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La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been introducing a number of new smokes and new sizes from LGC into our “World Famous” humidor. The response from you all has been incredible as always. The cigar I want to talk about today is one that has recently only been available in a huge Presidente-type size called the No. 7 (7.0×56), which is an amazing smoke but can prohibit one from reaching for it if one doesn’t have 2 full hours available. I am very excited to report that we now have another great size of this cigar on the shelf, the No. 5 (5.5×54).

So let’s look at the blend.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

This is a combination that we see quite often, but La Gloria Cubana in general, and this cigar in particular, have a taste and a personality all their own.

The wrapper has a beautiful marble of dark browns, and has that feel of soft cedar. Its got just a touch of sheen, but appears mostly matte and dry, though you can feel that the natural oils are present. The cigar is firm and feels evenly uneven, sort of lumpy and not perfectly cylindrical, but in a charming way. It has the aesthetic of a well-made, hand-made, artisan product.

Pre-light aromas are of a dark orange chocolate and black cherry. I straight-cut the cap, and take a couple dry pulls. The flavors are light and airy, and there is still some chocolate, dry cherry, and also plenty of leather. Time to light.

The first third has a medium body and a full, complex flavor with notes of sweet leather, earth, and dark chocolate. A long, firm ash developed, allowing the cigar to stay cool, and burn evenly. Entering the middle third, things took an interesting turn, with a very sudden flavor transition, as a strong cedar note took over, and the leather and earth took the back seat for the rest of the ride, and a very pleasant ride it was.

You can buy this cigar, and many, many others, on this website. Check out the Brands section to find your favorite brand and see the spread of options within. Or just stop into the shop, introduce yourself, and ask for the LGC Serie R Maduro. If you are down with full-flavored cigars, this is a must-try.

Keep Coming Back.

-DP

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Alec Bradley Project 40 Maduro

  • Strength: 4 /  5
  • Size: 5 x 52
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Price (local): $7.50
  • Wrapper: San Andres
  • Flavor Text:

Project 40 goes dark

Project 40 has probably impacted your life, without you even realizing it. Basically, Project 40 is based on the concept that 50% percent of your happiness comes from genetics, 10% is based on circumstance, and the remaining 40% all depends on your outlook and mindset. The goal being to find how a product can have a positive impact on your mind and body, and improve your happiness and comfort overall. We all know that cigars are a relaxing activity that brings people together and helps create a sense of comfort and mental well-being, so it was only natural that Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley would apply this concept to cigars. What is even more natural is that eventually Alan would expand the line to include a darker Maduro version. 

Enter Project 40 Maduro. For this version, a delicious Mexican San Andrés wrapper encases the same Brazilian Habano binder and Nicaraguan filler blend of the original Project 40 taking the flavor profile up a notch with smooth, peppery notes and a natural sweetness that Maduro cigars are known for. Dressed in a maroon and gold color scheme, this addition distinguishes itself from its predecessor in looks. Sure to be a hit like the 93-rated Project 40, the Maduro extension is going to go fast. Go on, take a walk on the dark side and enhance your 40%, grab a box today. 

I have always pretty heavily endorsed the AB Project 40 to friends and family who were looking for a really nice budget smoke that won’t blow your head off, and once I got a look at the AB Project 40 Maduro, I figured that it could potentially be a candidate for everyday smoke based on it’s cheap price, it’s medium to full body, and the price point it is often sold at. Overall, I’d say this cigar is solid, but not spectacular, and it’s about what you’d expect for only spending anywhere between 6-8 dollars on a cigar.

It’s pretty rare to pay an average of 7 dollars for a Maduro cigar; if that’s what you’re spending, then you’re probably getting a very small smoke, perhaps something like a small Perfecto or Corona, max. This cigar has some sixe to it for the prize, and as usual from AB, it’s got signature branding and construction. The draw was passable, not too tight or too loose, but a little bit more smoke would have been nice. The San Andres wrapper was dark and toothy, and it added a distinguishable peppery bite to this smoke. Already boasting a stronger Nicaraguan blend of tobacco than the usual Project 40, the Maduro version brings together a lot of elements traditionally found in a “strong” cigar to put a fresh, new spin on an old favorite.

The most excellent thing about this cigar is the wrapper. As most Maduro wrappers go, this one has a distinct sweetness to it that most Maduro smokers will identify and love. As for the tobacco, it was pretty non-descript actually. I had to go searching for the flavor of it, and mostly what I found was just pepper. Nothing really else to it, just the pepper you’d expect to taste in a strong cigar. The Maduro wrapper is always redeeming, and for 7 dollars, you really get a good bargain for a cigar like this, but at the end of the day, I didn’t really appreciate the blend much. It’s just a cigar with some punch due to the pepper. That’s really all. Nothing impressive, but not bad. I put it in my ‘Just a Smoke’ category and maybe pick up another when I’m looking to rip through something really fast.

Happy smoking! CB 

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AJ Fernandez Last Call Maduro

  • Strength: 4 /  5
  • Vitola: Geniales 4 x 52
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Price (local): $6.50
  • Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf

It’s Last Call… er, again? 

Much like the film ‘biz, we’re an industry obsessed with sequels. Unlike summer blockbusters, though, cigar manufacturers have a great track record of improving upon their original releases, crafting fitting tributes and mouthwatering line extensions that oftentimes outshine the first blend. Today, we welcome the Last Call Maduro by A.J. Fernandez to CI, and I’ve gotta say, this follow-up might just be the true masterpiece of the duo. 

Originally crafted as A.J.’s personal final cigar of the night, Last Call was released nationally just a few years back, and it went gangbusters. Today, we’re staring down the same blend, just donned in a Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro wrapper that’s silky-smooth in all the right ways. Lighting this one up, you’ll be greeted with a Molotov cocktail of dark chocolate, espresso, black pepper spice, and a thick, molasses-like sweetness in the background. 

I also reviewed one of my favorite Habano cigars of all time, the Last Call by AJ Fernandez. The Last Call comes in these two wrappers, and while the Maduro isn’t quite on the same level for me personally as the Habano, the Maduro has a lot of it’s own unique characteristics that make it an incredible choice for Maduro lovers and those who like a nice, quick smoke break as they please.

The Last Call Habano and the Last Call Maduro are largely the same, and they both feature masterpiece Nicaraguan blends from the Master of Tobacco, AJ Fernandez. Obviously to most, the difference is going to be in the wrapper on these. While a Habano wrapper gives a lot of spiciness and kick with each draw, the Maduro wrapper offers a somewhat natural sweetness, as is common among all Maduro wrappers, with some more distinguished silkiness and smoothness that the Habano just doesn’t possess. 

This cigar gives you exactly what you’d expect from a dark and inviting smoke like this one: lots of dark, dessert flavors with a bit of a kick to them. Cocoa and dark Brazilian coffee come to the forefront of this smoke, with pepper scattered throughout to stimulate your senses and some sweetness on the back end. Some might identify the back-end sweetness as it’s own flavor, but I just attribute that note to the wrapper. It’s got a very nice, milder sweetness to it that you won’t catch unless you look for it, but like most Maduro cigars, it’s a wonderful example of everything a Maduro cigar can offer with the proper blend and the attention it deserves.

Both Last Calls are amazing, quick smokes. They are a must-try for most smokers who smoke above the level of mild. I highly recommend them in any size, and I’d suggest them above all other mini-smokes if you like 20 minute cigars. Go get them.

Happy smoking! CB