La Gloria Cubana has an interesting phase in evolution as a cigar brand. These things used to be purely Cuban back in the day before the embargo. Surprisingly, after the US cut off business with Cuba, they actually moved to the Dominican Republic, where most of their cigars were made. Now, we got a stick that bears a Nicaraguan name; this is the La Gloria Cubana Esteli. You would expect a cigar like this to have leaves all from Nicaragua and be a true Nicaraguan puro, but really only the wrapper is actually from Nicaragua. The rest of the cigar is from Honduras, but it bears the Esteli name because it’s made there. We are not raiding the La Gloria Cubana Esteli today for what it’s called, but how can this economy stick at five dollars on the Robusto size to keep up with the rest of the cigar world. The only way to find out is with a cut and a light.
Appearance of La Gloria Cubana Esteli
La Gloria Cubana Esteli is one of the youngest cigars in La Gloria Cubana’s portfolio, released just a few years ago. It has a 4.5 inches length with a ring gauge of 50, creating an even bolder smoking experience. The cigar is presented with unique packaging, which gives an insight into its flavor and strength. The Nicaraguan wrapper leaf on this cigar is dark and very oily, and it basically shimmers under the light. It’s a beautiful presentation with a very evenly colored leaf and, of course, like Gloria Cubana’s classic branding.
This La Gloria Cubana Esteli got quite a bit to taste right from the first puff, and there’s a nice pepper on the retrohale, actually quite a bit of it, but not so much that it overwhelms me. It also has a perfect vanilla sweetness from the wrapper leaf, which complements the sort of a milk chocolate flavor note with a little bit of wood in there. Again, not all-together mild notes with this, not all-together full-body notes, but a little bit of that chocolate, vanilla sweetness, and leather. I want to see what this cigar does as we jump into the first third.
Through the first third, it really feels like it’s kicking off with a good amount of flavor, and maybe it could grow in complexity. I am now getting a whole idea of what the flavor is like, and I’ll tell you, one new note occurs to me, and that is an excellent coffee note. It just popped in there about a quarter or half an inch into this, and that’s been a great addition. It comes with a really nice contrast and is mainly like a milk chocolate and vanilla-centric flavor on the cigar. After that, it leaves a really nice strong coffee finish once you blow out the smoke. When everything’s gone, coffee is what I’m still tasting. For a start off, it’s doing pretty well but still has a lot more to do to perform now, and I want to see if we can get transitions out of this thing even though it started off so nice and strong with these robust flavors. Let’s jump into that second third.
Halfway through the second third, I’ll say that the flavor is very consistent, and it’s very much what I got when I lit it up. No real transitions here, but it’s not bothering me a whole lot since the flavor that’s here is robust and savory, and it really keeps me coming back and puffing for more. Now I want to jump into the final third to see where we land with this thing. It’s a four-and-a-half-inch Robusto which is a little bit short, so I’m expecting this stick to gain that strength a little faster and a little more prominently. It still has to do some performing, so let’s jump into the final third and see what kind of place this will bring us.
We’re getting ready to button this up, and sadly, in the final third, my worst fears have been realized. The strength on this has ratcheted up really quickly, like one second, all the flavor was there, and the next, it wasn’t. There was a lot of strength in this thing, and it had an excellent flavor through most of it right from light up. I got brilliant, vibrant, robust flavor notes and then carried all the way through just about until where I am right now. This thing has given me no transitions, but the rich flavor definitely kept me coming back for more. My final smoking time on this has been 53 minutes for this four and a half by fifty Robusto.
Overall Review of La Gloria Cubana Esteli
In this latest edition of La Gloria Cubana, master blenders created a small cigar with all the taste and complexity of their larger blends. With aromatic and flavorful Nicaraguan leaf wrapped around a select blend of Honduran filler tobaccos, the La Gloria Cubana Esteli is a full-bodied cigar with exceptional flavor. There was so much good in this stick’s corner, the big thing being the flavor. The construction was also outstanding; it was just that its performance fell a little in the final third, but it’s still good. The cigar is punchier, edgier. For a small cigar, it’s big on flavor, and I definitely would recommend this.
Other Cigars Reviews
Other La Gloria Cubana Cigar Reviews
La Gloria Cubana Serie N
La Gloria Cubana Serie N is refined and highly complex from the Dominican Republic. It is a full-bodied stick with a mixture of spice, earth, and cocoa. Its blend of Nicaraguan fillers and binder is wrapped by a black Oscuro wrapper. The palate will experience a slight sweetness while it gives off tasty aromas. The La Gloria Cubana Serie N is known for offering both smooth complexities and flavor.
La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami
The La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami, produced in the Miami factory by a select team of Cuban expatriate torcedores, reflects the mastery of its craft. Chosen by the esteemed Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, its proprietary blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler leaf is enveloped in a rich Ecuador Sumatra binder and finished with an elegant reddish Nicaraguan Havana wrapper. This medium to full-bodied cigar offers a harmonious symphony of spice, leather, pepper, creamy caramel, and warm toasted bread, catering to the tastes of aficionados who crave a rich, complex smoking experience. For those interested in this specific offering from La Gloria Cubana, stay tuned for a comprehensive review of La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami.
Other Nicaraguan Cigar Reviews
Shadow King Toro
The Shadow King Toro is a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship and passion of AJ Fernandez, one of the prominent names in the cigar industry. With a dark brown Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro wrapper encasing a blend of Mexican binder and top-grade long-filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras, this cigar delivers a rich and complex smoke. From the first light, black pepper and a bouquet of flavors including espresso, earth, and bitter cocoa powder take center stage, transitioning to a darker, more intense profile in the second half. The finale brings a delightful mix of creaminess and sweetness, with a hint of tangy sourwood. Overall, the Shadow King Toro is an affordable luxury that deserves its 92-point rating and a spot in any humidor. This summary serves as a detailed review of Shadow King Toro.
Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro
The Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro is a testament to the legacy and passion of the Oliva Cigar Co., which originated in the lush tobacco fields of Cuba. Offering a rugged yet enticing exterior, this cigar is wrapped in a prized USA Connecticut Broadleaf, housing a Nicaraguan filler and binder. With initial bold notes of earth, cedar, and a prominent kick of black pepper, it transitions into a more balanced blend, showcasing sweet and bitter tones that harmonize exquisitely. The smoke experience is intensified by its full-bodied nature, excellent construction, and the dynamic pace of flavor transitioning, earning it a deserving 92-point score. This premium Nicaraguan cigar is evidence of the craftsmanship and dedication inherent to Oliva Cigars, making the review of Oliva Baptiste Robusto Maduro a celebration of its unmatched quality.