9 Apr 2007
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve smoked a La Gloria Cubana, and that probably has something to do with the bad taste a few Corona Gordas left in my mouth. But since I’ve heard so many good things about the Serie R line, I recently took a mid-afternoon break with a No. 4 – and was not disappointed.
This stick weighs in at a stubby four and 7/8 inches by 52 ring gauge, and the taupe-colored Ecuadorian maduro wrapper is a bit bumpy and veiny. I wouldn’t say the cigar is unattractive, however.
Living up to its reputation as a full-bodied smoke, I took in heavy notes of wood, earth, and chocolate before striking the first match. After toasting the foot and taking a few puffs, the flavor had more of a kick than I had originally anticipated, producing black pepper and rich leather flavors. The slightest bit of harshness, but not what I’d call unpleasant.
After the first third of the cigar was complete, the taste began to mellow out, and this was a welcome change for me. While the flavor of the maduro wrapper was prevalent throughout, this is a surprisingly well-balanced smoke with a good equilibrium of salty and acidic tastes. I have to say, however, that a hint of sweetness would have been nice.
Physically, Serie R boasts tightly rolled Dominican and Nicaraguan binders and fillers – especially given the line’s large ring gauges. Expect the draw to require some effort, but also expect the ash to hold superbly strong (I only had to ash twice on several of these cigars).
Although the burn remains steady and even over the course of this one hour and 15 minute smoke, a few of these cigars have a tendency to extinguish themselves at random – even with frequent puffs. The band is also prone to tearing the wrapper, so take special care while removing it.
Don’t be dismayed, however, by this stogie’s shortcomings. At about $6.50, it packs a whole lot of flavor for the money. For rich, well-balanced tastes, I give the La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 4 Maduro a reputable four out of five stogies.
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