La Gloria Cubana has always been one of the more interesting blends in the General Cigar portfolio. It’s a brand that essentially has its own boutique factory within the massive General Cigar Dominicana facility. If you look at the past decade, it certainly has been one of the more innovative brands under General. The first half of the decade saw much in the way of artesian releases such as the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Obelisco (unique vitola) and La Gloria Cubana Trunk Show Twenty Twelve Liga LR-1 (smokeable bands). As the decade progressed, we saw La Gloria Cubana produce new blends out of STG Estelí factory in Nicaragua (ie. La Gloria Cubana Serie R Estelí, La Gloria Cubana Estelí). There even was a La Gloria Cubana “reunion” with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. in 2017 with the La Gloria Cubana Colección. This past year saw La Gloria Cubana get back to its roots – combining both innovative and classic cigar making done at the La Gloria Cubana facility in General Cigar Dominicana. This time it’s a box-pressed release and it’s called the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press. It’s a cigar we take a look at in the Robusto size.
The La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press utilizes a pre-embargo technique known as Spanish box-pressing. With the Spanish Press technique, freshly rolled cigars are placed into wooden trays with dividers to apply uniform pressure to the cigars. The trays are then pressed to define their shape. After the cigars are pressed, the cigars are placed in specially sized boxes that apply slight pressure to maintain their shape.
Without further ado, let’s break down the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto and see what that cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend of the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press is described as “Nicaraguan forward.” The cigar is highlighted by a Nicaraguan wrapper from the Jalapa region over a Mexican San Andres binder. The filler also utilizes Nicaraguan Jalapa tobacco along with Dominican and Brazilian tobacco.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa, Dominican Piloto Cubano, and Brazilian Mata Fina
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
The La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press is available in three sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52
Gigante: 6 x 60
The Jalapa wrapper of the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto has a strong Colorado tint to it that gives it a near mahogany color. The wrapper itself has an oily complexion to it. There were minimally visible veins on the surface as well as some visible wrapper seams. The Spanish press technique resulted in the box-press having a Cuban-style soft-press to it.
The band to the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press has the circular red, black, yellow, and white logo containing the image of a Cuban woman and the text “LA GLORIA CUBANA” in black text arranged in a curved fashion. The logo sits on the upper part of the band is flanked by two silver medallions and various rose and silver adornments. The lower part of the band has a rose color with the text “SPANISH PRESS” in silver font. The lower trim of the and is also silver.
The cigar experience of the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto commenced with a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw produced some rich natural tobacco notes and some red licorice sweetness. This resulted in an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start of the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto kicked off with more notes of rich natural tobacco and red licorice. These notes became primary right out of the gate. Meanwhile, there were notes of earth and mixed pepper that settled into the background. About midway through the first third, some baker’s spice emerged in the background. As for the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of black pepper.
Going into the second third, there was no major change in the flavor profile. Around the midway point, the natural tobacco took over as the sole primary note. The red licorice sweetness diminished into the background. Concurrently, the mixed pepper became more of a traditional black pepper note and it increased in intensity. Later in the second third, the black pepper eclipsed the licorice.
The last third of the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto didn’t see much in the way of changes. The rich natural tobacco maintained its position as the primary note. The black pepper stopped increasing in intensity. There still were touches of red licorice, earth, and baker’s spice. This is the way the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch.
For the most part, the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto maintained a straight burn path. There was some jaggedness from time to time on the cigar. In the end, this was a cigar that required some touch-ups, but not an excessive amount. The resulting ash was a very light gray. This was not an overly firm ash, but it was not loose or flaky either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
When it comes to box-press cigars, many times they are bunched looser so when pressing occurs, there is still an air-flow. This can result in a looser draw. Personally, I believe a little more resistance on the draw makes for a better cigar experience. With the Spanish Pressing technique of the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto, I found there was some of the resistance I look for on the draw. In the end, this made for an excellent experience while puffing.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Robusto comes in at a solid medium. There wasn’t much in the way of variance of the intensity levels of the strength and body. Both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Over the past ten years I have covered the cigar industry, I’ve found La Gloria Cubana to be a brand in the General Cigar portfolio that has repeatedly delivered excellent results. It was great to see a La Gloria Cubana release once again come out of the General Cigar Dominicana factory. It’s a cigar that delivers in the most important category – flavor. For whatever reason, the La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press flew under the radar in 2019, but it’s a cigar worth checking out. Not only is it an excellent cigar, but it’s got a great price point. It’s a cigar I’d recommend to any cigar enthusiast – and it’s one I would smoke again and purchase a box of.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Red Licorice, Pepper, Baker’s Spice, Earth
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Value: Box Purchase
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted