For years, La Gloria Cubana created some of the most sought after Dominican cigars in the world. Known as the original boutique cigar factory in the world, La Gloria Cubana continued the Dominican tobacco tradition up until this year. That all changed when they introduced retailers to the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli at the IPCPR in Las Vegas. The original Serie R is a well known and respected marca in the cigar community and one that has some big shoes to fill in this new blend. Big ring gauges was always the theme of Serie R and the new Serie R Esteli continues that trend. Using all Nicaraguan tobaccos from both the Jalapa mountainside region as well as Esteli, this new offering is a strong departure from the past while at the same time honoring the tradition started so many years ago. Coming in 3 sizes, today we will be smoking the 6 x 54 size though it is also available in a 6 x 60 and a 6 1/4 x 64 as well.
Size: No 54 6 x 54
Wrapper: Jalapa Sol Nicaraguan
Strength: Full – Minus
Price: $6.50/stick or $104.95/box of 18
Appearance: The Jalapa Sol wrapper that adorns the Serie R Esteli is a distinct reddish-brown color with a nice amount of mottling throughout. The cigar is also quite oily, glistening in the light with the oils present on the wrapper. There are no major veins and the seams are near invisible from top to bottom with the double cap being applied neatly. The band is a take on the standard Serie R band though it uses a black and silver motif rather than the standard red and yellow. The wrapper looks like it would be silky smooth to the touch but has a bit of a roughness to it and has just the right amount of sponginess to it when squeezed.
Pre-Light Aroma: When bringing the cigar to the nose, I pick up a rich bouquet of flavors highlighted by a distinct licorice sweetness with some hay, earth, and a light spice coming through as well. Once the cap is clipped off, the Serie R Esteli brings the same licorice sweetness to the lips and palate but the spice is much more apparent at the back of the mouth. The hay and earth are not nearly as prevalent as they were in the nose and the lips are left with a sweet and spicy sensation. The draw is open with a hint of resistance as I like it, a little surprising considering the larger ring gauge.
Taking flame to the foot of the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli brings a steady stream of smoke off the foot. Once fully lit, the smoke pours into my mouth, thick and smooth with big flavor on each puff. Starting off you get a very distinct almond and earth combination of flavors on the palate with a slight spice along with the earth through the nose. The sweetness I picked up before lighting the cigar is nowhere to be found though I suspect it will pick up in the latter portions of the stick. The Serie R Esteli starts medium-full in the strength department but is definitely pushing for a full bodied mark by the end of the first third. The burn line is as close to perfect as it can be with the ash holding strong for over an inch. This is a slow burning cigar as well, taking me nearly 45 minutes to get through the first third alone.
Into the 2nd third of the Serie R Esteli, the sweetness I suspected would come out to play has. It comes through in a more raisin like sweetness versus the licorice like scent I picked up before lighting. The earth has taken a backseat to the more forward sweetness with the spice also coming to the palate, though at the back of the mouth. The spice and earth still dominate the retrohale while the strength has kicked into full territory. The burn line has remained spot on with the ash continuing to hold for over an inch before I tap it off. Smoke production has remained good, still producing a thick smoke that leaves the palate coated in flavor.
The final third catches me off guard with a flavor shift I didn’t expect. A dark roast espresso flavor comes on strong with the almond note becoming the finishing note. It is a delicious combination that creates a memorable finish for the Serie R Esteli. The strength finishes in the full minus area, definitely some strength behind the flavors that you pick up. The construction was fantastic from start to finish with the burn line never wavering and the ash holding strong all the way through. Serie R carries a big set of boots to fill and La Gloria definitely realized that, taking time to develop this product and using some great tobaccos to create a unique blend for the La Gloria Cubana namesake. It is definitely a departure from the Serie R flavor profile, standing on it’s own two feet and filling a niche in the La Gloria market that has been missing for years. If you would like to order the Serie R Esteli, feel free to contact us at 800-669-7167 or click here.