Cigar Ratings & Reviews

CA Review Panel: Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold Label


Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold Label Backstory

What happens when the folks behind cigars like Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo team up with the legendary Plasencia family on an affordable bundle? Casa de Garcia Centenario.

Whether you want true world class or merely affordable luxury, Plasencia is the number to dial for both. They’ve been in the business five generations and counting, perfecting the art of tobacco cultivation and cigar crafting.

The Centenario brand comes in two distinct wrapper options: a Connecticut clad Gold Label, which we’ll be smoking for this review, and the Habano-laced Red Label offering a spicier appeal. Both new cigars were blended to give the existing Casa de Garcia lines a modern twist.

Let’s see how they handle a flame!

Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold Label – Cigar Details

Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A. Esteli, Nicaragua
Size Reviewed: 6” x 50 Toro
Strength: Mellow
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction: Each agreed the cigar was well made.
Draw: John’s draw was quite firm. Paul’s had a touch of resistance, and Gary’s was just right.
Pre-Light & Toasting Flavors: Hay, earth, sweetness, nuts, and spice.
Key Cigar Flavors: Wood, spices, nuts, with sweet tobacco and hay.
Smoke Aroma: Woody, rich, pleasant, and better than expected.
Burn & Ash Color/Quality: Consistently firm light grey ashes with fewer-than-expected burning issues for the price.

Presented in bundles of 25

John’s Tasting Notes…

Summary: You might be wondering, “This is a $2 stick, what are you guys doing putting it through the same paces as those $30 Cohibas? There’s no way they can compete.” It’s not about putting them head-to-head, it’s that I want to see if this Casa de Garcia Centenario punches above its weight. Or maybe has some unexpected bright spots. Because you hear $2, and the bar gets set pretty low.

This is a long filler cigar, but a v-cut made a huge improvement in the smoking experience than my usual guillotine cut. The profile is consistent from start to finish, almost autopilot-steady. First few puffs have nuts and spice; first third is earth and hay, second third is nuts and hay. All the way to the end. So does anything set this daily Connecticut apart from the dozens already out there? Not much, other than (1) the blem-free consistency of the wrapper, and (2) the taste – it never got hot, never turned bitter, even at the finish.

The Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold is a cheap n’ pleasant pick-me-up: smoke it with morning coffee if you want a low-dough wake up call. And at $2 a smoke, it’s less of a letdown if you have a few duds in your bundle. For sure, this Casa is a step up any of the Fumas, and even some of the Factory Selects out there; so if you like Connecticut cigars and not paying much for them, I’ll bet you’ll burn this quite often and feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

Gary’s Tasting Notes…

Summary: This $2 smoke with some impressive upmarket premium traits could conceivably make it the poster child for good cheap cigars. Once lit, however, the smoke was light and mellow with a sweet and nutty flavor. Mostly nutty with sweet tobacco notes; accents of oak followed. Creamy smooth and mellow to medium in body, as the cigar burned toward its midsection, the smoke took on an earthier component.

At the midsection, the Toro remained creamy with a medium body and turned earthier in nature. This seemed to blur the woody and sweet flavors and at times some white pepper paused on the finish. The burn occasionally went offline but nothing that required a touch-up. Gold was still fairly creamy and medium-bodied but even earthier. Some woody notes survived but the sweet component was pretty much absent. Finally, with a little under two inches remaining, some flintiness told me that’s all she wrote.

Kudos to Plasencia for the Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold Toro. They’ve blended a cool-smoking, medium-bodied cigar of better than average quality for its class and price. It performed very well in terms of burn, its ability to stand-up to the elements, and the woody, nutty, and sweet base notes held-up impressively for the most part. I clearly see this Toro as a good morning smoke with coffee, or a mid or late day smoke with a beer. Although I found this cigar mostly enjoyable, it was the more dominant earthiness in the latter inches that left me a little flat. However, as Paul pointed out in the video, you can’t expect a $2 bundle burner to smoke like an Avo primo. Suffice it to say… if you’re bargain hunter or simply seeking an everyday cheapo, this Casa de Garcia Gold Toro is hard to beat. G=~

Paul’s Tasting Notes…

Summary: Ordinary. If I had to sum up the Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold in one word, it would be ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good cigar and there was nothing in particular wrong with it. Afterall, if a sub $3.00 cigar tasted like an over $30.00 cigar—like the Cohiba Serie M we reviewed last month—then that would be extra-ordinary.

What am I getting at here? Well, for one—managing expectations. With realistic expectations, you’ll find the Casa de Garcia a pleasant surprise. Like I said earlier—there is nothing wrong with it.

From first sight, I noticed a silky sheen to the evenly colored Connecticut wrapper (Ecuador Connecticut to be exact) which is a promising sign in a budget stick. The first few puffs were creamy with notes of wood and nuts. Some baking spice added a little razzle dazzle to the first section of the Centenario Gold.

Midway through and the mellow profile gains a bit of steam, while the flavors are balanced. Some earthiness and a salty minerality are unexpected and give this ordinary cigar some depth and richness. The burn stays true, and the ash is substantial—as are the billows of cottony smoke issuing forth.

What should you expect from the Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold? A good smoke for one. And a well-made one. It’s a classic yardgar and even more. It’s an affordable, premium, bundled cigar that you won’t be embarrassed to share during summer cookouts and get-togethers.