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Posts Tagged ‘La Gloria Cubana’

Size: 6″ x 50
Vitola: Toro
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade/Ecuadorian Sumatra
Origin: Dominican Republic
Age: Pre-Release freshness!

I just happened to be in the shop when the General rep was visiting and he handed one of their new sticks, the LGC Artesanos de Tabaqueros – or also known as the longest name for a cigar line ever.

The idea behind the line is an appetizer and main course all-in-one.  The 1st third has a Connecticut Shade wrapper – the appetizer, while the rest has an Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper – the main course.

LGC AdT

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Q: How do you make a cigar wrapper taste better?

A: Grow it in Ecuador!


OK, call it in – it’s over.  I can guarantee one of the hottest cigars of the year will feature a Ecuadorian wrapper.  Why?  Because it seems that EVERY new cigar has a Ecuadorian wrapper on it!

So what’s so magical about this little country and it’s wrapper leaf?

Map of Ecuador (Source Worldtravels.com)

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I have the distinct opportunity to smoke one of the most sought after cigars ever.  The original Miami La Glorias came about during the Cigar Boom and put Ernesto Perez-Carrillo on the map.  You probably wouldn’t have guys like Don Pepin Garcia, Pete Johnson or Dion Giolito without Ernesto.  The La Glorias were so hard to find that folks were paying quadruple and more of MSRP.

LGC Torpedo No. 1

LGC Torpedo No. 1

One of my buddies from Empire Cigars gave me a 15 year old LGC Torpedo No. 2 for the birth of my son.  I couldn’t wait to try this cigar that I had heard so much about.  I was just going to right a review for this old torpedo when I realized this was a good chance to compare the blend Then & Now.  So much has changed in 15 years, including LGC being bought by General Cigar to even in the last year Ernesto leaving La Gloria to start off on his own again.  Is there anyway these cigars can still be similar at all?  We’ll see!

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General Cigar Company Below is a not-so-brief history of the company from their website.  I scaled it down a bit.

The history of General Cigar Company, Inc. is the story of one family and its love of tobacco. It is a rich and colorful story of tobacco dealers, growers, and entrepreneurs, which stretches over 150 years.

The tale begins in 1848, a time of revolutions in Europe. Ferdinand Kullmann, a wine merchant from Germany, immigrated to the United States. He anglicized his name to Cullman, continued his work selling wines in America and also, according to family lore, made and sold cigars.

After graduating in 1904, young Joseph Jr. entered the tobacco business. Known as “Mister Junior,” he began by buying Havana seed, Connecticut broadleaf, some Cuban tobacco, and tobacco in Wisconsin and Ohio. Like his father, he also imported Sumatra tobacco from the Dutch East Indies and would go to tobacco auctions in Amsterdam for the Indonesian wrapper tobacco.

But Joseph Jr. had his eye on another aspect of the tobacco business. He wanted to grow tobacco in Connecticut, although his father thought he was crazy. Tobacco for cigars was being grown there, but it was Connecticut broadleaf, a dark, maduro-style wrapper. Joseph brought Havana seed, or Cuban seed as it was also known, and tried it in the fertile flat fields of the Connecticut River Valley. The wrapper that came in was lighter, and it had great appeal for consumers. His father was convinced, and the Cullmans became one of the largest growers of wrapper leaf in the state.

Soon another generation of Cullmans was ready to follow the family tradition… the family company, which was called Cullman Brothers, grew and prospered selling their sought-after tobacco to cigar-makers… in 1960 the opportunity arose to buy General Cigar Company, the producer of White Owl, William Penn, Van Dyck and Robert Burns brands of cigars.
In 1968, the company purchased a cigar producing facility in Jamaica, Temple Hall, and its brand Macanudo. Although now the number-one selling premium brand in the United States, at that time only small quantities had been produced for the British market. To broach the U.S. market required much greater numbers of cigars, all made with exacting attention to quality and consistency. The blend would have to be different, too.

