May 12, 2010

Mid-week review, 5/13/10

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Tabaqueros 650 (6x50)

Benji Menendez, cigar legend whom I met a few years back, personally selected an elite group of only 18 master cigar rollers to make this cigar. The cigar comes in two different wrappers and two distinct tastes. The first 1/3 is the Connecticut shade "appetizer" portion which is seen up to the band placement. After your taste buds are warmed up the cigar moves to the Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper for a more bolder flavor.  Here is a shot of the cigar with the band removed:

Below is the official press release:


Richmond, VA—General Cigar is pleased to introduce Artesanos de Tabaqueros®, the second edition in the critically-acclaimed Artesanos series from La Gloria Cubana®.

Created to showcase the artistry of La Gloria Cubana “tabaqueros” (artisan cigar makers), Artesanos de Tabaqueros cigars are a stunning embodiment of the time-honored craft of cigar making. So exacting is the skill required to handcraft cigars of this complexity that Benji Menendez personally selected an elite group of just 18 master cigar makers, representing the cream of the crop from El Credito Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic.

According to Debo Mukherjee, vice president of marketing for General Cigar, parent company of Artesanos de Tabaqueros, “This exciting collection represents the brain trust that is Team La Gloria Cubana. They pooled their collective talents to showcase the best that General Cigar has to offer: aged and proprietary tobacco, passionate and talented cigar makers and an unwavering commitment to innovation. It is with pleasure that I commend Benji Menendez, Michael Giannini, Yuri Guillen and Rick Rodriguez on yet another exciting addition to our portfolio of brands.”

Meticulously crafted to combine two different wrappers and two distinct tastes in one eye-catching cigar, Artesanos de Tabaqueros is a world-class smoke that opens to a rich and intriguing spice and ultimately reveals a depth of flavor that can only be achieved through a precise balance of unique and rare tobaccos. Hand selected from General Cigar’s extensive library of Dominican and Honduran tobaccos, the cigars are dressed in both a supple Connecticut Shade and hearty Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper. The blend is made solely of proprietary tobaccos, each aged five years or more.

Presented with two different wood treatments to promote the unique tastes promised in each cigar, Artesanos de Tabaqueros cigars are protected in boxes of 25. The collection will debut in early April with three frontmarks, each named to according to its dimensions: 650 (6” x 50, SRP per cigar is $8.00), 652 Belicoso (6” x 52, SRP per cigar is $9.50) and 750 (7” x 50, SRP per cigar is $9.00).

“To truly experience this gem of a cigar is to smoke it and taste the masterful artisanship that comes to life when one wrapper ends and the other begins in balance and harmony,” noted Michael Giannini, director of marketing for La Gloria Cubana.

The two different wrappers close-up:

Even the band is slightly different:


The draw was a little firm but not too bad. The cigar started out with a mix of light citrus spice with notes of sweetness, light almonds and pepper. There were hints of cinnamon. Quite interesting. The pepper is nice when blown through the nose. The finish at this point is fairly long with almond notes and lingering pepper. Mild bodied. At the transition the cigar changed to heavy cinnamon spice with pepper. The finish is long with sweet vanilla notes and hints of light almonds. The spice is medium to full bodied at this point. There was a noticeable change in the cigar. In the last 1/3 the spice developed citrus notes in the cinnamon spice. Still medium bodied. At the end the cinnamon spice was intense with heavy sweet vanilla notes. Fairly full bodied at this point. I found this to be an interesting, very tasty cigar. The two wrappers really gave the cigar an unusual, pleasing appeal.

Score: 91

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