La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale – Cigar Review
If you look at the teams that General Cigar has created they do not have what you would consider to be the traditional route of a cigar company. For example, Michael Giannini was born in Philadelphia, PA. Hardly the tobacco hotbed and yet he has grown into his position after spending 25 years in the business. Looking at Michael you wouldn’t expect him to be so involved in blending, marketing and concepts with his fashionable style he seems more suited to be involed over at GQ then with La Gloria Cubana. Looks can be deceiving.
The latest release from La Gloria Cubana, The Artesanos Retro Especiale. According to the press release,
Team La Gloria set out to break the mold with the blend by cross-breeding a Connecticut seed, which was then cultivated in Honduras. The maiden crop yielded a hearty, golden wrapper as noteworthy for its color as it is for allowing each of the cigar’s components to enjoy equal bearing on the overall taste of the cigar.
Despite the golden appearance of the wrapper, the blend is brash in its full flavor and engages the entire palate. The double binder of bold Nicaraguan and Mexican leaf is further enhanced not only by Nicaraguan and Dominican ligero but also through an additional peppering of proprietary Nicaraguan and Dominican leaf.
Each of the four frontmarks is uniquely packaged in a 25-count box with a different design and bears a classic name that hearkens back to the early days of La Gloria Cubana. Taino (7” x 52) will be available for a suggested retail price of $7.50 per cigar, or $187.50 per box. Habanero (6” x 52) will sell for an SRP of $7.25 per cigar, or $181.25 per box. Cubano (6 1/2” x 58) will carry an SRP of $8.15 per cigar, or $203.75 per box and Club (5 ¾” x 47) will sell for $7.00 apiece, or $175.00 per box.
Cigar: La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale
Size: 5.75 x 47 (Club)
Wrapper: Honduras (Connecticut Seed)
Binder: Nicaragua & Mexico (Double Binder)
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican
Cigars Smoked For Review: 4
Appearance and Construction: As this review goes live, I am in the Dominican Republic with some other social media types as the guest of General Cigar Company. At first look the wrapper on the cigar does not look like a typical La Gloria Cubana, in fact it looks like it was grown for use on the Camacho Connecticut. There are some veins present on the thin wrapper that feels somewhat coarse under the fingers. The foot is loosely packed, but is otherwise well rolled. The band of the cigar has been changed to focus on Lady La Gloria.
Flavor & Notes: The foot of the cigar serves up a buttery richness and the draw of the cigar offers up notes of grass, and hay with a slight sweetness in the background. When I clipped the cigar I had to go a little deeper than normal due to the double binder, but that is neither here nor there. As I smoked the first inch of the cigar there was a slight spice mixed with earth and a very faint butterscotch note. As I smoke through the first third there are notes of nuts, a faint mocha, and some buttery richness. The second third is full of wood notes, earth, and some buttery richness that begins to fade away. The last third of the cigar becomes more complex and even more tasty with notes of figs, wood, nuts and earth.
Smoking Characteristics: The first third of my review stick, and the one prior to it had burn issues in the first third. I suspect this had a lot to do with the loosely packed foot. The cigar corrected itself and burned well, with a pleasant aroma. The cigar had a loose ash with some flake. The draw was loose through the first third before becoming ideal.
Conclusion: I often wonder why some companies put a cigar out under the moniker of an existing brand. This is one of those cigars. The profile of the cigar is nothing like others in the portfolio and this will most likely prevent others from trying a cigar they normally wouldn’t have. I believe that fans of La Gloria Cubana won’t embrace this cigar, and those who shy away from La Gloria will most likely not try it. The result might just be a good cigar that will get lost in brand loyalty and recognition. As far as the cigar itself, it was enjoyable but not what I expected from La Gloria. if you treat this as a cigar without the LGC label, it can easily score 1-2 points higher.