Cigar Buying Guides

2018 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to La Gloria Cubana Cigars

Cigar Advisor’s Essential La Gloria Cubana Cigars Tasting & Buying Guide

Updated December 2022

Introduced in Cuba in 1885, La Gloria Cubana cigars immediately earned acceptance among Havana’s locals for their flavor, selection and reasonable price. The brand’s strong popularity continued, even after 1954 when the Cifuentes family, makers of Partagas cigars, purchased the La Gloria brand. Unfortunately, production ended after the 1959 Revolution, but La Gloria Cubana did see a brief, limited edition resurgence in the mid-1960s, and eventually, the Cifuentes sold the name rights to Ernesto Perez-Carrillo.

Fast forward to 1976: Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. was learning the family trade at their El Credito factory in Miami’s “Little Havana” district. His father taught him well, but in 1980 Ernesto Sr. passed away, and Ernesto Jr. was handed the keys to the factory.

In 1982, after smoking a Cuban Davidoff cigar, Ernesto was inspired to create a cigar that, like the Davidoff, would be what he called, “a total sensuous smoke.” When Ernesto was satisfied with his new blend, he named the cigar La Gloria Cubana, and it was received as favorably among the Miami locals as the original La Glorias had been received in Havana.

Ten years later, and after four of Ernesto’s La Gloria cigars scored ’90’ and higher in a new magazine called Cigar Aficionado, everything changed. La Gloria was outselling the better-known premium brands and even many Cuban cigars. By the time the mid-90s Cigar Boom hit, La Gloria Cubana Cigars were a juggernaut; and to meet production demand, Ernesto opened a new factory in the Dominican Republic.

La Gloria Cubana cigars review guide La Gloria Cubana cigar setup picture
via La Gloria Cubana Cigars Instagram

In 1999, Swedish Match purchased El Credito from the Perez-Carrillo family and added it to General Cigar’s stable of premium brands. As the years passed, more La Gloria brands were created to offer an ever-growing demand for bigger, bolder cigars. Marketed as “the ultimate in bold flavor,” the La Gloria Serie R came first. The “Serie R” was followed by the Serie R Black, then the Serie N. The Serie R Estelí was their first puro, followed by the R Estelí Maduro. The most recent additions to the brand are La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press (2019), which followed the La Gloria Cubana Esteli and the La Gloria Colección Reserva.

La Gloria Cubana cigars review guide La Gloria Cubana master blender Yuri Guillen
Yuri Guillen now oversees blending and production of La Gloria Cubana cigars (via Instagram)

For this Essential Tasting Guide, we’ve sampled through a dozen of the cigars in La Gloria Cubana’s lineup, all of which are currently available at Famous Smoke Shop. We start with the three newest LGC cigars – Spanish Press, Esteli and Coleccion Reserva. Our reviews then move to the bigger and bolder line extensions of the Serie R and Serie N families, before finishing with their most famous cigars, the original La Gloria “White Box” core lines (the original La Gloria Cubana Wavell in the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper is, arguably, the most popular shape in the line). Our reviews are, of course, subjective – but we hope to give you a sense of the essential smoking experience you can expect from each cigar. And hopefully that helps you determine which is the right La Gloria Cubana cigar for you.

La Gloria Cubana 8th Street

Country of Origin: United States
Size: 6×50 (Toro)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Beautifully crafted, silky, no soft spots.
Draw: Open.
Pre-light flavor: Light baking spice, leather, espresso.
Toasting & Light: Perfect.
Base flavors: Cinnamon, espresso, cream.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Sweet tobacco.
Burn / Ash Quality: Flawless.
Balance of flavors: Well rounded.

Summary: Crafted at the small batch El Titan de Bronze cigar factory on Calle Ocho—in the Little Havana section of Miami—La Gloria Cubana 8th Street pays homage to the brand’s beginnings (the original LGC factory was on 8th Street). Blended to mirror the classic La Gloria profile, this cigar holds a lot of promise and I anticipate it being right in my wheelhouse.

