La Gloria Cubana Serie R Belicoso

La Gloria Cubana Serie R BelicosoBy now, you’ve probably noticed a recent addition to my sidebar: The Blue Havana II logo. And perhaps, because you’re very observant, you’ve wondered, “what’s up with that?” Well here’s the scoop. Anybody who gives me a cigar to review automatically qualifies as a “friend of the blog”. And earlier this year, Jim Luftman, the owner of the local B&M named Blue Havana II did just that.

Jim has been a good friend since we met at RTDA last year (pictures), and actually deserved some recognition much earlier than this. But beyond that, he runs a great shop and is always thinking about better ways to serve the customer. A quick walk through his humidor will show you what I mean. He’s taken the time to stick color-coded labels on all of his cigar facings to give you a quick idea of the fullness of a given cigar. And when you take a peek in any box, you’ll see the complete line of cigars sitting there, all vitolas in stock, side-by-side for comparison. As if that weren’t enough, it seems like he’s alway got contests, herfs, events and sales happening in shop. There just always a reason to stop by.

OK, back to the cigar. Jim tells me that the Belicoso vitola is a recent addition to the very popular Serie R line. And when I last visited his shop, they had only just arrived. While I haven’t been able to locate much information specifically about the Belicoso, I can tell you a little about the Serie R line. This line of cigars was created with the sole purpose of giving the cigar industry what it’s been looking for. Sales have shown that cigar smokers have been very interested in larger ring gauges and fuller-bodied smokes. One look at the Serie R offerings in your local B&M will show you that they’ve got the ring gauge nailed. But let’s see if they’ve produced a good stick.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 3/4 x 56
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: $9.25

The Pre-Smoke
The Serie R Belicoso is visually a very bold, very striking cigar. It’s size says very clearly that it’s not kidding around. It’s no puny robusto, it’s gonna be around for a while, and it intends to be noticed. The classic band with the thick band of red seems to highlight it’s size.

In my inspection of the wrapper, I found it to be nicely smooth in spite of some visually apparent veins. One cigar had a minor flaw in the wrapper, a vein had poked a small hole and was sticking out just a bit. The other cigar had no noticeable flaws, and both firmly packed with tobacco.

In testing the scent of the wrapper, I found it to have a very pleasant sweet barnyard smell, with a nice molasses flavor in the cold taste.

The Burn
One of my favorite things about this cigar is the burn. Simply stated, it was beautiful. Solid white columns of ash approaching two inches were not uncommon. And the burn line was both thin, and for the most part straight as an arrow. It sounds funny, but I really enjoyed just holding this cigar and admiring it as it was forming it’s first ash.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Belicoso

As I was watching it burn between puffs, I noticed something I occasionally see on some wrappers. Little sparks on the burn line. Almost like little twinkles on a diamond. I suspect it has to do with the chemical composition of the leaf, and may actually be a bad thing, but I enjoyed it.

The Flavor
The cigar opened up with a sweet, brown sugar and coffee flavor that had just a little bit of spice to it. As it progressed through the first third, the coffee became creamier and the sweetness more like caramel. There were pockets of intense flavor that reminded me a bit of the “butter nuts” in butter nut ice cream. (Minus the coldness and vanilla, of course.)

As the cigar progressed into the second third, I tasted what I think would be best described as a sweet tobacco flavor. It may sound like a bit of a cop-out description, but what I’m thinking about here is the sweet aroma you get when you open a desktop humidor that’s been left undisturbed for weeks and weeks. Very much like that.

The flavor in the final third seemed different between the two cigars I smoked. In one, it was more creamy and citrusy with leather elements. In the latter, it had more of a combination of earthiness and pear with sweet leather. The common element in the two appears to have been a great leather flavor with some hit of fruitiness.

The Price
Considering the size and quality of the smoke, in my book the $9.25 price tag is reasonable. It’s probably not a cigar that your budget smoker will light up often, but that will just make him (or her) appreciate it more when they do.

The Verdict
I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar. And I mean thoroughly. Many cigars I enjoy for the flavors, and in spite of cosmetic issues. With this cigar, I enjoyed watching it smolder almost as much as I enjoyed the flavors it presented in each puff. Though larger in ring gauge than cigars I usually smoke, it actually felt good in the hand, and the tapered end prevented discomfort in the jaw. Again, a beautiful smoke. I’d have no trouble recommending the Serie R Belicoso to anyone who’s up for a couple of hours of full-bodied pleasure.

Also, I have to say thanks again to Jim of Blue Havana II for the great smokes. If you live in the Atlanta area, swing by his shop. I’ll bet he still has a few of these in stock! And if you don’t live in Georgia, give him a call or send him an email. He has been known to ship orders to people.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

The Cigar In Action
Here for your viewing pleasure is the cigar in action!

My Other Reviews
If you enjoyed this review, I encourage you to visit my Cigar Review Index to check out some more of my reviews!

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9 Comments

  1. Joe Drinker said,

    February 12, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Man, I always enjoy the cigar in action feature. I love it!

  2. Jim Luftman said,

    February 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Jim

  3. Brian said,

    February 12, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Glad you like it, JD!
    I had some issues with it this time around, but I’m glad I soldiered through to add it to the post.

    No problem Jim,
    And thank you for the fine cigars!

  4. Tiffany C. said,

    February 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Hey Brian, you know I don’t smoke these things, but one of my students does. You might like to know that when I heard he was a cigar buff, I pointed him out to your site. Apparently your reviews are better than those in Cigar Aficionado. ;)

  5. Brian said,

    February 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Tiffany,
    You rule, and all Tiffany-detractors drool! (I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I’m a bit loopy.)

    I’m incredibly flattered! (Hear that CA? LOL) I’ve been surprised how popular these review are. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but I have a regular weekly review over at The Stogie Review also.

  6. February 17, 2008 at 3:01 am

    [...] Random Thoughts: Brian smokes the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Belicoso and gives us an excellent writeup as [...]

  7. February 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    [...] 17, 2008 Brian takes a look at this cigar from La Gloria Cubana. Read the full review at Brian’s Random Thoughts. Posted by stogielover Filed in Cigar Reviews Tagged: Cigar Reviews, Cigars, La Gloria [...]

  8. July 15, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    [...] treated. When I gave Joe Vitale a 50 year old book on writing business letters, a card and a box of La Gloria Cubana Serie R Belicoso cigars, he thanked me and took them without any of that “I couldn’t possibly take those” [...]

  9. July 16, 2009 at 12:08 am

    [...] treated. When I gave Joe Vitale a 50 year old book on writing business letters, a card and a box of La Gloria Cubana Serie R Belicoso cigars, he thanked me and took them without any of that “I couldn’t possibly take those” [...]


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