After a lengthy internal debate about the blend, General Cigar began making Macanudo in 1971 with a new and unique blend of tobacco grown by the company and soon introduced it to the U. S. Edgar Cullman brought to bear all his 30 years of experience with fine tobacco leaves. He had always wanted Connecticut Shade for the wrapper, and from day one the wrapper was from a specially developed, specially picked and processed seed of tobacco. And the wrapper was aged two to three years. Only aged filler tobacco was used, as well.

Cullman had the help of another expert whose devotion to and love of tobacco was equal to his own: a Cuban from an old tobacco family, Ramón Cifuentes. Cullman credits Cifuentes with teaching him an enormous amount about tobacco and with instilling in General Cigar’s workers important tobacco-handling and cigar-making techniques. As Cullman explains it, “There’s a feel you have for tobacco, its silken leaves, how to stretch it – you either have it or you don’t. You have got to always think of the leaf.” Cifuentes “had” the feel.

Another event served in the mid-1970’s to help propel General Cigar to the pinnacle of the premium cigar business. The Cullmans purchased the rights in the United States for Partagas cigars from the Cifuentes family who had made the legendary brand in Cuba until Castro took over. Ramón Cifuentes helped build Partagas into one of the leading brands today.

With two of the most significant premium imported brands in its portfolio, Macanudo made from the Connecticut shade wrapper and Partagas from the Cameroon wrapper, it was logical for General Cigar to acquire the leading Honduran cigar-maker, Villazon & Company. In 1997 the renowned brands Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey, Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur, and El Rey del Mundo became members of the family.

In 1997 and 1998 two other brands – brands whose trademarks are owned by General Cigar in the United States – were re-introduced to the American market. Cohiba and Bolivar have joined a loyal following among those seeking a full-bodied cigar experience.

Today General Cigar Company is the largest manufacturer and marketer of premium, imported, hand-made or hand-rolled cigars – those made with long filler and all natural tobacco leaf.”

General Cigar recently bought Cigars International so, like Altadis, they too have a large wholesale and distribution capabilities.  Look for more growth in the near future.  Below is a list of products currently or recently made by General Cigar.  Wholesale lines (exclusive lines to JR, CI, etc.) are in bright red.

Bances – handmade in Honduras.

  • Bances – Available in two sizes with an Ecuadorian wrapper.
  • Bances Maduro– Available in two sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Belinda – an old Cuban brand re-introduced in 1994.

  • Belinda – Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

Bolivar – The Rocha Company introduced the Bolivar brand in 1901 in Havana, Cuba. Beginning in the 1950s, Ramón Cifuentes, the cigar master of Partagas, began to manufacture the Bolivar brand. As a result of its Cifuentes connection, General Cigar Dominicana crafts Bolivar cigars today in the Dominican Republic.

  • Bolivar– Available in 4 sizes with a San Augustin Ligero wrapper.  I do not like these.
  • Bolivar Cofradia– Avaiable at JR, formerly Bolivar Fuerte in 13 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra-seed wrapper.
  • Bolivar Cofradia Sun-Ripened Oscuro Series – Another wholesale line, available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Bolivar FuerteDiscontinued. Now under the name “Bolivar Cofradia”.
  • Bolivar Suntuoso en Tubos – At JR, this is available in 4 sizes with a dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

Brioso – a new value line for 2009.

  • Brioso – available in 4 sizes with a Honduran Jamastran wrapper.

Canaria d’Oro– Originally introduced in the early 1970s, Canaria d’Oro cigars are the pride of Argüelles Lopéz y Hno, a company with a tradition of fine cigar making that dates back to 1892.

Cohiba– The Dominican Cohiba cigar, which was reformulated in the 1990s, is the only Cohiba cigar that can be purchased legally in the United States.

  • Cohiba – Available in 13 sizes with a Cameroon wrapper.  A very expensive cigar.  Not worth the money.
  • Cohiba Black – Available in 4 sizes with a black Conecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Cohiba Puro Dominicana – New in 2008.
  • Cohiba XV Extra Vigoroso – Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

Consuegra– Wholesale versions of Hoyo, Punch, etc.

