It is hard to believe it has been nearly three and a half years since I reviewed the original La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli. A cigar that I really enjoyed at the time, but never really went back to visit. But even so, I have to say that I am pretty excited to light up the new Serie R Esteli Maduro. And my expectations are just as high as my excitement.
At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigar Co. expanded the La Gloria Cubana brand with the addition of the Serie R Esteli and Serie R Black. The former being exclusive to brick and mortars, while the latter can be found through major online retailers. Fast forwarding several years to the 2016 Trade Show, General Cigar added in a maduro version to both the Esteli and Black lines. The Esteli Maduro switched out the Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper for a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, which happens to be one of my favorite wrappers out there. Like the original Serie R Esteli, the Maduro version comes available in three vitolas: No. 54 (6 by 54), No 60 (6 by 60), and No. 64 (6 ¼ by 64).
Vitola: No. 54
Size: 6 by 54
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
The Serie R Esteli Maduro is dressed in a dark brown Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper that has its fair share character. There are several medium-sized veins that are raised off the leaf and a good amount of bumps. However, with the oils on the leaf, the wrapper feels much smoother than it appears.
A pungent aroma of vinegar and earth greet me as I bring the wrapper to my nose. On the foot, the aroma is somewhat rich with a combination of cedar and a natural tobacco sweetness. The double cap is not pretty with its crooked lines, but gets the job done like most caps do. Upon cutting, a cold draw reveals more of that rich cedar, cinnamon-like spice and sweeteness. There is a spice warmth in the mouth, but it is rather mild on the dry draw.
The Serie R Esteli Maduro immediately pumps out medium to full flavors. For the most part, the profile is dark with black coffee and leather being center stage, followed by a yeast flavor and some sweetness. The bitter coffee has an edge on the sweetness. The spice, which began mild, has moved to medium. A white, layered ash is being formed as the cigar burns along with a minor wave.
The yeast flavor has really gained ground, along with the sweetness as I make my way into the second third of the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli Maduro. Even so, the coffee and leather are holding strong. The smoke is heavy and chewy in the mouth as volumes of smoke pour out of the cigar. The coffee sits on the palate for quite sometime after the smoke is released from my mouth.
The profile is rich with the sweetness now playing the most dominant role, not overshadowing, but rounding out the other flavors. The sweetness is tied to a dark fruit flavor now. The spice is very manageable as I pass the smoke through my sinuses.
It has been so long since I smoked the Serie R Esteli original that it is difficult to compare to the new Maduro. But looking back at my review, there were some similarities. The Serie R Esteli Maduro offered a deeper profile, but maintained much of the same richness and sweetness as its counterpart. The flavors hung in the medium/full realm throughout and the strength gradually increased, ending about medium. The cigar behaved well with excellent smoke production and pleasant-looking ash. For a cigar under $7.00, the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli Maduro is a solid cigar. I would recommend a five-pack of them.