The LGC 8th Street opens with a dusting of warm spice—think cinnamon and nutmeg, light cream, and leather. It’s not long before strong black coffee joins the profile and brings with it an overall depth and roundness. Throughout the experience, and to the point of nearly singeing my fingertips, La Gloria Cubana 8th Street is smooth and full-bodied and reminded me of why I fell in love with cigars in the first place.

La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 7 ” x 48 (Churchill)
Strength: Medium Plus
Wrapper: Dominican Criollo de Oro
Binder: US Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: No hard or soft spots. Well-packed.
Draw: Clear.
Pre-light flavor: Sweet fermented fruit and spice.
Toasting & Light:
Base flavors: Cedar, citrus zest, earth.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Roasted nuts.
Burn / Ash Quality: Straight burn, dense grey ash.
Balance of flavors: Straightforward.

Summary: The hybrid wrapper—a cross between Criollo and Pelo d’Oro—is the star here and it’s where the La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro gets its name.

The Criollo de Oro begins with a fast pace, and I’m immediately greeted with a touch of vanilla, accompanied by loads of black pepper and baking spice. I also pick up notes of citrus tang, earth, and pepper, with a soft coating of cedar lingering.

Criollo de Oro definitely gains in strength and body in the second half and there’s more pepper and spice present with the sweetness dialed back a little. I found this La Gloria to be complex, balanced, and well-priced meaning this’ll be a cigar I’ll revisit.

La Gloria Cubana Medio Tiempo

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 6⅛” x 50 (Toro)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Almost reminds me of a candy bar. No soft spots.
Draw: Touch of resistance.
Pre-light flavor: Natural tobacco sweetness and baking spice.
Toasting & Light: No issues.
Base flavors: Natural tobacco sweetness, black pepper, cedar.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Sweet tobacco.
Burn / Ash Quality: Dead straight, held a firm ash.
Balance of flavors: On the sweeter side.

Summary: First off, I didn’t expect the Medio Tiempo to be as sweet (it kind of reminded me of the Sobremesa Brulee)—not cloying or saccharine, but a natural sweetness was present throughout. Other flavors I noticed as I put the cigar through its paces included black pepper, light cream, and dry cedar.

The La Gloria Medio Tiempo came out of nowhere—at least for me. I was surprised at every turn, from initial light to the sad moment the cigar became a memory. It was complex from the get-go as one flavor built on another until reaching a crescendo that I’d never expected. I’m not alone in my appreciation for this blend; the LGC Medio Tiempo was among our best cigars of 2021.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 6¼” x 52 (No. 52)
Strength: Medium plus to full
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Feels substantial. Dense, with no hard or soft spots.
Draw: Snug.
Pre-light flavor: Earth, damp wood, orange citrus.
Toasting & Light: Perfect.
Base flavors: Earth, citrus, black pepper.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Natural tobacco.
Burn / Ash Quality: No issues.
Balance of flavors: Earthy and spicy.

Summary: Serie R Esteli strikes me as having a baseline earthy component—like a combination of damp wood, mushroom, and moss. An accompanying citrus zest—a tanginess—brightened the earth and the strength and body settled in at a comfortable medium.

Towards the midpoint, baking spices, black pepper, sweet tobacco, and cocoa powder joined in and tempered the profile. I noticed the blend picking up in intensity and body to where it’s now between medium plus and full.

Featuring big ring gauges, and even bigger flavor, the Serie R Esteli is a cool smoking, super-sized treat geared towards the modern cigar enthusiast.

La Gloria Cubana Serie S

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 5½” x 56 (Robusto Gordo)
Strength: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Mexico San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

Construction and Overall Appearance: Tightly rolled, no big veins, no soft spots.
Draw: Open.
Pre-light flavor: Earth and pepper.
Toasting & Light: No issue.
Base flavors: Earth, dark chocolate, black pepper, espresso.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Earthy and woody.
Burn / Ash Quality: No problems with burn. Held good ash.
Balance of flavors: Balanced and straightforward.