  • Consuegra– Available in a myriad of sizes and wrappers.  Made at the Villazon factory in Honduras.

Creme de Jamaica– Crème De Jamaica was highly sought for its blend of mild Jamaican tobaccos, but eventually the brand faded into obscurity. Thanks to the cigar boom of the 1990s, Creme De Jamaica enjoyed a heatlhy revival and are still available with a Jamaican tobacco blend.

  • Creme de Jamaica – Available in 6 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Diablo

  • DiabloDiscontinued. Was avaialble in 4 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.  These were not horrible.

Don Tomas – Don Tomás cigars originated in Honduras in the 1970’s and the brand has evolved over the years.

  • Don TomasDiscontinued. Was available 15 sizes with an Indonesian wrapper.
  • Don Tomas MaduroDiscontinued. Was available 5 sizes with a Mexican Maduro wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Cameroon – Available in 8 sizes with a Sun Grown Cameroon wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Candela– Available in 3 sizes with a Candela Cameroon wrpapper.
  • Don Tomas Clasico – Available in 7 sizes with a Honduran Havana-seed wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Clasico Maduro – Available in 8 sizes with a Sun Grown Cameroon wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Dominican SelectionDiscontinued. Was available 7 sizes with an Dominican Talango Cubano wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Special Edition Connecticut – Available in 6 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Special Edition Corojo – Available in 5 sizes with a Honduran Corojo wrapper.
  • Don Tomas Sun Grown – New for 2007, available in 5 sizes with a Honduran Sun Grown wrapper.

El Credito International– El Credito has been in the tobacco business since 1907. El Credito roughly translated means “all credit to the smoker”.  Made by Ernesto Perez-Carillo of La Gloria Cubana fame.

  • El Credito – Available in 7 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • El Credito Maduro – Available in 7 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

El Rey del Mundo– Based on General’s website, this entire line is now available only at wholesale.  Launched in 1994.

  • El Rey del Mundo – Available in 19 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • El Rey del Mundo “Lights” – Available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • El Rey del Mundo Maduro – Available in 8 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • El Rey del Mundo Olivadados – Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • El Rey del Mundo Real – Available in 3 sizes with a Honduran San Agustin wrapper.

El Rico Habano– In 1970, Cigar Master Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Sr. created El Rico Habano, the first line of cigars rolled at his factory in Miami’s Little Havana section.

Excalibur by Hoyo de Monterrey– Introduced in the 1970s, Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur quickly made its mark as a super-premium cigar with an appealing price.

  • Excalibur – Available in 12 sizes with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
  • Excalibur Maduro– Available in 9 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.  Plus the Prensado with an Oscuro wrapper.
  • Excalibur 1066 – The blend decided by the fans, this is available in 8 sizes with a Cameroon wrapper and in the Dark Knight sizes (4 in total) with an extra-dark Cameroon wrapper.
  • Excalibur Legend – New in 2008, available in 3 sizes with a Connecticut Havana-seed wrapper.  I like this cigar a lot!
  • Excalibur Royal Sterling – Available in 4 sizes with a Honduran Claro wrapper.

Flor de A. Allones– A private Honduran brand carefully crafted for many years by Villazon on behalf of Alfred Dunhill, Ltd. to satisfy their Havana-smoking clientele.

  • Flor de A. Allones – Available in 9 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

Flor de Baloney– These first quality smokes, handmade at the famed Villazon Factory, are the equal of any brand in quality. (Not really)

  • Flor de BaloneyDiscontinued. Available in 6 sizes with a Honduran wrapper.
  • Flor de Baloney MaduroDiscontinued. Available in 8 sizes with a Honduran Maduro wrapper.

Havana Honeys – One of the original flavored premium cigars on the market.

  • Havana Honeys – Flavored and available in 6 sizes with an Indonesian wrapper.

