Friday, March 4, 2016

Cigar Review: La Gloria Cubana Paraiso Edición Regional Caribe (2014)


When looking at the portfolio of Habanos S.A., there a good number of brands in production. Some of these brands have a lot of offerings, look at Montecristo and Cohiba for example, but a good number of the brands are very limited in terms of what there is to smoke. One of those brands is La Gloria Cubana. For a period of time, the brand  had a large selection of offerings, but as the years went on an easy majority of them were discontinued. Today the brand is limited to two regular production items, but jut when you think the brand is going to collapse, you see the number of regionals and LCDH exclusives given to the brand increase. One of these regionals is the Paraiso for the Caribbean that was released in 2014. I am very limited in terms of my experience with the brand, so I am looking forward to lighting this smoke up.




Habanos: La Gloria Cubana Paraiso Edición Regional Caribe
Factory: H. Upmann
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Length: 135 mm
Ring Gauge: 52
Vitola: Robusto
Production: 4,000 boxes of 25 Habanos (100,000 Habanos)


The Habano comes with a faded brown wrapper and it falls right on that Natural coloring in my opinion. There is a faint hint of Colorado in places, but the same goes for Claro. There is a lovely triple placed on top and the wrapper sports some medium to large veins throughout. It has nice firmness throughout and it is rough in texture in some locations. The foot has an aroma of a damp barnyard, dark chocolate and black pepper, while the wrapper has an aroma of hay and grass.


The first third opens up with a lot of black pepper and there is a great spicy flavor profile. I am picking up some leather qualities with that, and it has an earthy and toasted nut profile also. There is a faint creamy espresso flavor on the finish and it is an awesome first third. I would classify the Habano as being medium-full in flavors and body and the strength is closer to full overall. The construction is perfect and I am getting a great draw with a beautiful burn line. The ash is firm on the end as well and it has a nice charcoal color.


I am in the second third now and this Habano is remaining great. The flavor profile is fairly similar to that of the first third, but it is so good I wouldn't want it any other way. There is that spice profile that is showing those black pepper flavors, and it is paired with that nuttiness, toast, and leather qualities. There is that faint creaminess on the finish that is paired with some toasty coconut flavors and it adds a nice bit to the finish. It is smoking at that medium-full profile for body and flavors, and the strength has come down there as well. The construction remains top notch and it has a perfect burn line with that cool draw that is producing a nice bit of smoke.


When I get into the final third of the Habano, I find that the spiciness intensifies and the black pepper flavors are stronger than they were in the second third. In some ways, it is smoking in a manner that is similar to the first third, but there are really no creamy aspects present now. It is much more natural, showing that barnyard, wood and leather flavor profile. The complexity is turned up with the nutty and toasty qualities, and it makes for a great finish. The Habano smokes great to the end and it is showing a nice burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool to the nub and it makes me want another one right away.


I really enjoyed the Paraiso and the fact that it was a La Gloria Cubana offering makes it even better. It is a brand that I have very little experience with, and I can count on two hands the number of times I have smoked a La Gloria Cubana. The flavors are spectacular with the Paraiso, tons of leather, spices and pepper notes, and with the construction present it is hard to find many faults with this Habano. It is still young, these did not make it to the market until last year, so the aging potential on these is phenomenal. I can see them smoking great in 2018, and I believe they could smoke at this level past 2020. This is a great example of how awesome Local Brands are, how great regional releases can be, and how great a young Habanos can be. I am giving the Paraiso a rating of 90-92 right now, and I would say this could smoke at a 94-96 level with some additional aging.  

Young Rating: 90-92
With Age Rating: 94-96