La Gloria Cubana, Cuenca 5 Anniversary, Arandoza White and a Velvet Rat Cigar

Friday evening I dove into the Adorini Cedro – Deluxe humidor and came out with a La Gloria Cubana Serie N GSB, which is a nice chunky robusto size at  5½”x 54.  I haven’t smoked one of these in a long time and I really enjoyed them. Unlike the new Serie R Black and Esteli, these are a heavily Nicaraguan blend rolled in the El Credito Portion of the General Cigar factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. This is the nice, dark maduro with the little “N” of lighter colored leaf pasted on the cigar.  I’ll never forget seeing the bench in the factory where they painstakingly apply each one perfectly.  The have a hand punch that makes the “N”s and they are scattered all over the place.  It’s a wonder they can sell these as inexpensively as they do.  I picked this particular one up at my birthday party at CI in August along with a couple of the Serie R Black.   I love the rich, hearty flavor of the Serie N, although this one burned a little funky through the first half until it evened out. It happens. It was a lovely smoke and I seriously need to get more of these.  The humidor is still 90% La Gloria Cubana, and holds humidity like a champ.  I’ve said before that this is a solid box, and out-performs the Griffins humidor I have.  BTW, the Griffins humidor does a nice job too, except I have to lock it to keep the lid fully closed. The Adorini’s lid drops with a soft whoosh and doesn’t need to be locked to stay closed.  That’s the only real complaint I have with the Griffin’s box, it’s truly a great looking humidor. It’s the humidor in which I keep all my Liga Privadas and cigars I blended on my trips to Cigar Safari.


Cuenca_5Anniversary_RobustoSaturday I took a pre-dinner walk with a Cuenca 5 Anniversary Robusto, one I was looking for and couldn’t find the other night.  This is made for the Cuenca Cigars shop in Florida by A.J. Fernandez.  I smoked the original earlier in the year, a large torpedo, and have smoked a couple of this new robusto size and must say that it’s a very nice cigar.  Full, rich flavor and an excellent burn.  They did a very nice job with this cigar. These run $8.00 a piece, which is pricey, and the much ;larger torpedo is only $.50 more per cigar.  This is consistent with how I understand the costs of producing a cigar (there’s not a very great difference between the cost of making a corona and a Churchill), but not very consistent with normal retail pricing.  Price aside, both sizes are good tasting, good performing cigars that I wouldn’t hesitate to smoke or recommend. They have a shop in Florida somewhere, but if the address is listed on the website, I couldn’t find it and gave up looking after a while.


Arandoza_White_RobustoAfter dinner I took another walk and selected an Arandoza White robusto.  This is the second release from Arandoza and is made in Eric Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli.  I’ve been trying to recall if I’ve had a bad cigar from this factory, and I don’t think I have.  This cigar is a Nicaraguan puro with a Dark Habano wrapper. Really a nice looking cigar.  It also burned very nicely, which is a quality I obviously enjoy.  I like seeing a cigar burn evenly, and when you tap the ash it’s perfectly flat.  That, my friends, is one sign of a great blend in my book.  Getting multiple varieties of tobacco with multiple rates of combustion to burn at the same rate is astounding to me.  This was such a cigar.  This has a nice sweet tobacco flavor with some pepper and was quite enjoyable. I have one of re-banded Blue label cigars that I’ve enjoyed in the past. They really fancied up the bands adding a foot band. Nice presentation, nice cigars.


LigaPrivada_Velvet RatAs I’ve been writing this, I’ve been enjoying a cigar from the Griffins humidor which returned with me from my last Cigar Safari trip.  It’s one of those unreleased cigars that I may get one or two more chances to smoke again. It’s the Velvet Rat, a smoothed out, stretched out variation of the Liga Privada Serie Unico Dirty Rat. This one has a band on it that says “pre-release sample blend”, and I’m not sure if this is on the market or not. It’s 6¼” x 46, which is a terrific size for me, and I believe the same size as the “Ratzilla”, which I haven’t had grace my humidors. This is a cigar that I’m glad that I’m enjoying on the deck and not out taking a walk.  It’s smooth and rich, not a real heavy smoke like it’s smaller sibling.  It’s sweet and full of flavor and I’m about ready to publish this post right now and just sit and enjoy the rest of the cigar sitting in the sun on a beautiful fall afternoon.  It’s no secret that the majority of the Liga Privada blends suit my palate pretty well, and this is a tasty treat for sure.


That’s enough from me, until the next time,





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3 Responses to La Gloria Cubana, Cuenca 5 Anniversary, Arandoza White and a Velvet Rat Cigar

  1. TriMarkC

    I also love the La Gloria Cubana N & R series of cigars. Its really too bad DE won’t make more of the Ligas, so that us normal folks can try such apparently awesome cigars like the Velvet Rat – a cigar that’s been on my wish list at several B&Ms since they came out.

  2. jjo

    Thanks for the humidor update, Craig. Definitely have to scrape the pennies (and a whole bunch of them) together. I haven’t had many LGC’s since the ’90s. I’ve had two Serie N’s. One was horribly plugged, and the other was great.

    Took a trip to the Cuenca site, and their address is on their contact page. I’ve heard good things about the Anniversary. They are in Hollywood, FL.

    • Sheesh, I wonder why I couldn’t find the address, I just got new glasses too….La Gloria s have been a staple for me for a long time. I distinctly remember an unusually light wrappered Corona Gorda leaving me sweating on a spinning couch in the late 90s…long before the Serie R or anytying like that. Back when Ernesto was making cigars in Miami still….