La Gloria Cubana Serie R Cigar Review

Product Name:La Gloria Cubana Serie R
Brand:La Gloria
Customer Reviews

In this review, we take a look at the La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5 Natural. The No. 5 is the robusto size in the Serie R line of cigars. This line was created by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. as an answer to the the increasing popularity and demand for fuller-bodied smokes among the cigar smoking community. Now the question is, is it a good answer? That’s where this review comes in.

Cigar Stats

  • Size: 5 1/2 x 54 (robusto)
  • Wrapper: Ecuador
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Beverage: Water

The Pre-Smoke

The two Gloria Cubanas that I smoked were very interesting in appearance. They had kind of a rustic look to them that was enhanced by lighter colored veins that were prominent in the wrapper. Though it doesn’t probably sound flattering, they had the appearance of old, comfortably-worn leather, which was actually very visually appealing to me.

A closer visual inspection revealed that the cigar was actually drier in appearance than may other cigars I’ve had recently. However, the mottled darkness of the wrapper may have made it more difficult to detect the oils. Clearly this cigar isn’t a maduro, but the wrapper is on the darker end of natural.

As is my custom I clipped the cigar with my flamboyantly-red Xicar cutter. And I was in for a surprise. The cap clipped easily and flew off into the ashtray like a little, solid flying saucer. A great cut, but what’s really interesting is the opening was left in the head of the cigar. The cut was actually a little crater instead of a flat cut. It wasn’t deep or damaging, but it was noticeably concaved inward. I was immediately suspicious of the construction, but the cigar was firm with an appropriate amount of give, so I made a mental note and moved on.

Smelling the wrapper I noted a rich combination of molasses and barnyard aromas. In the cold taste I detected a faint confirmation of that molasses flavor.

The Burn

When it comes to the burn, I seem to be having a bad bit of luck recently. In the first of these cigars, I had pretty uneven burn right from the beginning. I don’t think I’m to blame for that, as the I did give it a good even light. The cigar did even up considerably in the second third to a nearly perfect burn line, before losing it again in the final third.

Also the draw in this cigar was considerably tighter than I’d prefer. While it wasn’t as bad as the Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion Consul I reviewed earlier, it was still tough. It lightened up for a while in the second third, but then turned the screws again in the final third.

At this point you’re thinking, “Oh no, Brian’s gonna give another bad review to a cigar based on burn and draw issues.” Let me stop you right there. The saving grace for the La Gloria Cubana was that the second cigar had a wonderful draw, and and an even better burn than this one. To be honest, I suspect that the area I had placed these cigars in the humidor was a little over humidified and contributing to a tough draw and inconsistent burn. So to be on the safe side, I moved the second cigar to another humidor that has been running at a slightly lower humidity. I don’t know if that helped or not, but the second cigar was clearly more enjoyable than the first!

But getting beyond the issues of draw, another great thing about this cigar was its ash. Both cigars easily sported attractive ashes weighing in at least 2 inches before either dropping or being tapped off. (I smoked the second cigar in polite company, and didn’t want to risk dropping ash all over the table!)

The Flavor

This cigar started off lightly. In the initial third, the majority of the flavor I got was all in the front of the mouth. I noticed syrupy sweetness and woody notes early on, or as I wrote in my notes, the first third of this cigar “smokes like a dessert”. The sweetness and woodiness continues, and is joined by a raisin or light, sweet almond flavor as it burns into the second third.

In the second third a creaminess began to appear and the woodiness became more pronounced. I also detected a subtle nutmegy spiciness that made a brief appearance when the creaminess first appeared, but disappeared shortly thereafter. The body also ratcheted it up a bit to around medium.

The body continues to build a bit more on it’s way into and through the final third; making it to about midway between medium and full and the woody flavor continues. In the first, tough drawing cigar, the flavor was compromised by overheating due to heavy draws to keep the cigar burning.

The Price

Since this cigar was given to me for this review, the price noted is based on what I’ve seen online. (In a local, and really overpriced shop I’ve seen this cigar retailing for $9!) I think the price is reasonable. I’ve definitely seen cigars of the same quality (or even less) for sale at higher prices!

The Verdict

I like this cigar. I really enjoyed the flavors, and I’m giving it a complete pass on the burn issues I had. If the second cigar had been a repeat performance of the first, I think I still would find this a favorable smoke, though I would have hesitated to recommend it. I very happy to not have to do that this time!

I have to say that I don’t think this cigar is “the answer” to the demand for a full-bodied smoke, but it’s a good answer to the question, “what should I smoke tonight?” Of course, as this is the natural version of the line, it’s entirely possible that the maduro is this answer they speak of. (I haven’t tried the maduro yet, but I am anxious to do so!)

  • Liked It: Yes
  • Buy It Again: Yes
  • Recommend It: Yes

The Cigar in Action

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