Summary: The ‘S’ is for San Andres—in this case the luscious dark chocolate wrapper leaf sourced from the Veracruz area in Mexico famed for its rich volcanic earth and first-rate tobaccos. The La Gloria Serie S is completed with a Nicaraguan binder and premium long fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Overall, the La Gloria Cubana Serie S was medium-to-full-bodied with layers of balanced and vibrant flavors. Throughout, my palate was brought to life with notes of dark chocolate bittersweetness, earthiness, and light spice in the form of black pepper. With a lineup of hefty ring gauges, the ‘S’ in this La Gloria might as well be for ‘serious’ smokers.

La Gloria Cubana Society

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 6¼” x 54 (Toro)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Olancho San Augustin, Honduras
Binder: Jamastran Valley, Honduras
Filler: Jamastran Valley, La Entrada Honduras

Construction and Overall Appearance: No visible veins, well packed, dense.
Draw: No complaints.
Pre-light flavor: Pepper, nuts, coffee.
Toasting & Light: No problems.
Base flavors: Earth, coffee, pepper.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Natural tobacco.
Burn / Ash Quality: Straight burn, solid ash.
Balance of flavors: Linear and balanced.

Summary: The fans have spoken—and the La Gloria Cubana Society Cigar is the result. Crowd sourced from approximately 2000 La Gloria die-hards, the blend is a box-pressed Honduran puro coming dressed in an Olancho San Augustin (OSA) wrapper over a Jamastran binder and long fillers from Jamastran and La Entrada.

I found the LGC Society Cigar to be the type I reach for when I can’t decide which premium I want—which for me is a pretty common occurrence. What I mean by that is, while brimming with flavors throughout—like earthiness, nuts, coffee, and light pepper—my palate never became fatigued or overwhelmed. And while it was a brawny medium-full, it wasn’t so intense I needed to wipe the sweat from my brow. Better yet, it’s priced for everyday enjoyment and is definitely an everyday type of smoke. Funny, because this is a limited edition, so if you enjoy this blend, I’d recommend grabbing a couple of boxes.

La Gloria Cubana Spanish Press Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Robusto (5 ½” x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa, Dominican Piloto Cubano, Brazilian Mata Fina

Construction: Nicaraguan wrapper is tinged with a reddish brick color; the pressing gives the cigar mostly sharp lines, which are most obvious near the foot.
Draw: Open & clear.
Pre-light flavor: Brown sugar, buttery, wood.
Toasting & Light: Coffee, molasses and strong cedar.
Base flavors: Coffee, cocoa, cedar, cinnamon and various “sweetnesses.”
Retrohale: Wood, pepper and dry earth.
Aroma: Sweet – slightly chocolatey.
Burn & Ash Quality: Thin burn line is wavy, ash is loose. Two touchups required.
Balance of flavors: Well balanced – everything stays in its lane.

Summary: La Gloria’s 2019 addition to their lineup, and one I didn’t think was in my wheelhouse when I first smoked it. But time has been extra-kind to this blend: I called it a “throwback” smoke (and really enjoyed it) when our panel reviewed it about six months later.

The La Gloria Spanish Press Robusto opens with huge rips of smoke, laced with cinnamon and pepper. The Jalapa wrapper seems to promise some sweetness, judging by the heavy semi-sweet chocolate sensation.

Then, a series of interesting developments…that dark taste sweetens up, albeit slowly. That almost-bitter taste transitions to baker’s chocolate; smoke it another inch, and the taste is closer to a Special Dark candy bar – it’s getting lighter and sweeter. By halfway, it takes on the taste of cocoa, all part of an enjoyable, hour-long evolution.

LGC calls their Spanish Press, “Nicaraguan-forward”; as in, we should expect the typical Nicaraguan profile: coffee, cedar, spice. And this Robusto delivers – a constant undertone of cedar gets an added layer of espresso, right down to the twist of citrus from the lemon peel in your cup.

