At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigar Company launched a new offering under its La Gloria Cubana brand known as the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva. The cigar is a project that was done in conjunction with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. at his Tabacalera La Alianza factory. Perez-Carrillo Jr. is well-known for his strong ties with General Cigar. When Swedish Match (who owned General) acquired Perez-Carrillo Jr’s El Credito operation (which included the La Gloria Cubana brand) in 1999, Perez-Carrillo Jr. would become a part of the General Cigar team. Perez-Carrillo Jr would remain there until 2008 when he would depart to form his own company, E.P. Carrillo. While Perez-Carrillo Jr. has been gone for nine years, this is not his first “return” to General Cigar as back in 2014 he would collaborate with them on the Re+United project. Now this time, the collaboration is a project that goes back to the brand he founded – La Gloria Cubana. Today we look at the Robusto size in the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva project.
When Perez-Carrillo Jr. departed General, Michael Giannini (who came over with Perez-Carrillo Jr.) took over the brand. La Gloria Cubana has always been the “boutique brand” under General (complete with its own “factory within a factory” at the General Cigar Dominicana factory). For the most part, under Giannini’s leadership, the brand also garnered the reputation of being the innovative brand under General. These projects included the segmented wrapper on the La Gloria Cubana Artesnaos de Tabaqueros; the “N” that is present on the wrapper of La Gloria Cubana Serie N; the concept of increasing the importance of the binder and filler for the flavor profile of the La Gloria Cubana Artsenos Retro Especiale; and smokeable bands with the La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show. Perhaps his most ambitious project was the unique vitola on the La Gloria Cubana Artesansos de Obelisco which was modeled more after the shape of the “Heroes of the Restoration” monument located in the city of Santiago (Dominican Republic).
However, La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva is more of a throwback to Perez-Carrillo Jr. offerings under La Gloria Cubana. It is more traditional in packaging and the blend uses a wrapper that Perez-Carrillo Jr. is associated with – Sumatra. For this project, Perez-Carrillo Jr. teamed up with Jhonys Diaz – who heads up the operation at General Cigar Dominicana. The cigar line is intended to be a regular production offering.
Without further ado, let’s break down the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the Sumatra wrapper, the blend of the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva consists of Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler. While it was a project done in collaboration with General, it is produced at Perez-Carrillo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic.
The blend for the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva is based on a blend Perez-Carrillo Jr created in the 1980s after he took over the operations of the El Credito factory in Miami.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)
La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva is available in three sizes. All three sizes have a 54 ring gauge. The cigars are packaged in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 54
Torpedo: 6 x 54
Presidente: 7 1/2 x 54
The Sumatra wrapper of La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto has a throwback look to the original La Gloria Cubana Serie R Natural cigars. The wrapper has a dark cinnamon color with pronounced veins and mottling on the surface. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper. There are some visible veins present on the wrapper as well.
There are two bands on the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva. The primary banding is a throwback to the old La Gloria Cubana bands. It is highlighted by the red, white, and black La Gloria Cubana logo (an image of a Latin American woman) with the text “LA GLORIA CUBANA” arranged over it in thin black font. There is red and white pinstriping and to gold medallions to the left and right. The band is finished with gold trim.
There is a secondary band that is maroon in color. On the band is the text “Ernesto Perez-Carrillo” in antique white cursive font. Just below that is the text “COLECCIÓN RESERVA” – also in antique white font.
One final note is that box features a design inspired by Perez-Carrllo’s personal humidor.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Before commencing the smoking experience of the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto, I used a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed I proceeded with the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw delivered notes of bing cherry, wood, and a slight tingly pepper space. Overall I considered this to be a very good pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto started out with some notes of classic wood, cherry, black pepper, and a slight tangy spice. All three of these notes were also prominent on the retro-hale. During the early stages, the wood notes became the primary flavor. The cherry and black pepper settled in the background. Later in the first third, a tangy and mineral element surfaced in the background.
As the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto moved into the second third, the cherry sweetness emerged in the forefront with the wood notes. However, by the midway point, I found the cherry receded. It was also around this point both the pepper and the tangy component in the background increases in intensity. In the more distant background was a subtle mineral component.
The last third of the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto saw the pepper and wood notes up front. The tangy notes were a close secondary note with the cherry a little further back and the mineral component pretty much dissipated. This is the way the smoking experience of the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
I found that the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto scored very nice when it came to its burn. The cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, but this was more cosmetic in nature and really didn’t require an increase in touch-ups beyond the normal amount. The resulting ash had a light gray color. This was an ash skewed toward the firmer side, but also did have some occasional flaking. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw for the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto also performed quite well. it was a draw that had a little bit of resistance to it.
Strength and Body
in terms of strength, I found the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto to be on the lower end of medium. There was a slight increase i intensity, but in the end the strength still stayed in the medium range.
As for the body, I found it varied a bit at different points of the smoking. In general, I found the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto started out medium to full. I actually found a decrease in body in the second third as the intensity level diminished to medium before rising again during the last third.
When it came to strength versus body with the Colección Reserva Robusto, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
While I do feel 2014’s Re+United missed the mark, Perez-Carrillo’s second reunion with General Cigar is a home run. No doubt from the looks of the La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Robusto and the packaging, this projects speaks “throwback”. When it comes to the cigar experience, it also is a throwback. While perhaps dialed back in terms of strength the Colección Reserva Robusto delivers bold, spicy, and sweet notes reminiscent of the Serie R. This is a home run for General and Perez-Carrillo Jr and probably the brand’s best release since 2010.
This is a cigar I could recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar I’d also recommend for a novice looking for bolder and spicier flavors without the nicotine hit. As for self, this is a cigar I would smoke again and it’s worthy of going out and purchasing a box.
Key Flavors: Wood, Cherry, Pepper, Mineral, Tangy Notes
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium to Full (1st Third), Medium (2nd Third), Medium to Full (Final Third)
Value: Box Purchase
News: La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Launched at 2017 IPCPR
Source: General Cigar
Brand Reference: La Gloria Cubana
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop