|La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23|
The La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 was one of two cigars released by General Cigar’s La Gloria Cubana brand at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. We were one of the first media outlets to tell the story of these new cigars. The La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show follows a small batch, limited production model. In fact only 500 boxes of each of these cigars have been produced. In recent years La Gloria Cubana has become a brand at General Cigar Company associated with innovation and the Trunk Show Twenty Twelve series is no exception. This time La Gloria Cubana introduces a smokeable band. I recently had an opportunity to smoke the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 and found this to be an outstanding cigar – and one that will keep core La Gloria Cubana fans very happy.
The YG-23 gets its name from its creator, Yuri Guillen. Guillen is a long-time member of Team La Gloria Cubana and General Manager at the El Credito factory. Guillen has worked with Team La Gloria Cubana Director Michael Giannini for some time, and has helped establish the innovative reputation for the brand. As mentioned above, for this year’s innovative concept, the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve implements smokeable bands. While this isn’t the first smokeable band, it definitely takes the smokeable band to a new level. The YG-23 gives the appearance of an actual band label. It uses a homogenized tobacco leaf as the physical label, and its printing is done with a non-toxic vegetable dye.
|Close-up of the smokeable cigar band of the
La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve YG-23
There is also another cigar as a part of the Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Series, the Liga LR-1. This cigar will also use a smokeable band. That cigar features an intricate die-cut band with the La Gloria Cubana logo. The two cigars are completely different blends, but incorporate a common concept of a smokeable band.
|La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve –
with the die-cut smokeable band
Let’s take a closer look at the Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
While the blend of the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 is not broken down precisely here is what we know: The cigar features an Ecuadorian Sumatra Especial wrapper while the remainder of the blend consists of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. We do know the quantities of the tobaccos were limited, thus the reason why only 500 boxes were produced. The tobaccos have been aged from 7 to 10 years.
The La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 is only available in a single size. It is a massive 7 x 60 Gordo and should definitely appeal to large ring gauge cigar enthusiasts. The cigars are packaged 26 to a box. With 500 boxes being made, there are a total of 13,000 cigars being produced..
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper has a medium brown color with a slight reddish hue. The wrapper does have some dark spots on it. The complexion of the wrapper can be categorized as oily. The wrapper seams and veins are visible.
As mentioned the band uses a homogenized tobacco leaf. It has a very natural color to it. The print on the logo is a black non-toxic vegatable dye. It features the La Gloria Cubana logo stamped on it. Under it its says “TRUNK SHOW”. Below that text is “2012”. There is black striping across the top and bottom.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For the smoke of the YG-23, I went with a straight cut into the large cap of the cigar. It was then on to start the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes yielded a mix of natural tobacco sweetness, wood, and some pepper. Overall, I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw. It was now time to toast the foot of the YG-23 and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
The start to the YG-23 consisted of notes of pepper and natural tobacco flavors. The pepper notes became secondary while an oak/natural tobacco combination emerged in the forefront. Oak notes are what I consider an intangible flavor. While I’ve never tasted oak, the flavor is what I would envision oak tasting like if I did. I often provide oak provides an “old school flavor” to a cigar. The oak and natural tobacco alternated as to what flavor note had the edge.
For most of the first two thirds, the flavor profile holds pretty consistent. It is in the final third of the cigar where things begin to change. This is especially evident when the cigar reaches the smokeable band. The band definitely had an impact on the flavor profile of the YG-23. This is where an herbal sweetness emerged. This seemed to happen right around the point the smokeable band was reached. I was also able to detect this through the nostrils. I found this to be a unique flavor. The herbal sweetness together with the pepper notes provided a great end to this cigar experience. It also gave the YG-23 a smooth finish. I burned through most of the band as I got to the final nub. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 to be a well-constructed cigar. This was reflected in the attributes of burn and draw. I found the burn to be excellent on the YG-23. Considering this is a big ring gauge cigar, this also says a lot about the construction. The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring only minimal touch-ups. The burn did get a little jagged as it burned through the band (see below) – but this was only at the very end. For this particular cigar I smoked, the resulting ash seemed looser at the beginning – with a little bit of flowering. This didn’t prove to be a major problem. As the smoke the YG-23 progressed, the ash got firmer. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve
Liga YG-23 as it goes through the smokeable band.
The draw was outstanding as it made the YG-23 a very enjoyable smoking experience. This ranks in the upper echelon of big ring gauge draws.
Strength and Body
From a nicotine perspective, the YG-23 is going to deliver a lot of strength. In fact, the strength of this cigar really will sneak up on you. There is no doubt in my mind that this cigar can be classified as a full strength cigar. As for the depth of the flavors, the YG-23 starts out medium bodied, but by the last third, it progresses to medium to full-bodied. When balancing the strength and body, this is a cigar where the strength will have an edge. I don’t consider this necessarily a bad thing, and there certainly is still enough flavor in this cigar to make it enjoyable.
I’ve always been on the record saying when a big ring gauge cigar works, it makes for a great cigar experience. The La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga YG-23 is one such cigar. As I smoked this, the fact that this was a 60 ring gauge cigar was secondary. I also believe that this blend works extremely well with the big ring gauge. The fact that you can smoke through the band gives this cigar a fun intangible to it. The fact that the band actually impacted the flavor makes this even more interesting. This is a strong cigar and is one I would recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. While some long-time La Gloria Cubana fans may stick to the old Wavell and Serie R blends, this is a cigar that I would not hesitate putting in their hands. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and plan on doing so before supplies run out.
Body: Medium (1st 2/3, Medium to Full (last third)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.