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Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale Club

27 Oct 2011

Back in July, was in Las Vegas for the 79th annual IPCPR Trade Show. We reported on two new releases from General Cigar: the highly anticipated CAO OSA Sol and the La Gloria Cubana Retro Especiale.

The Retro Especiale just started to ship in late September, which makes this a good time to review the new line. It is comprised of a Honduran-grown Connecticut-seed wrapper with dual Nicaraguan and Mexican binders around filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The wrapper, according to a press release, was specifically cultivated to allow “each of the cigar’s components to enjoy equal bearing on the overall taste of the cigar,” rather than having any one part dominate.

Packaged in attractive art deco wooden boxes that were inspired by an antique humidor found at the El Credito factory, Retro Especiale is available in four sizes: Taino (7 x 52), Habanero (6 x 52), Cubano (6.5 x 58), and Club (5.75 x 47). Each carries an MSRP between $7 and $8.15.

The Club has faint pre-light notes and a light exterior leaf that’s far from intimidating. Despite its golden hue, though, General Cigar says “the blend is brash in its full flavor and engages the entire palate.” That’s certainly true upon first light, where the cigar has a powerful, somewhat salty taste that’s characterized by dry wood.

I don’t find overt saltiness particularly appetizing, so I’m pleased to report that the profile becomes much less abrasive after only a few puffs. Core flavors like peanut, cedar, cream, black coffee, and citrus emerge. The result is a more balanced cigar that stands firmly in the medium- to full-bodied range. Each puff produces large volumes of smoke, and the resting smoke is aromatic and sweet.

I really like the taste of this cigar, even if some stale notes waft in and out in the final third. All the while the construction is what I’ve come to expect from General Cigar creations: a straight burn line, a clear draw, and a solid ash that holds well.

At $175 per 25-count box, the Club is a solid buy. This young cigar, which I think shows good aging potential, is a nice addition to the La Gloria Cubana portfolio and worthy of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale Club”

  1. Franklin Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Sounds like a really nice smoke. I thought the Artesanos de Miami was OK when released and much better after a year or more. Sounds like this one is off to a good start and (hopefully) will improve with some time. Thanks for the review!

  2. aaroblero Friday, November 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Just smoked one yesterday. I got it as a free sample. Thought it was a great cigar. Think I'm gonna buy a box, now.

  3. Psychobobicus Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    I'm about finished with one of these we had in the humidor for a year. It has settled in very nicely. I'm not blown away by it, but its a solid smoke.