As for the part about being a throwback smoke, it’s because this La Gloria trades Serie R and Serie N’s big, peppery bite for more “classic” flavors that even newcomers will find approachable. But more than anything, this La Gloria Spanish Press is proof that smoking a cigar once isn’t enough to get a true assessment of what it offers. Meaning, if you’re not sure it’s the right cigar for you, let it sit a few weeks and try another. Then in a few months, try it again – because that’s enough time to show you how a cigar can “mature,” even if it’s only over a short period of time. Then do an assessment of whether or not you like the cigar, and come down off that fence like I did. – John

La Gloria Cubana Esteli Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Toro (5½” x 54)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Ligero (Jalapa)
Binder: Honduras (Jamastran)
Filler: Honduras (Jamastran, La Entrada)

Construction: Nice oily sheen on deep brown coloring, well-packed and sturdy in the hand.
Draw: Offers a bit of resistance.
Pre-light flavor: Fermented tobacco and barnyard.
First Few Puffs: Wood, chocolate and what tastes like a pastry glaze sweetness.
Base flavors: Wood, coffee, earth and nut, plus honey and other sweet sensations.
Retrohale: Very smooth – light roasted nut and some sweetness, a hint of crisp spice.
Aroma: Scent mimics the sweet, creamy nature of the retrohale, with some mellow cedar.
Burn & Ash Quality: A thick burn line to start, but by 1” settles in with a tight (but a little wavy) seam. Neatly-stacked ash that’s pink-grey.
Balance of flavors: Very flavorful, with a couple savory layers that might surprise…

Summary: This Toro is proof that the same cigar – but in different sizes – can taste completely different. In a separate review of this La Gloria Cubana Esteli blend, I said, “you might find the larger sizes are a little sweeter, less woody.” Where the Robusto seized on huge oak, coffee and peppery flavors, this Toro’s sweetness is more tangy, the chocolate sensation is a little more milky, the coffee tastes a little creamier. And it all hits the taste buds with a less woody, more savory feel.

La Gloria Cubana cigars review guide La Gloria Cubana Esteli cigar review by John Pullo
More refined than the original LGC – a little more intense, too. A savory smoke that will have you back at the La Gloria table for more.

I’ll agree that this La Gloria Esteli gives the “deeper taste profile” that they promised in their marketing hype, and accentuates the sweet side that some premium tobaccos can exhibit: it varies from a light sweetness, like the finish of a fruity wine (think Riesling) to a light honey, to the sweet glaze that gets brushed on top of a fresh-baked pan of cinnamon rolls. The only downside is that, if that’s not your kind of cigar, you’re going to be left waiting for those darker wood and coffee flavors to roll in…which, good news here, they do – along with little shots of spice.

A bit more complex than the original LGC, this particular La Gloria Cubana Esteli is more refined in nature: rounder flavors, a little more intense. And again, you can fine-tune the taste to get the flavors you prefer (sweeter vs darker, lighter vs heavier) depending on the size you choose. Add it to your to-do list and see. – John

La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Churchill (7″ x 52)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra Oscuro
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Nicaragua Viso & Ligero

Construction and Overall Appearance: A few broad veins; leaf shows very fine tooth. Very substantial in the hand…feels huge for a Churchill, even though it’s in the ballpark.
Draw: Moderate resistance.
Pre-light flavor: A bit of almond, sweet earth and wood.
Toasting & Light: Smoke starts a bit thin…but coffee and pepper pop right out front.
Base flavors: Tangy citrus, earth, toasty – think wood and nuts – plus hints of spice.
Aroma: Pleasant; room notes of cream, coffee, and wood.
Burn / Ash Quality: Nice whitish-grey ash, some of the tooth shows in it; burn line is sharp and mostly straight.
Balance of flavors: Didn’t swing wildly, transitioned from flavor to flavor nicely.

Summary: This La Gloria delivers as promised in the pre-light – toasty flavors mix with wood and earth until a smack of citrus jumps in and makes itself known. The finish is long and tangy, with a dry, peppery bite on the inside of my cheeks…And then I realized…

The La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age is the cigar equivalent of a glass of good red wine.

