W: Nicaraguan Jalapa
B: Honduras (Jamastran Valley)
F: Honduras (Jamastran Valley & La Entrada)
Origin: STG Estelí
While the vast majority of La Gloria cigars are made in the Dominican Republic (where they enjoy their own “small batch” production room, separate from the rest of General’s offerings), the Esteli is the first La Gloria Cubana cigar to be made in Nicaragua – specifically at STG Esteli, home of the CAO cigar line-up. Having enjoyed most LGC releases over the past few years, I was pretty psyched to crack into this one.
Cold draws gave me an ensemble of wood, spice, & sweetness, but nothing too distinct.
After a hit with the torch, however, I was treated to a really nice, zesty hickory/applewood flavor backed by a subtle fruity sweetness. There was a solid baking spice note looming in the background, and after about an inch some toasty bread and a smoky, dark wood note à la oak materialized. Not a bad first third.
The nutmeg/cinnamon baking spice became more prevalent as the profile shifted to tones of pleasant anise and molasses in the second third. The combustion of the cigar, with its scorched black, wobbly burn line was not the prettiest, but didn’t hinder the smoke at all. A crumbly gray ash was hanging on tough, and eventually the flavors became spiked by a bold, rich and spicy tobacco note.
The LGC Esteli went out smooth in the final portion, as the spice died down and some thick cream along with a reprise of the fruity sweetness from the intro rose to the surface of its profile. With just under an inch left I put the nub down reluctantly, wishing I still had a few more inches to go.
As predicted, the La Gloria Cubana Esteli did not disappoint. The depth and versatility of flavors here are incredible, placing it firmly in the “how the hell did they do that?” category for me. Lots of excellent, recognizable tasting notes, plenty of interesting transition, and all within 4 1/2 inches?? I guess I really shouldn’t question it, but rather just appreciate the tasty tobacco wizardry at hand. This stick also burned remarkably slow for such a short cigar, prolonging my enjoyment in watching its entertaining character unfold.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check how much a box of these is going to cost me with my employee discount. Truth be told, it probably won’t cost me much less than it will you, because we’ve got them marked down as low as we’re legally allowed right here.