"La Gloria out does Itself"
I have been an avid cigar smoker since 1994, when I brought Rush Limbaugh a box of Hoyo De Monterrey Double Coronas from St. Maarten. I had no idea what I had given Rush as I had not smoked cigars seriously. But, the $ 240 worth of cigars was worth the opportunity to meet Rush on his TV show.
Shortly after delivering the Hoyo Doubles to Rush, I began my education on Dominican Cigars with the Help of L-J Cigars in North Plam Beach, FL. I began with Partagas, Macanudo and other popular brands from General and Consolidated Cigar companies. In 1995, I met an individual in a cigar store in Bermuda and he told me about the La Gloria Cubana line. I did a favor for this cigar friend and brought back several boxes of cuban cigars from Bermuda on a coporate jet I was traveling on. This new found friend gave me about 10 different La Glorias, when I delivered the cubans to his home.
I was thrilled to taste these La Glorias. Without a doubt, the BEST dominican I had smoked to date. I was traveling to Palm Beach weekly and made it a point to drive round trip to Miami to buy these wonderful cigars on South West 8th Street. I was able to open a private account back then during the cigar shortage. I purchased many bundles of La Gloria Lineup; Churchills, Corona Gorda, Double Coronas, Soberanos, Charlamagnes, Wavells and Crown Imperials. I later was able to buy boxes of these fine smokes. I bet I have accumulated a pile of boxes of the La Gloria Line 10 feet high. These fine cigars will hold "their own" against any cuban smoke that I bring home on a regular basis. The quality of construction, color, shape, draw, flavor is second to none. I have personally felt that the more experienced rollers were located in the Miami facility verus the newest facilty that Ernesto opened in the Dominican during 1986. Whenever I have purschased these La Gloria boxes at J&R in New Jersey, I have looked for the "FL" indication on the box to know that I am getting the Miami grade. I have heard thoughts about this from others, but early in the Dominican 16,000 square foot expansion, I believe I was correct in the fact that the better rollers remained on SW 8th St. in Miami.
I have had the opportunity to drink espresso with several rollers and Ernesto in Miami. What a real nice guy. Ernesto has told me that he was so upset to see what some of the retailers were charging for his cigars during the shortage, in some cases $ 18.00 for a torpeado or Soberano. His goal was to make a quality cigar that people could afford.
Recently, I had the opportunity to smoke a Serie R made in the Dominican by La Gloria. What a wonderful Smoke! Excellent, every aspect of it. I am sorry that I didn't purchase all six boxes that Shannon (Customer Service) told me Famous-Smoke had in stock. The Serie R is an Absolutely Wonderful Cigar and beautifully packaged, deserved of such a well constructed cigar!
Whether you smoke a La Gloria Serie R or any of the La Gloria line, you WILL not be disappointed. A standard of excellence. Ernesto, thanks for setting such quality in the cigar industry these years. A true standard bearer.
Ken Fitzsimmons in Flemington, NJ March 3, 2001