I received an e-mail from Famous Smoke Shop last week about the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale tour stop and decided this would be the perfect opportunity to finally visit their new location in Easton, PA. I don’t quite know why I haven’y yet visited the place, it’s a little over an hour and a half from home, although it ended up taking two hours or so to get there. The retail shop and Leaf Restaurant and Cigar Bar appears to be in the front of their huge warehouse and distribution center. It’s a little off the beaten path, as I’m driving through a new, under construction residential area and industrial park, I was really starting to doubt my GPS (which has failed me before). But there it was, in the middle of nowhere, this huge building, with a beautiful restaurant and retail store. The humidor is enormous, with an equally enormous selection of boxes, five-packs and singles. The staff was very friendly and attentive, and I picked up a fiver of La Gloria Serie R Maduros. In the lobby, Michael Giannini was set up with posters that he was autographing, Retro Especiale Club samples, and bundles of Atesano de Tabaqueros, which were free with various levels of purchase. My simple five-pack purchase got me three of the Artesanos de Tabaqueros, of which I chose two of the new Sumatra/Broad-leaf versions.
While I was hanging out talking with Michael, Gary and Seanna (Gary is the General Cigar Event Manager and Seanna is the General Cigar account manager for national accounts), I enjoyed another Retro Especiale Club, which I’ve been smoking quite a few of in the last couple months. If you haven’t tried these yet, find them and try them. Great cigars. After that I just had to try the Artesanos de Tabaqueros with the Sumatra and broad-leaf wrappers. I love broad-leaf, and once the burn line reached that broad-leaf it exploded with flavor. Not that it didn’t start off great, with the Sumatra wrapper portion being very nice, but the broad-leaf is so rich and full flavored that I was sad when it was finished. I’d love to try broad-leaf and Connecticut shade, hint hint. These cigars are only available on the Retro Tour.
It’s always a treat to hang out with Michael, he’s a real mensch, and I’m pleased to know him and call him “Bro”. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit Famous finally. We are fortunate to have quite a few very large retailers in Pennsylvania, due to the lack of a cigar tax.
For my evening “Take a Cigar for a Walk” cigar, I figured I’d keep the La Gloria theme going with a Serie R No. 5 Maduro that I picked up at the shop. I haven’t had one of these in years, and it was actually milder than I recall. The Tabaqueros was much stronger, and I suppose I expected the R to be stronger. Regardless, it was a very nice cigar, although the cold evening was, perhaps, not conducive to fully enjoying this cigar. It burned perfectly. I remember drooling over the stacks of these I saw at the factory.
That’s about all I have for now, until the next time,