Team Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto

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Cigar Details: La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto

  • Vitola: Short Robusto
  • Length: 4.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Honduras
  • Factory: STG Estelí
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: August 2018
  • Source: La Gloria Cubana

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is medium brown with a decent number of darker freckles. There are a couple of medium sized veins that are slightly raised while the seams are easily visible as they are raised as well. The pieces of wrapper used for the head are cut quite jagged and it’s hard to tell if there are two or three. The band is the traditional style for the company although this one lists the line name below the company logo. The aroma from the wrapper is nearly non-existent as it is just a very faint wood. The foot brings stone fruit sweetness and white pepper. The pre-light draw consists of a mellow cedar note.

Pre-light Experience

This short, but thick Robusto is firm in hand and has a wrapper that is smooth in texture. It has a coloring between Colorado Maduro and Maduro, and it sports some small to medium size veins throughout. The aroma at the foot is of rich earth, cocoa and Asian spices, while the wrapper is showing leather, hay, earth, spices and some distinct anise notes.

Pre-light Experience

The La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto has a red, silver and yellow band with black lettering. I would describe the wrapper as being very dark, approaching Oscuro shade.

First Third

The cigar begins with musty oak and a mellow baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the mustiness has a slight lead over the oak while the baking spice picks up slightly. At an inch in, the mustiness and oak are back to even while the baking spice is very faint. The retrohale provides a mellower version of this same profile. As the third comes to a close, the oak transitions to cedar to go along with the mustiness and the baking spice has dropped out. The strength in this third was mild-medium.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering some chocolate and earthy qualities. There is some citrus spice present with that, touches of lemon zest, and it is following by some white pepper, meat like qualities and some nutty characteristics. I would classify the cigar as being medium in body and strength, and it is focused on the flavors.

First Third

As I take my first few draws on the LGC Esteli, I get savory barbeque with a light plus leather on the post draw. Toasted earth and cedar begin to develop. The earth tones present as very heavy on the palate, at times pushing aside the other flavors. Some medium plus spices begin to come through as the first third establishes itself. At the halfway point, the profile takes on a creme brulee aspect with the toasted sugar sweetness at the forefront. The earth that was so dominant previously is now falling in intensity.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the profile is a full musty cedar. At a half inch in, a slight creaminess joins the musty cedar. At an inch in, the cedar gains a slight char and a bit of black pepper joins the profile. The retrohale is slightly charred cedar and mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper is replaced by a not so enjoyable earthiness to go along with the musty and charred cedar. The strength in this third moved up to slightly below medium.

Second Third

When I enter into the second third, I find the leather and white pepper notes are more pronounced than before, and they are pairing well with the citrus and earthy qualities. It is not as complex as it was in the first third, but still a solid second third to the cigar. Body and strength have increased to a level between medium and medium-full.

Second Third

Once the middle third has had a chance to settle, medium minus strength chocolate starts to define the profile. At the end of the middle third, the earth from the first third returns, bringing a toasted quality with it.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a slight mintiness joins in with the musty and charred cedar while the earthiness is now very faint. At a quarter inch in, the cigar warms up a bit and a medicinal type note joins the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the medicinal note is replaced by a vegetal note. The retrohale carries the musty and charred cedar and vegetal note. This is the profile the cigar maintains until the end. The strength remained at slightly below medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third of the cigar now and the flavor profile picks up a little bit when compared with the second. Not at the level of the first, but better than the second. I am getting some earthy, nutty and toasty qualities, and with that is some lemon spice and white pepper. There is a faint coffee like quality on the finish, but very faint. Body and strength smoke at a level between medium and medium-full in this third, and in that was similar to the second.

Final Third

More significant flavor changes during the third transition. The profile becomes sweet baking spices, with some occasional bitterness coming through.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy to start and then straightened out for most of the cigar and got a bit wavy again towards the end. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn line was far from perfect on the cigar, but never really a problem. It was wavy here and there, and needed some corrections, but not a major concern. Did produce a nice charcoal colored ash that held on pretty well from start to finish.

Burn

I encountered some burn issues through the smoking experience. The first third started out wavy and eventually required a touch-up. The burn was uneven, eventually canoeing in the second third requiring a touch-up, and then later requiring another touch-up. In the last third, the burn was uneven and the cigar went out requiring a re-light.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with musty oak and some baking spice. The oak morphed into cedar as the mustiness remained. Some earthiness became present later which later became a medicinal note and then a vegetal note. Strength was below medium the whole way and construction was great. Through most of the brands in the General Cigar portfolio, I get this, what I describe as, homogenized tobacco profile and this cigar was no different. The first third was fairly average, but after that, I didn’t find the flavor all that appealing. Definitely a cigar I would pass on. The price point is really attractive though, so for those that do find this cigar to their liking, it would definitely be something they could go deep on.

Draw

The draw was somewhat loose for my liking on the cigar. Not a major problem, but not where I wanted it to be from a personal standpoint.

Overall

Overall the La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto was fairly one dimensional. It didn’t have a terrible flavor profile, but it didn’t go anywhere. It started off strong, but went downhill after that. It never crashed and burned, but was nothing to write home about. The lack in complexity and transitioning really hurt it overall. There was some depth at the beginning, but it just faded as the cigar progressed. On an unrelated note that does not impact the cigar, why name this cigar Esteli? Because it was made in Esteli? The wrapper isn’t from Esteli and the filler and binder are completely Honduran. I would have put a Honduran wrapper on this, make it in Danli at STG Danli and call it something else revolving around Honduras. It probably wouldn’t sell, but at least you would be honest with yourself and the consumers. This was called Esteli to sound sexy and sell.

Draw

Using a v-cutter, as I always do, I found the draw to be in the perfect zone of resistance.

Overall

The La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto is an interesting cigar with a flavor profile that has distinct evolution through each third. Reaching an overall flavor strength of medium-full at times, you’re treated to earth, leather, toasted notes, spices, creme brulee, chocolate and baking spices. I also enjoyed the vitola format, with a total smoking time of 1 hour and 20 minutes that didn’t require me to commit most of my evening.

Aaron
Seth
John
SubparPre
Light
AveragePre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
SubparSecond ThirdAverageSecond ThirdGood
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnAverageBurnAverage
AmazingDrawGoodDrawAmazing
SubparOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

4.58

Cost/Point

$1.09

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.15

Cost/Point

$0.97

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$0.77

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Esteli Robusto

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4 comments

Join the conversation
  • Shlomo - March 28, 2019 reply

    Is this La Gloria Cubana Esteli offering anywhere close in flavour profile to the La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’Or No. 2? I am looking for a replacement as I am winding down on my last several cabs left now.

    Aaron Loomis - April 5, 2019 reply

    It’s futile comparing the Cuban and non-Cuban versions of these brands.

  • Sami - April 26, 2019 reply

    Hi! Did you guys end up announcing the winners of the giveaway?

    Aaron Loomis - April 26, 2019 reply

    They were contacted directly.

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