Seriously. The effects on the taste buds are the same as drinking a Cabernet Sauvignon or a mellow Rioja. It’s the tannins – the components of the grape that cause a drying sensation in your mouth – and they are everywhere. A dry red wine will cause a “tingling sensation on the tip of your tongue, with a slightly oily sensation in the middle of your tongue that lingers.” Those EXACT same savory characteristics are there…it’s unreal how close the experience is.

It’s a slow smoke – almost two hours, actually. Part of this is the resistance in the draw. Decent smoke output (but not a ton), and the retrohale has a bit of bite, too. The flavor transitions are very slow as well; but slow and steady wins the race, no?

The La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age is a very balanced cigar: doesn’t overpower the taste buds, and pours a very consistent set of flavors from start to finish. This smoke also removes all doubt as to why cigars are so often compared to wine. And like your choice vino, things get better with age…today’s is even smoother than I remember. Not going to mug you like some of the other more powerful La Gloria Cubana cigars you see here. Top shelf? Eh, I’d say it smokes more on par with a $15 bottle of wine – and you should totally give these LGC’s a shot if that’s your sweet spot. – John

La Gloria Serie R Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: No. 6 (5 7/8″ x 60)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil

Draw: Perfect.
Pre-Light: Very woody.
First Few Puffs: Coffee bean.
Aroma: Cedary.
Burn-Ash Quality: Solid, white and gray.
Balance of Flavors: Slightly complex with some straightforward flavors.

La Gloria Serie R Natural Cigar

Summary: This cigar has been a favorite of mine and a go-to for a very long time; I think mainly because of its consistency. Every time I reach for one of these it’s always the same excellent smoking experience. This is a much richer and somewhat spicier cigar than the regular La Gloria line – I might even say more luxurious. The first thing you can’t miss is that oily, chocolate-brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, as it makes you want to just cut that beast and smoke it. And this virtual 6 x 60 size is packed with dense tobacco that brings a lot of flavor to the palate like a coffee bean, cedar, and spice. Even though I don’t normally reach for fuller bodied smokes in the morning, I paired it with a dark roast coffee after breakfast and I was one very content dude. – Tommy Zman

La Gloria Serie R Maduro Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: No. 6 (5 7/8″ x 60)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil

Draw: Perfect.
Pre-Light: Earthy.
First Few Puffs: Very nutty and naturally sweet upfront.
Aroma: Woody.
Burn-Ash Quality: Solid white.
Balance of Flavors: Great balance of different flavors.

La Gloria Serie R Maduro Cigar

Summary: A few years back I had the great fortune of visiting the General Cigar factory in the Dominican Republic and visited the room where they roll these ebony goliaths. I was blown away by the deep, dark, and incredibly oily wrapper leaf that the torcedor was stretching on his table and blanketing the inner leaf with. And while it’s the same filler and binder blend as the Serie R natural, it is amazing how different it tastes with that shimmering Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. This big boy has a wonderful sweetness with notes of black cherry, dark coffee, and even a slight hint of raisins, which I’ve experienced in some La Flor Dominicana cigars. It’s a terrific after-dinner smoke that pairs so well with hearty red wine and any good belt of whiskey. – Tommy Zman

La Gloria Serie RF Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: No. 13 (5½” x 54 Robusto)
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Connecticut Havano
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic

Draw: Smooth.
Pre-Light: Very earthy.
First Few Puffs: Slightly peppery and dark coffee.
Aroma: Slightly charry.
Burn-Ash Quality: Gray and white, held up nice for a while at the start.
Balance of Flavors: Several core flavors balance nicely throughout.

La Gloria Serie RF Cigar

Summary: This Famous Smoke Shop exclusive is an absolute gem created by the good people at LGC. I think the difference between this and the other two Serie R’s is that it’s straight up spicier, but not overly spicy by any means – just really flavorful. You’ll get a hint of black pepper at the start, that about a quarter of an inch in gives way to distinct notes of espresso and wood. But give it just a little more time and a delicious hint of black licorice crosses the palate creating an almost dessert-like experience – which is simply perfect for firing up after dinner. The Connecticut Havano outer leaf is somewhat toothy, which gives it an attractive, earthy feel. These sticks are priced nicer than the Serie R and very worth giving a try. – Tommy Zman

