Posted by Jack | in La Gloria Cubana | on 03 Jun 2013 | at 7:08 PM | 3347 views
For Christmas in 2011, my family bought me a box of something truly unique.  I had seen them in a Cigars International catalog and had been drooling over them for a while.  Needless to say, I was thrilled with the gift. Low and behold, I also found out after receiving them, that this little lancero made number 18 on the top 25 cigars of 2011.  It's now a year and a half later and I am down to three remaining.  Do they live up to the hype?  Let's see....
Construction: I need to start off by describing the packaging for these little gems.  Rather than being packed in a standard wood or cardboard box, three cigars are lashed together with a yellow ribbon and placed in a small cedar coffin with a plexiglass lid that slides off.  A " box" consists of eight of these coffins stacked in two rows and presented on an angle within a wood case.
As you open one of the coffins you will find that the Rabito de Cochino is very rustic looking.  The wrapper is oily dark brown mottled with some dark streaks here and there.  The pigtail cap is really nice touch - which is good since that is where the cigar gets its name - and the closed foot is a terrific touch.  I like rustic looking cigars so this is not a drawback for me.
I should add that as the subject of this review is the first from the last trio I have, there were occasional construction issues with others in different coffins.  I think the wooden coffins with plexiglass lids are a bit gimmicky - not to mention the lack of a proper box to contain all of the coffins and keep them from being exposed to the elements.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: There is a nice molasses and tobacco sweetness to the unlit cigar.  Like several in the box, the draw appears a bit tight but that can be very misleading.  Because of the closed foot the draw seems very tight until the burn opens past the wrapper sheath.
Light and Burn: Lighting really is a snap thanks to the small ring gauge.  The burn starts off nice and crisp with a nice white ash that is quite clingy.  I had a couple of OCD moments where I made a touch up but nothing worth worrying about, really.
Tasting: Off the bat the Rabito offers a splendid amount of black pepper and coffee.  The first third starts off with a pleasant old world taste that is creamy and extremely rich.  I would liken it to nutmeg and sweet cream with leather in the background.  There is something very rustic about how this little lancero tastes and I love it.  Along the way a nice woody oak and cedar core develops as well.  The second third kicks up the strength a bit but not an overt amount.  The oak woodiness takes over here with added roasted nuts and a hint of cocoa.  Yet that creamy sweetness from the first third is not present.  Instead there is a touch of white pepper in its place.  Into the last third I notice a huge change in the aroma of the smoke.  It turns sweet and floral.  Flavors increase in power as does the body.  Notes of baking spices and cream reemerge with some sweet coffee.  As I smoke this little beauty down to the nub, I find myself saddened that I only have two more before they are gone.
Value: A box...if you can call it that... of 24 of these will run you around $70 online with one three-cigar coffin for about $10.  I would say that counts as an extreme value.  I mean, where else can you get a box of lanceros for less than a hundred bucks?
Final Thoughts:    La Gloria Cubana is my favorite big name brand. I have sampled all of their wares...but this little lancero tops them all.  It's boutique complex and expertly balanced.  During the past 18 months, I have learned to love the smaller ring gauge cigars and the lancero is coming close to my favorite size.  I would love to see this cigar line expanded into a corona gorda or even a robusto.  Extremely highly recommended.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan ligero, Dominican Republic
Size: 6.5 x 46
The previously mentioned coffin
The ever classic La Gloria band
The pigtail cap wherein this beauty gets its name
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