Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Serie R

Size: 4.875×52, No. 4

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan Ligero & Dominican Olor

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 24, $105.95 (Purchase)

Grade: 8.8

Produced by El Credito Cigar Company, and originated by Ernesto Carrillo, the La Gloria Cubana brand is now made exclusively for General Cigar, a subsidiary of Swedish Match. The La Gloria Cubana Serie R is the first extension line from the popular brand.  This is how this cigar is described by Team La Gloria.

Serie R boasts an amazing spiciness and powerful, refined flavor which comes from a proprietary blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. When balanced with a Nicaraguan binder and a wonderfully aged Ecuadoran wrapper (Connecticut Broadleaf wraps the Maduro cigars), La Gloria Cubana’s exquisite taste captures a place in the smoking repertoires of today’s tenured smokers who demand the ultimate in flavor.

The Serie R is available in the following sizes: Number 7 (7×58), Number 6 (6×5.875), Number 5 (5.5×54), Number 4 (4.875x 52), and a Belicoso, (5.75x 56). We are toasting the Number 4 and it was provided to us by one of our sponsors, AJ’s Cigars.  

I haven’t smoked a lot of La Gloria Cubanas, just a few here and there. I am looking forward to toasting the foot on this one for a full review, since it is supposed to be a bit fuller and more robust than the regular line.

Pre-light, 1.7:
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is medium brown in color with a few visible flaws. The wrapper has some tooth in between the fingers and is well packed from head to foot; the No. 4 has a good weight resting in the palm. The pre-light aroma is of earthy tobacco along the wrapper, with a cinnamon note at the foot. The cold draw produces a unique flavor that I cannot identify and finishes with a warm spice on the tip of the tongue.

Burn, 1.7:
Cut, toasted, and lit, the Serie R produces a ton of smoke up front with an easy draw. The ash is a flaky white that holds well. Into the second third, the cigar tightens up a bit and requires a bit of work to get a mouthful of smoke. This results in a warmer smoke temperature that is not as cool as I would like. Toward the end of the second third, the cigar opens back up to a draw that is reminiscent of the first third; the smoke temperature also cools a bit.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first puff on this smoke is intense – earthy tobacco and spice are dominant and it really hits me between the eyes.  The No. 4 mellows out about ¾ of an inch in and the notes are of earthy tobacco, some woodiness, and spice. The spice is not really pepper, but borders on that profile. The finish is very dry and makes me thirsty.  About halfway through the second third the smoke seems to even out a bit with a more balanced blend of tobacco and spice. The finish is better with more depth. The cigar did not transition past the halfway point; earthy tobacco with some spice was the dominant profile and the cigar carried it all the way to the end.

Overall, 2.7:
This is not a bad smoke for around four of five bucks; it was not as complex as I anticipated and wasn’t as well balanced as I hoped, but overall it is a robust smoke that fit one of the first chilly nights in Georgia this fall. I don’t think I would recommend a box purchase on these, but for variety a few sticks in the humidor would not be a bad idea.

(Total: 8.8)