La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 5 Maduro Wednesday, Apr 22 2009 

Country:  Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder:  Nicaraguan
Filler:  Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size:  Robusto 5.50″ x 54 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Introduced in 1999, the LGC Serie R is Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s full-bodied offering for fans of  the Dominican La Gloria Cubana cigars.  They are made in the El Credito factory for General Cigar.  The Serie R is available in 5 sizes and each is available with a natural Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper or a Connecticut Broad Leaf Maduro wrapper.  All that is except for the Belicoso which is available in the natural wrapper only.  The sizes are…

  • No. 4 – 4.875″ x 52 ring
  • No. 5 – 5.5″ x 54 ring
  • No. 6 – 5.875″ x 60 ring
  • No.7 – 7.0″ x 58 ring
  • Belicoso – 5.75″ x 56 ring (natural only)

These cigars carry some serious size with not a single one coming in with less than a 52 ring guage.  Today I am smoking the No. 5 maduro.  I guess you could call it a toro, or a double robusto, or a robusto extra, or just a regular ole robusto.  Take your pick.

The wrapper is a very dark, mottled brown.  It’s bumpy, veiny,  leathery, and rustic.  This is a well filled firm cigar with a good draw and a straight burn and it produces plenty of  thick white smoke.  Flavor wise there really is much to talk about.  It has a very generic sweet maduro flavor that never really changes.  It is not a bad cigar but it is a little boring.  This cigar could be a good intro to maduros for a new cigar smoker, but it doesn’t have much to offer more experienced smokers.  It is not a full bodied smoke by my standards either.  When I think full bodied, I think Tatuaje, Cruzado, VSG, or La Flor Dominicana.  This cigar is medium bodied at best.  I had hoped to get more from this cigar.   At the beginning I thought maybe there was some potential in this cigar but it just fell flat as I smoked through it.  I could see reaching for one of these for a day on the golf course or mowing the lawn if I happened to have a few laying around.  When it comes down to it, this cigar is just not my cup of tea…

Rating – C

Who Wants a Box of OpusX? Wednesday, Apr 15 2009 

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I am almost there.  With over $2000 raised so far, and am just a bit more than $700 away from reaching my fundraising goal of $3000.  I need your help in this last week and a half to get that last bit of money to reach my goal.  There is still time for you to donate and give yourself a chance to win a BOX of Opus X Perfection No.5’s, or a BOX of A. Fuente Añejo No.49’s, or a BOX of Hemingway Classic MADUROS all very generously provided by CigarsDirect.com.  Every little bit helps and all it takes is a $10 donation to get your name in the Hat for the cigars.  Read all about it in my previous post about The Ride For Kids.  It is a worthy charity that does amazing work.  In that post I talk about the charity and what you need to do to get entered for the cigar drawing.

Click Here For Details

If you are in the Raleigh area and ride a motorcycle, I’d like to invite you to come on out and participate in the ride.  It is a lot of fun.  It takes place May 3rd.  We meet at the White Oak recreation area at Jordon Lake on highway64.  Go to the official Ride for Kids page to get all the info.

Thank you all for your fantastic and generous support of my efforts to help these children.

-Matt

Avo’s 83rd Birthday – Compañero Dinner Monday, Apr 6 2009 

My local cigar shop, Empire Cigars, hosted a dinner on Avo Uvezian’s 83rd Birthday tour.  The event was held in downtown Raleigh at Sullivan’s Steak house.  It was an amazing event and a real bargain to attend.  Everyone got dinner, wine, dessert, and 4 free cigars.  The food was amazing.  If you click the picture of my signed menu below you can see what we had.  I went with the Filet which I believe the majority of the men in attendance chose as well.  What’s better than a good steak with cigars?

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Of course it was Mr U’s birthday celebration so of course there was Birthday cake. (more…)

CAO America Potomac Thursday, Apr 2 2009 

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and Connecticut Shade
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Italian, and American (100% Ligero)
Size: Robusto 5.0" x 56 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The CAO America was introduced at the 2007 RTDA trade show in Huston, Texas.  Its arrival was preceded by a lot of hype and buzz brought about by two unique features of the cigar.  Number one, the wrapper caused a good deal of buzz.  The CAO America sports two wrappers, both American grown.  It has a Connecticut grown broadleaf maduro wrapper and a Connecticut shade grown wrapper.  They are applied to the cigar in a manner that creates a unique pin striping effect.  Another feature of the cigar that generated a good deal of chatter was the four country blend of 100% Ligero filler.  This was reported to be one of the strongest most full-bodied cigars in the CAO portfolio.  Available in six sizes, every one of them boasting a girthy ring gauge of 50 or above:

  • Anthem (8.5″ x 50)
  • Bottle Rocket (7.0″ x 50)
  • Constitution (6.0″ x 50)
  • Landmark (6.0″ x 60)
  • Monument (6.2″ x 54)
  • Potomac (5.0″ x 56)

It takes a lot of tobacco to fill a cigar with a 50 ring gauge, and even more for a cigar with a 56 ring.  When the filler is supposed to be 100% ligero, it is only natural that you expect that cigar to be powerful beast of a smoke.  However, the reputation of the CAO America has preceded its arrival in my humidor and I am well aware of the many reports that this cigar falls well short of the hype and apparently it is not nearly as full bodied as CAO would have us all believe.  That said, I like to judge these things for myself so I am trying to approach this smoke with an open mind…

As a loudly proclaimed lover of Lonsdales and Coronas it will come as no surprise that I am bothered by the awkwardness of the large ring gauge of the Potomac.  I feel like I have a big jawbreaker candy in my mouth when smoking it.  The flavors start off smooth.  Strong notes of Leather and damp earth dominate the beginning of the smoke.  It starts off medium in body and mild in strength with no real threat of being any fuller.  The flavors are decent though muddled at times and they never really change.  Lots of leather and earth and some occasional creamy notes.  The burn was impressive.  With the two different wrappers I expected it to run a little uneven at the least but it stayed very straight burning perfectly the whole time.  The ash was white and perfectly formed.  It holds on tight and needs to be tapped off.    Overall I’d say the CAO America is a good smoke, but not a great one.  The ring gauge is a problem for me.  I really dislike the girth of it.  It was very uncomfortable to smoke.  I’d probably have less of a problem with one of the 50 ring vitolas.  It is a bit one dimensional, but the flavors are enjoyable.  The construction is impeccable.  This is supposed to be CAO’s most robust offering but I found the CAO Anniversary Maduro to be more full bodied than this cigar.  The America really is a Medium bodied smoke never really approaching anything I’d considered full bodied.  from that standpoint it is a bit of a disappointment, but putting that aside it is a nice cigar.

Rating – B

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