligero

Pre-Smoke Analysis
This was a very attractive cigar and seemed worthy of being encased in a glass tube.  I have heard a lot of great things about La Gloria Cubana, but this was my first time trying one.  Upon opening the tube, I noticed that the cigar had a triple-cap at the head, had nice, strong construction – although the wrapper was a little veiny.  I could pick up on some very distinct cedar notes and had an earthy, woody aroma which strengthened a bit on the cold draw.  Not overly aggressive, but certainly a cigar with some character.  The feel was generally smooth – despite the veiny wrapper – ad didn’t seem to have much tooth to the texture; more silky with a sheen that could be seen in the right light.

The First Third
The cap cut cleanly with no fraying and the cold draw revealed that it would be a relaxing, easy smoke.  The first hot draw produced plumes of chalky, white smoke and hit my palate with strong flavors of wood, spice and coffee.  It was riding the line on being a bit over-powering – definitely a full-body cigar – but it backs off just enough to allow the flavor/aroma to balance nicely on the palate.  This is definitely a cigar that takes some easing in to.

The Second Third
The cigar consistently maintained its flavor through to the second third, but it was beginning to develop some subtle sweetness and toffee notes.  Had a kind of “sweet and spicy” feel to it.  The burn was staying slow and even and produced a strong, gray ash that held form for a good inch and a half before I’d knock it off.  The smoke remained thick and plentiful.

Burning Out
The cigar burned out momentarily, but not sure as to why as there seemed to be no knots or plugs that I could feel or that gave me any trouble on the draw.  Easily corrected with a quick splash of flame from my butane torch and we were back in business.  The flavors really kicked-up here at the end and the sweetness I was enjoying for a good portion of the second third seemed to dissipate almost entirely.  The nub began to soften a bit as the cherry ate closer to the head, but it didn’t affect the evenness of the burn.

Final Thoughts
I was really impressed with this cigar’s presentation in the glass tube and its overall construction.  It was indeed a finely made cigar and one that was not a disappointing experience.  I would have to say that it was a good first choice for my introduction to sampling the La Gloria Cubana line and it had an immense amount of flavor that – although was bit strong from time to time – remained consistent throughout the smoke.  I tend to enjoy cigars more fully when there is a complex blend of flavors and aromas that keep me intrigued, but for a good, solid smoke – this one knocked it out of the park.  Ultimately, while I didn’t find this cigar to be anything to rave about, it was an experience that has certainly enticed me to try different sizes and styles from the brand.  I was also a little disappointed by the price because although I paid $10 in-store for it, I found it online for under $8.  I certainly can’t hold that against the manufacturer though, so I would have to rank this cigar fairly high on the Burn-Notice board.

Liked it?:  Yes

Buy It Again?: Yes – but online next time to pay what it should properly cost.

Recommend It?: Yes – but only to experienced aficionados who appreciate a strong, full-body cigar!

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