General Cigar is no stranger to thinking outside the box when creating a new blend. The latest Limited-Edition cigar in the La Gloria Cubana line, the Corojo De Oro, follows up last year’s Criollo De Oro, featuring proprietary Cuban-Seed tobacco. While the tobacco in the latest release, Corojo 97-98 crossed with the rare Cuban seed Pelo de Oro, is of wrapper quality, it was chosen as the binder to add a different dimension to the smoking experience. The wrapper on the Corojo De Oro is Ecuadorian Habano, with the fillers a blend of tobaccos including Brazilian Mata Fina, Dominican Piloto Cubano, and Nicaraguan Ometepe. On paper, this combination of wrapper, binder, and filler, seems delicious.
Under the Lid
Let’s take a look under the lid of this interesting cigar and see what kind of smoking experience it delivers.
First impressions of the cigar are attention-grabbing. The iconic Lady La Gloria image on a sizeable gold and blue band, featuring the brand and cigar name draws you in. The cigars themselves feature a very oily, slightly mottled, reddish-brown wrapper, with a fairly smooth finish and minimal tooth. There are varying sizes of raised veins running throughout the wrapper, while the seams are virtually invisible. The cigar is very firm from foot to cap, with no apparent soft spots.
Steve Abbot, director of marketing for La Gloria Cubana said, “Corojo de Oro was created in the La Gloria Cubana tradition of blending proprietary and time-honored tobaccos. With this special release, our artisans have delivered a cigar with a distinctive taste profile that cannot be replicated in the market.”
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Hybrid Corojo 97-97/Pelo de Oro
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina, Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan Ometepe
Vitola: Toro 6 x 50 $10.49 (Box of 20 $209.80)
Factory: El Credito Cigar Factory in Santiago, D.R.
Release Date: March 1, 2023
Number of Cigars Release: Limited Edition – Undisclosed amount
Number of cigars smoked for this review: 4
Prelight draw has hints of hay, damp cedar, and dry earth, with the bittersweetness of raw sugarcane on the finish. Interestingly, in the samples smoked for this review, one offered what I would consider proper resistance in the pre-light draw, while another was a little tight, and two felt like they would need assistance to perform. Now let’s see how the cigar performs.
First third: Sourdough bread and a heavy bell pepper vegetal note start things out, with slight pepper and mineral notes in the retrohale. On the cigars with the tight pre-light draw, the tightness is still present early on, while the others are performing well. Getting a little farther into the cigar, a creamy cinnamon sweetness appears on the finish, while the sourdough and vegetal notes continue to dominate the profile. Towards the transition into the next part of the cigar, the retrohale develops a spicy note reminiscent of a high-proof rye whiskey, adding a very interesting flavor note to the profile. Smoke output is on the heavy side, and overall, the cigar has a thick “chewy” profile. Burn is performing well with just the slightest wiggle to the burn line. Strength and body are in the medium to full range, keeping the cigar well-mannered early on.
Second third: Getting into the second part of the cigar, the spiciness begins to arrive. The sourdough and vegetal fade quickly into the background, with a thick pepper spice, similar to Chinese black pepper sauce coating the tongue. As this portion of the cigar develops, barnyard, damp earth and rye bread begin to emerge. The retrohale remains relatively unchanged. The cinnamon sweetness detectable early on fades, becoming more akin to slightly bitter raw sugarcane, though the creaminess remains, keeping any potential harshness at bay, and allowing the different notes to appear on the tongue without fighting for dominance. Getting just past midway, a mineral note joins the rye whiskey on the retrohale, adding a new, not necessarily complimenting dimension to the overall profile. Draw became an issue just before halfway on one sample and
it was abandoned. Two of the three remaining still have acceptable draw, while the third, while tight, is still smokeable. The cigar is still medium full in body and strength.
Final third: The cigar does not really develop much farther from mid-way. The pepper spice definitely kicks up in intensity, as does the rye bread and dry earth. The creaminess disappears early on in the final couple of inches of the smoking experience, but then the largest change in the entire experience occurs. What puts the cool factor in the final parts of the cigar is the retrohale. While the rye whiskey and mineral notes are still there, a Hot Tamale candy note appears out of nowhere, adding a very pleasing sweet, cinnamon spice to the retrohale. This keeps the cigar from becoming overly bitter or harsh and makes the finish exciting. The cigar burned great throughout, though the draw varied greatly across the samples. Body and strength finished in the medium-full range.
Core flavors throughout the smoking experience were sourdough and rye bread, bell pepper, black pepper sauce, and rye whiskey.
While there were some interesting notes in the profile of this cigar, it was never overly complex, and when there was a change, it was abrupt and did not necessarily compliment the prior part of the cigar. It basically stopped developing significantly at the halfway point, although I will say the finish with the Hot Tamale candy note was very satisfying at the finish. It was not an unsatisfying cigar, and I am sure there are many that will enjoy it, but draw issues were a large distractor. When smoking a cigar for review, I do not employ the use of any type of draw tool. If the cigar doesn’t draw without assistance, it is rated accordingly. Unfortunately, this fact alone would most likely keep me from smoking the cigar again.
I would try a fiver and see how they perform
– The special leaf was developed in “innovation” fields in Mao, a picturesque valley in the Northwestern part of the Dominican Republic where tobaccos for small batch releases are bred.
-The La Gloria Cubana brand was originally created in Cuba in 1885
-General Cigar acquired the La Gloria Cubana brand in 1999
Cigars smoked for the review: 4 (Was unable to finish one)
Average smoking time: 1:20
Kevin Acuff – Senior Reviewer & Editor
Kevin Acuff was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. Growing up in a rural area, he was able to indulge in some very exciting life experiences at a young age. He acquired his private pilot license before he had a driver’s license, spent several years on the competitive bass fishing tournament trail, and even spent a couple of seasons racing motorcycles. In 2001 he relocated to Las Vegas, spending the better part of the past 20 years working in the sign industry.
It was one of those industry trips, back in 2014 that changed his life for good. His boss handed him a Siglo V and an instantaneous bond was formed. He has spent countless hours since then learning as much about cigars as time would allow. This has resulted in a private collection of cigars that would rival some smaller retailers. Being inquisitive and not afraid to ask questions resulted in being blessed with several opportunities to experience the industry from all angles. Kevin is a regular attendee at the trade shows, has some firsthand experience on the media side, and is a familiar face to many at consumer events throughout the country.
He is married to Barbara, who shares an equal love of the leaf. When they are not in their private lounge enjoying a cigar, they are either in the backyard playing with their fur kids or out exploring the back roads in the Wild West on one of their Harleys.