It's been a little while since I smoked a La Gloria Cubana. Many years ago, I used to smoke the LGC Torpedo Natural and Corona Gorda Natural - and it was one of my "go-to" sticks for my guys who were being introduced to cigar enjoyment. Though full-bodied, I always thought that they were mild and flavorful enough for the novice smoker. Over the years, I strayed a bit from Dominican and my preference gravitated more to Honduran and Nicaraguan smokes. So I was excited when General Cigar Company announced the launch of the LGC Serie R Estelí, their first Nicaraguan puro, and couldn't wait to revisit an old favorite brand.
The LGC Serie R Estelí line is comprised of larger ring gauged (54 to 64), full-flavored cigars blended with ligero and viso leaves from tobacco cultivated on various plots throughout Nicaragua, including Jalapa, and bears a beautiful thick, oily, dark Jalapa Sol wrapper. Prominent veins, some quite large, are strewn throughout the wrapper. The stick has a large bold black band with silver highlights with a silver/black secondary band adorning the foot - which looks great on this dark maduro. The wrapper and foot has a nice rich tobacco aroma. The cigar feels quite dense and tightly packed, and feels firm. And after applying a guillotine cut to the first cigar I smoked, I was concerned about the semi-tight cold draw.
The wrapper leaves a great bitter sweetness flavor on the lips throughout the smoke. This full-bodied, medium-strength cigar is moderately spicy and leaves a tingle at the back of the throat. The robust tobacco flavor contains some dominant floral notes. However, the flavor profile starts on the mild side - the depth and intensity of flavor is not encountered until the smoke transitions from the first to the second third, at which time a nice subtle citrus peel flavor becomes apparent. These flavors remain consistent throughout the remainder of the smoke. Despite the initially tight cold draw, the draw during smoke was actually very good with heavy smoke production which I love. This is a well-constructed cigar with a relatively even burn line, tight ash, and no re-lights or touch-ups were necessary. Total burn time averages 1:15.
In addition to the No. 60, the Serie R Estelí is available in two other vitolas: No. 54 (6" x 54) and No. 64 (6.25" x 64). in my opinion, La Gloria Cubana's departure from its Dominican roots is a big hit with this release (Bravo!), and they've certainly re-captured my attention, as I have definitive plan to indulge in their other Nicaraguan puro, the Serie R Black.