Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

No comments

Cigar Details: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Dominican Corojo
  • Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Criollo ’98
  • Factory: Tabacalera Palma
  • Blender: Jose Manuel Blanco
  • Price: $14.50
  • Release Date: January 2022
  • Source: Developing Palates via Blue Smoke of Dallas

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: The wrapper on the La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco is dark brown with some significantly raised and knotty veins, along with a decent level of tooth. The seams are a bit raised while the caps are well applied. There are two bands, with the primary being the traditional design for the brand and the secondary being red and gold and denoting the special occasion. The aroma from the wrapper is damp earth, cocoa and light wood while the foot brings a sweet graham cracker note. The pre-light draw is a mix of floral notes and cedar along with a mild spiciness on my lips.
Seth: Lovely wrapper on the La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco that is chocolate brown in coloring. Classic maduro with medium to large sized veins. Soft in texture. Slightly oily as well. Aromas of sweet spices, sweet soft chocolate, raisins, rich earth and tobacco.
John: The La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco comes in cellophane and has a UPC sticker on the main body that remains intact when the cellophane is opened. The cigar is double banded with ’85th’ in gold on red as the secondary band. Aromas from the wrapper included sweet tobacco, hay and wood. From the foot, I could pick out sweet hay only.
Jiunn: The La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco has a lighter Colorado Maduro, which is a tad lighter for a broadleaf wrapper. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell of an abundant wet barnyard and cedar. Aromas from the foot give the same thing with added white pepper spice. Cold draw gives cedar, jasmine and airy roasted nuts.

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with oak, earth, minerality and black pepper. At a half inch in, a light creaminess joins the profile. The retrohale is toasted oak, earth and minerality. At an inch and a half in, the earth and minerality have a slight lead over the wood, which is now more defined as oak, while the black pepper is a little further behind and some light creaminess is in the background. The strength was slightly above medium.
Seth: The first third starts out by delivering some damp earth and cocoa notes that are paired with sweet spices, coffee and cedar. Bits of black pepper present on the finish. Medium to medium-full in body, medium in strength.
John: Sweet wood starts things off in the first third. Some floral notes start to come through at the end of the draw as powdered cocoa comes into the retrohale. As it progresses, mild earth and leather are present on the post draw. As the cigar moves towards the halfway point, some mild chalkiness and chocolate combine on the retrohale. In the bottom half, baking spices also joint the retrohale and linger into the post draw. Leather on the post draw slowly works its way up to medium strength.
Jiunn: The first third consists of a nice fresh pop of red pepper spice, natural sweetness coming off toasted mixed nuts, and a pencil lead minerality. Retrohaling deepens the red pepper spice but also brings in some nice creamed cherries that’s found in soft candies. The finish is medium length with soil and cedar. Strength is medium-full and body is medium.

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the body of the cigar picks up in fullness. At a half inch in, the creaminess departs and the profile begins to become a bit dry. The retrohale remains toasted oak, earth and minerality. At an inch and a quarter, the earth, minerality and oak are all even with the black pepper a bit behind. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper is now very mild. The strength remained at slightly above medium.
Seth: The second third continues to deliver those damp earth and cocoa notes, but it is paired with this lead pencil and mineral quality. Leather, coffee and cedar are present on the finish, and it has this peppery sweet spice throughout. Medium in strength and body.
John: Sweet leather leads off as baking spices and earth finish into the post draw. The spice on the post draw moves up to medium strength as it continues. As the second third continues, the profile becomes unbalanced with flavors moving from sweetness and medium spices to sweet earth and then sweet leather. Some cashews come through the center of the profile in the bottom half. Leather on the post draw has moved up to medium-full strength and brought medium baking spices with it.
Jiunn: The first third and second third’s flavor profile couldn’t be anymore different. The second third becomes heavily dominated by burning construction paper and tastes slightly like plastic. Further, there’s a hint of bitterness and tannins formed by a leather note. Strength and body is still medium-full and medium, respectively.

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, some wood bitterness becomes present as the oak gains a toast note. The retrohale remains toasted oak, earth and minerality. At an inch in, the toast level increases a fair amount. As the cigar wraps up, the profile is heavily toasted oak, earth and minerality even up front, with black pepper and bitterness in the background. The strength remained at slightly above medium.
Seth: The final third delivers cocoa, coffee bean and sweet spice notes throughout. Mineral notes here and there as well. Touches of wood, pepper and earth on the finish. Again, medium in strength and body throughout the smoking experience.
John: Chewy leather combines with mineral earth at medium-full strength, as the earth and mineral combination lingers into the post draw. Some creamy sweetness is present on the retrohale with medium-full spices. The earth on the post draw continues to build to full strength, dominating the post draw entirely. The creamy sweetness is eventually overwhelmed by the full strength earth.
Jiunn: The final third carries forth the second third in an intensified manner in all the wrong ways. The profile becomes more tannic and bitter with the same burning construction paper note. Strength and body finishes the same medium-full and medium.

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Burn

Aaron: The burn line was straight most of the way, but did have some waviness in the final third. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.
Seth: Great burn throughout. Awesome construction.
John: The burn started straight with an ash that held on up to 1-1/2 inches at points. The burn became offset in the second, eventually going out at the halfway mark. Once re-lit, there were no other interventions required.
Jiunn: Spot on burn performance. Even burn, tight ashes, cool burning temperature and great smoke production.

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Draw

Aaron: The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.
Seth: Lovely draw from start to finish.
John: The draw was quite puzzling. Initially it started out quite resistant, roughly 4 to 4-1/2 notches towards the resistant spectrum. As the first third progressed, it opened to 3-1/2 to 4 notches then eventually settled at 2-1/2 to 3 notches towards resistant.
Jiunn: The draw was also great, giving the best balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with oak, earth, minerality and black pepper. Some creaminess joined fairly quickly and the wood later became more defined as oak. The second third saw the creaminess depart and the profile became a bit dry. The final third saw some wood bitterness join in and the oak gained a toast note which built up as it went along. The La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco had a nice start, but dropped to average as the creaminess departed and the profile became a bit dry. It maintained the average profile the rest of the way. I probably wouldn’t see myself returning to this cigar, but between the two in the line, this is the one I’d come back to first.
Seth: This La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco was a decent Broadleaf offering that was neither wowing nor offensive. An old school Broadleaf release in many ways that is simply more expensive because of the current times. I would probably gravitate more towards the Connecticut Shade offering, but I can see others going in this direction as well. It has a little bit more body and strength, but still a softer Broadleaf when compared with many current Broadleaf offerings on the market.
John: The La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco started out promising with an engaging medley of flavors in the first third. The second third was so busy with different flavor combinations it was more distracting than engaging. The last third was quite leather and earth forward and didn’t reach the same enjoyment as the first third. The cigar went out once, requiring a re-light and the draw started quite resistant and evolved towards somewhat resistant. If I had another cigar to smoke, I’d smoke it just to see if I got a major one off, but if the profile is what it’s intended to be then it’s a pass. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Jiunn: A good start that eventually turned into a dumpster fire. How a cigar can initially taste good and eventually taste so bitter, harsh, leathery and paperish is intriguing and disappointing. It’s especially disappointing for a touted anniversary cigar. I want to give it another try a few months down the road but at this point, there’s no way I can recommend this La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Subpar
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGoodBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawGoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.48

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.48

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.60

Cost/Point

$2.59

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.52

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary Jose Manuel Blanco

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.