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.