If you go back a little over a decade ago, La Gloria Cubana was a brand that was given considerable attention by Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG). During the “Team La Gloria” days, the brand had a lot of innovation. There was a two-segment wrapped cigar, cigars with smokeable bands, and even one meant to resemble the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration in the Dominican Republic. While the past few years La Gloria Cubana has moved back to more traditional styled releases, the company the past few years has not abandoned its penchant for innovation. In 2021, La Gloria Cubana added a limited production cigar known as Criollo de Oro. It’s a cigar that uses a unique hybrid wrapper of Criollo ’98 and Pelo de Oro. Today we take a closer look at the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro in the Toro size.
The La Gloria Cubana brand has a long history. Its roots come from Cuba, and following the Cuban Revolution, the Cifuentes family who owned the brand in Cuba sold the non-Cuban rights to Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and his El Credito company. Eventually, El Credito was bought by General Cigar Company and absorbed into General’s premium cigar portfolio. In 2021, STG split the brands of General and spun off a series of brands into a new subsidiary, Forged Cigar Company. The La Gloria Cubana brand is still a part of STG, but is now distributed by Forged.
Without further ado, let’s turn our attention back to the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The hybrid wrapper for the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro is grown in the Dominican Republic. In addition to the hybrid wrapper, the blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a combination of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. Production comes from General Cigar’s El Credito galera – essentially a factory within a factory located at General Cigar Dominicana in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Hybrid Dominican grown: Criollo ’98/Pelo de Oro
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: El Credito (General Cigar Dominicana)
The La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro was offered in two sizes – each presented in 20-count boxes. A total production of 3,100 boxes was made for this release.
Toro: 5 3/4 x 54
Churchill: 7 x 48
The hybrid wrapper of the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro had a medium to dark brown color to it. There was some mottling on the surface. The surface didn’t have much in the way of oils on it There were some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.
The band of the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro had two main background colors. The upper portion of the band is copper in color. Both background sections have a textured look to them. The lower third of the band had a dark green color. On the upper portion is a portrait of a Latino woman surrounded by a diamond-shaped fame. The lower portion of the band says “LA GLORIA CUBANA” in light font and “CRIOLLO DE ORO” in a larger upper font. The lower portion of the band is copper with a pinstripe-like design element.
Prior to lighting up the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was clipped, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of wood, natural tobacco, and fruit. Overall this wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw; but since the pre-light draw experience is not factored into the numerical score or value rating, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to light up the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro started out with notes of natural tobacco, wood, mixed pepper, and banana-like sweetness. The natural tobacco and banana-like sweetness moved into the forefront early on. The wood and red pepper settled in the background. On the retro-hale, there was some cedar and mixed pepper present.
As the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro finished up the first third, the natural tobacco remained grounded in the forefront. The banana sweetness settled into the background with the pepper notes. Around this time, the wood notes morphed into cedar notes. In addition, some earthy notes settled not the background. Both the cedar and pepper notes gradually increased in intensity.
By the final third, the pepper notes emerged in the forefront with the natural tobacco. Notes of cedar and earth rounded things out. The sweetness wasn’t quite banana-like anymore and had a slight citric quality to it. This is the way the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Toro had an uneven burn line and some meandering to it. Some frequent touch-ups were needed during the cigar experience to keep things on track. The resulting ash was a light gray. This was an ash that wasn’t on the firm side, but wasn’t loose or flaky either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro was flawless. It had a touch of resistance to it – which was quite the sweet spot for me. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Toro delivered a medium-strength, medium-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. There wasn’t too much in the way of variance in the intensity levels of the cigar. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
The hybrid wrapper of the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro certainly has me intrigued. I’m not sure how much this wrapper impacted the flavor profile of the cigar, but as many say – much of the flavor of a cigar comes from a wrapper, so I’ll infer it’s the case here. The flavors were unique – especially in the first half. Given some of the uniqueness of this flavor profile, I do want to try other cigars with this wrapper. As for myself, I liked the first half better than the second half, but this is a cigar I could still see myself coming back to and buying and smoking again. I’d recommend this cigar to any cigar enthusiast, but I’d be more curious how an experienced cigar enthusiast would respond to this wrapper.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Banana, Earth, Wood, Cedar, Mixed Pepper
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro Scheduled for October
Source: Forged Cigar Company
Brand Reference: La Gloria Cubana
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop