This cigar was previously reviewed by Gary Manelski, so I won’t go into the details. To read the original review, click here.
What I am going to do is give you my impression of this cigar. Most of the time, Gary and I have similar tastes. I do tend to like a bolder cigar and I always seem to gravitate to anything with a very dark wrapper, in this case, a black maduro. There is one thing we both agree on with this cigar. At first glance it is quite intimidating. Why? Well, it is nearly 7” long with a 58 ring gauge and the cigar is definitely black.
I almost never smoke a cigar larger than a 54 ring gauge, but the black maduro wrapper had me more than just curious. Also, it was part of gift from my two sons for Christmas. I told them that I really like La Gloria Cubana Serie R and it is perhaps one of my favorite cigars. I had to smoke it. Oh, I also agree with Gary that this certainly not for the beginner or even a seasoned smoker.
The cigar is bold with lots of earthy flavors, peppery and spicy especially on the retrohale. For me the cigar retained its strength as well as the flavors and aroma right through the first half, which by the way took 1 hour. Yes, 60 minutes just to smoke it to the midpoint. Even though the burn is relatively slow it is perfectly even, no touch-ups, no-relights. The draw was much easier than you would expect from such a large cigar. I also smoked it down to just under 2” and it took me 2½ hours, a bit longer than Gary but I tend to smoke slower than him.
I was very impressed with this cigar. It delivered consistent flavors, nice aged tobacco aromas and it was easy to smoke despite the large size. I did pick up a bit of sweetness you would expect from a maduro wrapper and the entire cigar was extremely smooth, as you would expect from any La Gloria Cubana cigar. At just under $8.00, it is certainly a good value. I say that because smoking one of these is like smoking 2 cigars, one right after the other. I still have one more in my humidor and although I really enjoyed this cigar, I am going to wait until I have a clear 2½ hours to smoke it. I’m not sure I will be adventurous enough to try another large ring gauge cigar, but this is one to try if you have the time. My rating on a 5-point system (that Gary developed) is a clear 4.0. The cigar really delivered – good aroma and flavor, even burn, long ash solid ash, nice draw and flawless wrapper…everything you expect from a premium cigar.