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: No. 64 (6¼” x 64)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan ligero
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Very solid construction on this big boy and a handsome wrapper to boot.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Foot: a sweet floral-like note with a woody and earthy texture. Cold draw: pepper, earth, wood and cedar, and a slight saltiness and sunflower seed.
Toasting & Light: Starts with a fruity and woody sweetness. There are a slight oak and floral taste, as well as a general vegetal profile.
Base flavors: Dark fruits, coffee, leather, black pepper, and oak.
Retrohale: First retrohale: Sort of toasty, very sweet and peppery- a mixture of green and black pepper with a slight lemon tang, and woody.
Final retrohale: Very earthy with black pepper following closely behind; a gritty earth sensation and a nice smoked/oaky aftertaste.
Aroma: Faintly woody and earthy.
Burn / Ash Quality: The burn is a little off but the ash quality is fantastic- snow white and solid.
Balance of flavors: A nice balance of pepper and sweetness- favors strength over flavor.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black Cigar

General Observations
• 2/3 – Still very sweet with a dark fruitiness, notes of coffee, cedar, leather, and earth dominate.
• The profile switches to a more oak and leather dominated smoke with slight coffee and semi-sweetness in the background.
• After a while, a honey-like sweetness makes a return and is paired with oak and earth. Around here I also get a very pleasant note of cloves.
• 3/3 – There’s a smooth-bourbon like sweetness present as well as a slight spice followed by oak, earth, and black coffee. The clove spice makes a return.
Summary: I’ve been given the task of smoking the BIGGEST cigars LGC makes. In fact, I think these were the first 60 gauge cigars to ever be introduced to the market. While toasting, I had the distinct sensation of welding a dinosaur bone, it’s that big. The Serie R got off to a nice start with a fruity sweetness and notes of oak and vegetation. After about an inch there are some changes with an added earthy component with coffee and leather.

A quick retrohale at the second third brought deep complexity with a toasty and sweet combo and a spicy mixture of green and black pepper and a lemon-like tang. Midway through this third, I’m getting a feel for the body- this is a strong cigar, even for me. The final third was my favorite- an oak and clove spice with black coffee and a bourbon sweetness to cap it all off. For full-bodied smokers only – try this cigar, it might put a few hairs on your chest. – Fred

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black Maduro Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: No. 64 (6¼” x 64)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Big, heavy, and solid—near-black wrapper.
Draw: A little tight but workable.
Pre-light flavor: Foot- slightly peppery, earthy and leather.
Toasting & Light: Very sweet and toasty, hints of coffee and leather and just a dash of pepper.
Base flavors: Dark cherries, earth, pepper, wood, coffee, chocolate.
Retrohale: First retrohale: Semi-fruity sweetness with coffee and a nice rip of black pepper hitting the back of my tongue.
Final retrohale: Very strong, rich with oak, dark chocolate, earth, leather, and a wave of black pepper.
Aroma: A very sweet and toasty campfire-like aroma.
Burn / Ash Quality: Solid white, perfect.
Balance of flavors: Very strong but balanced- a well-rounded smoke.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R. Black Maduro Cigar

General Observations
• Once the cigar settles a bit I’m getting a lot of Maduro sweetness- dark cherries, earth.
• 2/3- Very woody and sweet with an earthy undertone. A slight spice and some pepper with leather and black coffee.
• As a whole, the R is rounding out as a heavy hitting, sweet and peppery smoke.
• As the 2/3 progresses the sweetness shifts towards a milk-chocolate. There’s still plenty of pepper and wood to keep things interesting and coffee is a nice aftertaste.
• This cigar is changing drastically in the last third; the flavors are turning up a lot- very intense and rich.

Summary: I’m a big fan of Maduro so needless to say I enjoyed the Serie R Black Maduro. It had a lot of the general dark and sweet flavors you would expect but with the added complexity of an all-Nicaraguan blend, which LGC is known for. After toasting, the Serie R settled on that Maduro sweetness: dark cherries, earth, cedar, and leather with only a hint of pepper. After one inch the traditional pepper, cedar, leather and earth came about – nothing unusual and this goes on for the entirety of the first third.

