La Gloria Cubana Rabito de Cochino – Guest Review
Here at Casas Fumando we are always open to guest reviews, and this most recent guest review has come to use from Jeff Oda in Seattle. Jeff has been a long time reader and probably the most active reader/commenter on our site for some time. Over the last few years Jeremy and I have had contact contact with the guy, traded sticks, and even pulled off a few beer trades. Recently he popped up in a guest review of the cigar that I created when I was in Nicaragua at the Drew Estate Cigar Safari last year and then again with an excellent review of Nomad’s Vagabond and also EO Brands 601 Green Label. Please show him some love! – Tony
It’s been a kooky, unusual summer here in Seattle, with temps climbing into the 90’s,long dry periods, and then thunderstorms. Quite a change from the last couple of years, where it seemed to never get above the mid-70’s other than for a week or two.
Anyway, up for review today is the Rabito de Cochino by La Gloria Cubana. This Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapped stick comes in a single size, a 6-1/2×46 lonsdale/corona gorda sort of hybrid, and comes in coffins of three, or a slanted display pack of eight coffins (24 cigars). These cigars, which are named after their pigtail caps, are produced at the El Credito Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic. You can find more information about it here. And for a review for another line of La Gloria Cubana’s, you can mosey over to find Jeremy’s positive take on the Serie R Esteli.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
MSRP: $15 for a coffin of three
Smoking time: 1 hour, twenty-five minutes
Pairing: Big ol’ gin and tonic
The La Gloria Cubana Rabito de Cochino comes in a cool presentation – three cigars tied together with a yellow/gold ribbon and placed in a cedar coffin with a clear acrylic sliding cover and cushioned with a piece of foam for good measure. The display pack is equally impressive, albeit a bit unwieldy for shipping and storage (you can see it on the LGC page at the link above). The cigar itself boasts a medium brown wrapper with darker mottling and sports a very fine tooth which can barely be seen or felt. It has a nicely coiled pigtailed cap and an unfinished foot, with the wrapper extending well beyond the cut of the foot and folded over. The wrapper smells of tobacco and light spice and pepper, along with a bit of mossy earth. Not surprisingly, the foot, being all wrapper, smells the same, perhaps a bit stronger, since there is more wrapper there. The cap cuts very easily, producing a decent draw despite the closed foot.
A quick and easy light produces a good draw and mouthful of smoke. The first puffs are of wood, earth, pepper, and spice. The retrohale is a smooth and earthy pepper. A little further down, the spice turns somewhat floral with a lightly syrupy sweetness. The burn, which had started out wavy, has become sharper and has evened itself out. Having smoked more than a few of these before, I tap the ash off at about an inch. This is not a stick you want to enter into a long ash contest with and you will want to keep an eye on it for signs of weakness. Subsequent ashings were at a length between ¾” to 1”. After a while, a slight bit of char adds itself to the mix of earth, spice, and a bit of leather, while the pepper remains in varying degrees. At this point, the Rabito is at a solid medium body.
As the Rabito de Cochino enters its second third, some lightly toasted bread notes have entered the fray. The pepper bite has backed off, but is still present in flavor, and a creamy texture has now come into play. The earthiness has dialed back, while cedar has stepped up. The slight bit of char remains along with the sweet floral notes in the background. The burn line wanders, but always returns like a dog that wants to explore, but doesn’t want to get too far from its beloved owner.
Were into the final third, and the LGC Rabito de Cochino continues on its merry way, rarely bringing in any new flavors, but varying the way in which the ones it does have are presented, while ramping the body up a bit into the medium-plus range. I feel little, if any, nicotine (although I am starting to feel the two G&T’s and lack of sleep) and no harshness although the creaminess has left the building, and I finally put it down with an inch left after 1 hour and twenty-five minutes. It’s a slow burner that allows you to smoke it at a leisurely pace, which is essential for most narrow ring gauge cigars.
Obviously, I like this stick a lot. It has enough of a variety of different flavors to make for a pretty complex and balanced presentation, even if it doesn’t show a lot in the way of transitions. The ash may fall a little quickly, but other than that, construction is spot on, and I never have to think about reaching for my lighter for corrections or relights. In fact, I have probably smoked a couple dozen of these in the past ten months. Factor in the $5 price tag, and it’s a no-brainer for me, and you can easily find them for even less than that – some places have the coffins for as low as $10. In fact, my last purchase was from cigar.com: the display pack of eight coffins of three for $72.62, plus a free bonus of a sampler of five LGC cigars, a travel Herf-a-Dor, and a cutter.
I do have three people to thank for introducing me to the LGC Rabito de Cochino. I first read about them at Craig Vanderslice’s great blog, http://www.cigarcraig.com. If you’re not familiar with Cigar Craig, check it out. Written in a relaxed, conversational style, it’s always a great quick read, and Craig is really a great guy. After reading about the Rabito there, I was compelled to ask Tony if he had tried it, and what he thought of it, and he responded by sending me a couple. After smoking them, I knew I had to get more. It wasn’t until later that I found out that Casas Fumando’s very own Jeremy Hensley is the culprit who turned Tony onto them. So gracias, guys!
With the temperature getting into the mid-90’s today, I decided to go with a somewhat unconventional pairing, a good old gin and tonic. It’s way more refreshing than beer, in my mind, when the temperatures soar. The drink doesn’t interfere with the flavors of the cigar, and I think the lime and tonic water even added a bit of tang to the smoke, giving even one more dimension. Another perfect pairing would be an IPA that doesn’t boast the strong piney, grapefruit bitterness that some do. Yesterday, I had the Workhorse IPA from Portland, OR brewer Laurelwood Brewing Co. that was as great a match as you could want.