Cigar Blog 101

Cigars and cigar aficionados discuss their favorite cigars, humidors, cigar accessories and more.

Monday, April 30, 2007

3 Regular Guys Review: La Gloria Cubana Churchill Natural

La Gloria Cubana is great brand by Ernesto Perez-Carillo. Actually, it was started by his father and Ernesto went out into the world earning his living as a jazz musician –sound eerily similar to Avo Uvezian? After a while Ernesto decided that maybe the cigar business and his family’s tradition in it was really something that he should embrace. He returned home to Miami, learned the business from his father and then took it even further under his own direction.

Also similar to Avo Uvezian, Ernesto’s compositions of tobacco are pretty enticing. Lend me your ear because we got to smoke the La Gloria Cubana Churchill in Natural wrapper. We’ve had this stick for a few weeks laying up in each of our humidors on our desks –a nice thing about working for a cigar company is that having your own personal humidor on your desk doesn’t really set you apart and sometimes you can glean some nice quality free sticks to stock it up with. Despite our initial doubts that Colm would even still have his cigar –given his penchant for gifting away anything lacking an Arturo Fuente band- he was able to locate his and the couple of weeks nestled up next to cedar could have only been a good thing for this cigar.

Now, first off, we were all a little reluctant to smoke this cigar as we do like La Gloria quite a lot (Scott most out of all three of us), but we do certainly prefer Ernesto’s Serie R creations and Maduro makes it even better. Also this was a Churchill that we smoked and those tend to take a bit of time. Our smoking breaks, whether on assignment or purely personal, can easily stretch to the burn time of a robusto, but a Churchill is a bit of a stretch. However, for a fair assessment, you’ve gotta give the stick some length to show it’s whole personality. So, being the devoted bloggers for you that we are, we 3 Regular Guys smoked almost the whole thing.

This cigar has a very smooth wrapper that has almost imperceptible veins running through it. It has a very deep double cap that cut nicely and held up great. Dave of course is of the opinion that a good cap is only half of the equation and a good cutter, like our slew of Xikars we pack with us, is necessary to execute it properly. Pre-light the wrapper smells like leather. The filler however did tip us off as smelling a little bit like young tobacco that could use a little more time to age up.

The cigars all lit quite nicely. The draw was pretty good, but Scott thought it was a bit firm even for a Churchill. The downside of it was the stick didn’t produce all that much smoke. They burned pretty evenly and yielded a nice light gray/white ash.

Right out of the gate these sticks didn’t wow us. It was a little disorganized and started out somewhat peppery and bitter. Fortunately this was a brief phase for it and once it burned past about half-inch it smoothed out a lot and gained a pleasant toasty taste. The smoke had a nice creamy note to it, but it was a bit subtle to pick up on due to the low volume of smoke it produced.

Once this big Churchill found it’s direction it was a nice smoke. It certainly stayed cool and had a short to medium finish that was notably dry. This La Gloria stayed very consistent. It did not come across as being complex however in its defense it was definitely balanced. This is a good stick for the Natural smoker and also a pretty nice entry point for the novice. We would probably recommend a shorter length and a bigger ring to try to max out the smoke a bit so you can get a better feel for the flavors of this tobacco.

This cigar is a very good candidate for a daily cigar. It’s not quite exemplary enough to set itself out there as a special occasion cigar. There was a little bit of an unpleasant aftertaste, but we were smoking these alongside bottles of Florida’s finest –spring water. Substitute in a nice single-malt or a dunkel weise and you’d never notice. Give this stick a try, it’s worth it!

Click Here To Order La Gloria Cubana

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Monday, April 23, 2007

2007: The Year of the Maduro?

Since I work in the cigar industry I have a first hand look into how the industry is growing. So far this year, one topic has continued to be a discussion with almost every manufacturer, retailer, and experienced smoker that I have talked to. The topic is Maduro cigars. Maduro wrappers have been popular in the past, but I have never seen it as popular as it is this year. C.A.O. will be releasing their new C.A.O. Gold Maduro in June. Currently we are they only company that carries them, but since they are so popular the demand has grown beyond our control. Altadis, makers of the world famous H. Upmann and 94 rated Onyx Reserve have just released the Romeo Y Julieta Vintage Maduro. United Tobacco will be releasing their popular 601 line in Maduro at the end of the year. Camacho is releasing the Camacho Triple Maduro, this cigar will be made entirely of Maduro leaves! Carlos Torano is releasing the Casa Torano Maduro next month, and Puros Indios is releasing their Limited Edition 83rd Anniversary Cuba Aliados Maduro. We are only in April, and look at the Maduro line up already! I’m excited, are you?

Corona Chris

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Good Information/Bad Comments

In reading several “Informational” blogs, it appears that some so-called experts have a difference of opinion with the use of “Vintage” as description of the wrapper or the cigar itself. Another would be “Clasico”, another could be “Original”, or any word as added to the brand name- any answer is- so what? To these “Experts” who have never grown a leaf, cured, fermented, had a poor crop due to weather, blue mold, or had a football field size warehouse of tobacco that was graded to be used at the exact time (sometimes 3-4 years). They have all the privilege to say vintage, classic, or any words they chose.

Secondly, if a cigar manufacturer prices his product to the trade, then must increase that price that happens for all factors considered- raw material, workers salaries, modest profit etc. If he does not, something suffers. It is simple economics!!

Each manufacturer, lets say has 300 employees from strippers, graders, color selectors, band and box affix personnel to the cigar tocedores to supervisors, whose life is the making of “A Cigar”- they would not make a cigar for one run and then close-shop.

If this type operation existed in another country- all costs considered- you as a smoker, would pay 5-10 times the now retail cost.

Cigars have never been better; tobaccos grown, cured and used are excellent.

So if you spend $1.00-$20.00 per cigar- that is your decision. It is your taste- not some “Behind the Scenes Expert”.

Do we like cigar testing comments- sure- and nothing else.

By Al Remp, product specialist and trainer, Thompson Cigar.

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