And then… bam! The second third comes in with heavy hitting notes of wood, earth, dark cherry sweetness and pepper. Loads of cedar, earth, and coffee are present as well as a coffee aftertaste. Over time a distinct nuttiness takes over and the cherry-sweetness is replaced by chocolate. It’s rich, it’s full, and it’s strong and I think I’m in love. There are no subtleties here- by the end I’m getting smacked in the mouth with more chocolate, earth, leather, nuts, oak, and coffee while the cherries even come back. If you were to compare the Natural and Maduro, it would be like setting up a punching match between Mike Tyson and Ivan Drago – I’m not sure who would win, but there’s going to be some heavy hits. – Fred

La Gloria Cubana Classic Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Wavell (5″ x 50 Robusto)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Construction/Appearance: Triple seam cap.
Draw: Just right.
Pre-light: Sweet hay and a suggestion of raisin.
First few puffs: Earthy, woody with some peppery spice and a large volume of smoke.
Burn: Excellent.
Aroma: Sweet.
Base Flavors: Earth, cedar, sweet spice, light pepper.
Balance: Excellent.

La Gloria Cubana Wavell Sumatra Cigar

Summary: After a bold start, the cigar settles-down fairly quickly to a more medium-bodied smoke with mostly woody character. The smoke is smooth and creamy with a sweet aroma. It also has this wonderful, what I call “malty” flavor, which I find very appealing. Truth be told, the Wavell has always been a regular favorite of mine for its rich, woody character, notes of sweetness and terrific consistency from cigar to cigar. Great for every day, and reasonably-priced, currently, at under $5 a smoke. Moreover, I think it’s the best La Gloria shape to start with for anyone who wants to get into this classic brand. – Gary

La Gloria Cubana Classic Maduro Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Wavell (5″ x 50 Robusto)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Construction/Appearance: Triple seam cap. Maduro wrapper is toothy, even in color and so dark, it could almost past for an oscuro.
Draw: Very good.
Pre-light: Wood, light grass, and raisin.
First few puffs: Smooth and earthy with a light sweetness.
Burn: Ash is somewhat firm and almost white with some black stippling.
Aroma: Earthy.
Base Flavors: Earthy with dominant notes of cedar and sweet tobacco.
Balance: Perfect.

La Gloria Cubana Wavell Maduro Cigar

Summary: Actually, this was my first La Gloria Cubana Wavell in the Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, and I was pleasantly surprised. I think I liked it even more than the Sumatra, but to be fair, they both have their unique qualities. I was most impressed by the sweetness the Maduro put out, and I tend to prefer sweeter cigars. What may account for this is the color of the wrapper. It’s darker than many typical maduros, which tells me the leaf has a higher sugar content due to longer exposure to the sun, and may even come from a higher priming on the plant. I also think the Nicaraguan tobacco plays a bigger role in this cigar than the Wavell natural. But those particulars aside, the smoke was smooth and sweet and never varied right down to the last puff. I would even suggest that newer cigar smokers start with the Wavell Maduro if only for the smoother-sweeter properties it has over the natural Sumatra version. And for the more experienced reading this, what a nice departure from the full-bodied fare. The Wavell Maduro issues plenty of rich, balanced tobacco flavor in a more understated smoke, yet still manages to find an extra gear in the final third. – Gary

La Gloria Cubana Colección Reserva Cigar Review (Discontinued)

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Robusto (5½” x 54)
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra-seed (grown in Los Rios province, Quevedo)
Filler & Binder: Nicaragua

cigar advisor la gloria cubana essential guide - colleccion reserve (discontinued)

Construction/Appearance: Excellent. Wrapper color is homogenous. The cigar is firm and rolled seamlessly with a textbook triple-seam cap. Has a nice weight in the hand.
Draw: Just right.
Pre-light: Raisins (more like dried plums) right out of the gate on the pre-light.
First few puffs: A hearty and spicy start with a large volume of smoke.
Burn: Excellent from top to bottom with an impressively white ash.
Aroma: Sweet with a light woody accent.
Base Flavors: Cedar, roasted almonds, nutmeg, light pepper.
Balance: Excellent.

