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La Gloria Cubana’s latest offering, the Serie R Black, is the brand’s first Nicaraguan cigar. Featuring a Jalapa Valley Nicaraguan Topado ligero wrapper around a blend of Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-fillers, the Serie R Black continues the Serie R tradition of fat ring sizes with a smoke that the company has described as “a full bodied and full flavored cigar for serious cigar smokers.” For this afternoon’s review I pulled out the No. 58 vitola (6 ¾ x58.)
This was a great-looking stick, with a toothy, veiny, and oily wrapper with a deep and rich brown hue. It had a dense and solid feel to it, and construction appeared to be exemplary. Pre-light draws revealed a vague taste of peppery spice and a slight sweetness.
The smoke started out with a polite taste of creamy cedar and a malty sweet finish. The burn was off to a fairly even start, and the draw was more than generous. After I had burned through the first inch the smoke became much thicker and the flavors more pronounced, with notes of white pepper and baking spice shining through the cigar’s woody and earthy base.
The taste of the cigar remained very consistent in the 2nd third, with a thick malty sweetness lingering on my palate after each creamy puff. This stick was turning out to be far smoother than I had expected – as in, even the spice was smooth, if you can imagine that. The profile eventually broadened considerably during this portion to include subtle flavors of nuts, coffee, and bread through a cool and effortless draw.
Going into the final third the flavors suddenly kicked into high gear with vivid chocolate and nutmeg overtones joining the fold. This last part was the tastiest section of the smoke, in my humble opinion. This continued through the rest of the cigar, and the Serie R Black remained smooth-smoking and straight-burning until the end.
While the La Gloria Serie R Black was certainly full-bodied (I was spinnin’ a little bit towards the end), and full-flavored, at no point did it become harsh, bitter, or overwhelming. It was, in fact, quite the opposite. Somehow La Gloria has managed to create a super-well-balanced stogie from hearty Nicaraguan tobaccos, which is no easy feat. Several times during the course of the smoke I found myself marveling at the absolute smoothness of the cigar. These are quite new at this point, and I’m guessing that they will benefit greatly from some rest. I give the Serie R Black a solid grade of B+. If big, bold, and smooth is your bag, these are for you.