Helix – While many traditional cigar brands were introducing heavier, more full-bodied cigars to appeal to long-time cigar smokers, Helix Cigars were introduced in 2002 as a counterpoint to these brands. 

  • Helix – Available in 8 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • Helix Maduro – Available in 7 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Helix Remix Amaretto – Flavored, available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Helix Remix Cafe Royale – Flavored, available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Hoyo de Monterrey– The original Hoyo de Monterrey was the 1865 inspiration of José Gener, one of the most respected growers in Cuba’s famed Vuelta Abajo. Since the early 1970s, the Hoyo de Monterrey tradition has been firmly established in Honduras under the masterful guidance of cigar master Estelo Padrón. 

  • Hoyo de Monterrey– The whole line features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper but is available in 17 sizes with an EMS shaded wrapper; 12 sizes with a Maduro shaded wrapper and 7 sizes with a Double Maduro (Oscuro) shaded wrapper.
  • Hoyo de Monterey Dark Sumatra – Available in 4 sizes with a Dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • Hoyo de Monterrey Hoyo de Tradicion– Available in 4 sizes with a Honduran Jamastran Viso Rosado wrapper.  These are pretty good.

Kahlua– This coffee liquer flavored cigar was made by Drew Estate for General Cigar.

  • KahluaDiscontinued.  Was available in 5 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

La Escepcion– renewed every year starting in ’99, this blend is a wholesale special, blended by Frank Llanza.

  • La Escepcion Serie I – Available in 3 sizes with a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Escepcion Serie II – Available in 3 sizes with a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Escepcion Serie III – Available in 3 sizes with a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Escepcion Serie IV Tapa Negra – Available in 3 sizes with a Ecuadorian Sumatra/Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • La Escepcion Serie V – Available in 3 sizes with a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Escepcion Serie VI – Available in 3 sizes with a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Escepcion 2009 – a nationwide release, available in 3 sizes with a Honduran Habano Talanga wrapper.

La Flor de Murias – Created in the tradition of José Suarez, these cigars are handcrafted in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

  • La Flor de Murias – Available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • La Flor de Murias Maduro – Available in 3 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

La Gloria Cubana– Produced in both Miami and the Dominican Republic, La Gloria Cubana is one of the most sought after cigars in the world.

  • La Gloria Cubana – Available in 23 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Maduro – Available in 21 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Miami – New in 2008, available in 5 sizes with a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Edicion Limitada – From 2002-2006, this was available in 1 size a year  with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Edicion Limitada Maduro – From 2002-2006, this was available in 1 size a year  with an Ecuadorian Sumatra maduro wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Serie R – Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro – Available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Reserva Figurados – Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • La Gloria Cubana Reserva Figurados Maduro – Available in 5 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Macanudo– Developed in Jamaica under the creative leadership of Ramón Cifuentes, the legendary Cuban cigar master of Partagas, Macanudo soon became the leading premium cigar and remains so today.

  • Macanudo (Cafe) – Available in 23 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • Macanudo 1968 – New in 2008, this is available in 4 sizes with a Honduran San Agustin Havana Seed wrapper.
  • Macanudo Gold Label– Available in 6 sizes with a “Golden” Connecticut Shade wrapper from the 1st and 2nd primings.
  • Macanudo Maduro – Available in 6 sizes with a Mexican Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Macanudo Robust –  Available in 8 sizes with a dark Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • Macanudo Vintage 1979Discontinued. Featured an aged Connecticut Shade wrapper from 1979.
  • Macanudo Vintage 1984Discontinued. Featured an aged Connecticut Shade wrapper from 1984.
  • Macanudo Vintage 1988Discontinued. Featured an aged Connecticut Shade wrapper from 1988.
  • Macanudo Vintage 1993Discontinued. Featured an aged Connecticut Shade wrapper from 1993.
  • Macanudo Vintage 1997Discontinued. Featured an aged Connecticut Shade wrapper in 6 sizes from 1997.
  • Macanudo Vintage 2000 – Available in 4 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper from 2000.

Partagas– The venerable brand created by Ramon Cifuentes.