La Gloria Coleccion Robusto Cigar

Summary: Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s much-anticipated return to his roots with La Gloria Cubana, the Coleccion Reserva is EPC’s collaboration cigar with Jhonys Diaz of General Cigar; it is produced at Perez-Carrillo’s La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic.

La Gloria Colección Reserva Robusto Cigar Cap
The Colección Reserva reveals how a well-made triple seam cap is supposed to look.

At about 1/2-inch in, the smoke offers a cedary baseline with a suggestion of roasted almonds and light sweetness. In the second act, the smoke takes on another dimension and a distinctive note of nutmeg comes to the dance. The base flavors are still predominant, but they have more definition at this point, and the body has increased substantially. There is a certain tanginess to this cigar; even a subtle note of dark chocolate enters, but overall it’s rock-steady in the woody, spicy department with a modicum of pepper that’s more prevalent in the final act. – Gary

La Gloria Cubana Serie N Cigar Review (Discontinued)

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: Glorioso (6½” x 58)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: As always, the Ecuadorian wrapper is beautiful and the ‘N’ looks sharp, the feel is very heavy and solid- if I can’t smoke it I can always use it as a paperweight.
Draw: Nice ‘n easy.
Pre-light flavor: Foot: very earthy with hints of raisins and dried fruit, oak, leather and a slight spice. Cold draw: sweet raisins, oak, earth, toast, and nuts.
Toasting & Light: A marshmallow-like sweetness, earth, cedar, a wood smoke/charred wood component and toasted bread. There’s also an herbal component reminiscent of jasmine.
Base flavors: Oak, jasmine tea, black pepper, toast, caramel, earth, nuts.
Retrohale: Very smooth. There’s a fruity sweetness with a lemon tang and a hearty spice but not overwhelming, with the same great smoked oak flavor.
Aroma: Almost raisin-like sweet and oak/campfire or wood smoke and earth.
Burn / Ash Quality: Sharp burn line and the ash is phosphoric white and solid.
Balance of flavors: Mostly a very sweet cigar but well-rounded and full of woody, earthy and peppery flavors.

La Gloria Cubana Serie N Cigar

General Observations:
• 1/3 – Summary- very sweet and herbal, lots of oak wood and a burnt sugar flavor.
• 2/3 – The jasmine flavor is still at the forefront but the sweetness increases; more of a caramel-like flavor. The sweetness has shifted to dark cherries. There’s a slight increase in pepper and the oak is very prominent and pleasant. There’s also a slight nuttiness returning.
• 3/3 – The sweetness is getting very strong with dark cherries and a smokiness – it’s fantastic, the rich oak is backing up with earth and nuts in the background. In nub territory that sweetness is killer, and the spicy/savory combo keeps it nicely balanced- oak is very rich and flavorful.

Summary: The Serie N is the twisted-sister of the Serie R Black, a big and full-bodied cigar with a slightly less intense blend. Right out of the gate I’m greeted with a marshmallow-like sweetness and notes of earth, cedar, charred wood and toasted bread. I also picked up something completely new: an herbal component that reminds me of jasmine tea leaves. After a few puffs, the sweet and woody flavors remain but a slight peppery fire is starting to slowly build.

After some time, the sweetness shifts to a bit of a burnt sugar flavor with some raisins and a hearty oak and aged wood profile- slight earth and leather on the aftertaste while the herbal note persists. By the second third, the jasmine flavor is at the forefront while the sweetness has increased and resembles a caramel-like flavor. Notes of oak, toast, and earth have increased intensity.

The sweetness has shifted to dark cherries. There’s a slight increase in pepper and the oak is very prominent and pleasant, and there’s also a slight nuttiness returning. By the end, I had one heck of a nub on a cigar that wouldn’t quit: herbal, sweet, and hearty- you’ve gotta try this cigar! – Fred