La Gloria Cubana Offers a Robust Smoke

From its unconventional split-lid box with side hinge to its dual-toned wrapper—in addition to having its band on the opposite end from where one would expect it to be—the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros is not a smoke for the introverted. This latest offering from La Gloria Cubana also has a tongue twister of a name for those unfamiliar with Spanish: Artesanos de tabaqueros loosely translates into “cigar roller artists.”

Its most dramatic feature is the wrapper, or rather, wrappers, for Artesanos de Tabaqueros showcases two extraordinarily flavorful outer leaves: a silky Connecticut shade on the lower one-third of the cigar and a rich Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper encasing the upper two-thirds. The filler has been aged five years and is a “secret” recipe, but an examination of a dissected cigar tells us this is a Dominican and Honduran blend. However, it is the dynamic duo of wrappers that give this cigar its character. The first 15 minutes smoking the Connecticut shade brings forth honeyed spice, but then, when the ash reaches the Sumatra leaf, an espresso-like jolt kicks in and gradually eases into rich coffee. It’s like smoking two cigars in one. There are three sizes, each named according to their dimensions: 650 (6 x 50) at $8 each; a 750 (7 x 50) at $9; and our favorite, the 652 Belicoso (6 x 52) at $9.50. (www.cigarworld.com)

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