Punch– Produced in Honduras for Villazon Company under the direction of a great Cuban cigar master, Frank Llaneza, Punch has been a leading premium brand ever since it was first imported from Honduras in 1969.

  • Punch – Available in 15 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
  • Punch Deluxe– Available in 3 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra or Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Punch Gran Puro– Available in 3 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra or Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Punch Gran Cru– Available in 8 sizes with an Connecticut Shade or Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Punch One – New for 2008, not yet released.
  • Punch Rare Corojo – Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Sumatra  wrapper.
  • Punch Vintage –

Rafael Gonzales– The Rafael Gonzalez brand was re-introduced to the American market in 1998 with a richer tobacco blend manufactured in the Villazon factory in Honduras.

  • Rafeal Gonzales – Available in 6 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Ramon Allones – An old Cuban brand revamped in 2001.

  • Ramon Allones – Available in 4 sizes with a Dominican La Vega Especial wrapper.

Sancho Panza – The Honduran version of Sancho Panza was introduced in 2001 with a very rich taste.

Shakespeare– From General Cigar, a mild, handmade, Dominican, wrapped in USA-grown Connecticut shade or spicy, dark Connecticut broadleaf.

  • Shakespeare Available in 5 sizes with a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
  • Shakespeare Maduro Available in 2 sizes with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Stradivarius de los Maestros – Possessing a symphony of harmonious tastes, Stradivarius cigars are presented with a reserve of Connecticut Shade wrapper that has been cloistered for nearly 15 years.

  • Stradivarius – Available in 3 sizes with a 15-year old Connecticut Shade wrapper.

Temple Hall Estates – Over a century ago, the primary factors that enabled the farmers of Temple Hall Estates to grow great tobacco were an abundance of rich soil coupled with an ideal mixture of rainfall and sunshine.

General Cigar Products made for other Labels

JR UltimateMade in the Villazon factory for JR.  Tons of sizes and wrappers.

JR Ultimate CabinetMade in the Villazon factory for JR.  Available in 7 sizes with an Ecuadorian wrapper.

La Aroma de Cuba – Made for Ashton by General Cigar.  Available in 11 sizes with a Honduran Havana-seed wrapper.

PetersonDiscontinued. Was made for Ashton by General Cigar.  Featured a Cameroon wrapper.

SavoyMade for Ashton by General Cigar.  Available in 5 sizes with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

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Size:  6″ x 52

Vitola: Toro

Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Sumatra

Origin: Dominican Republic

From the Vault: I’ve been pulling a lot of old cigars out from the bottom if the humi-trunk, and this old LGC was grabbed…

The Miami-made La Gloria Cubanas were one of the most popular cigars around during the Cigar Boom, but now after being bought by General Cigar, Ernesto Perez-Carillo has not been making the same cigars as he once did and are now being made in the El Credito factory in the Dominican Republic.

The cigar has a nice looking brown wrapper, but it is a little mottled and has soft and hard spots as I gently squeeze it.

This is not that spicy of a cigar, mostly medium in strength.  I taste grassy notes, which is a bit surprising, muddled in with leather notes as well.

The further I smoke the more I notice a subtle strength that I was not prepared for after smoking the mild first half.  But other than that, it is a real one-dimensional smoke that gets a bit old in the end. 

Rating: 81 (B-)

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Ya got to love this time of year!

Fonseca (MATASA) has two new releases scheduled this year.  I guess they need ot make up for nothing new last year.  The Fonseca Cubano Viso Fuerte (just rolls right off the tongue…) which features a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan wrapper and another called Casa Magna (rolled at the Plasencia factory).

There’s also a new special release Cameroon for the La Aurora Preferidos line.  And it’s a Lancero!!  Woot!  The robusto from ’06 was great, so I can’t wait!

And lastly a new extension of the La Gloria Cubana line, rolled in Miami called La Gloria Cubana Atresanos de Miami.  Supposedly this was released a while ago but I have heard or seen nothing recently…

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