When you think of Edición Regionals, you probably do not think of La Gloria Cubana. Yet, the Cuban brand has produced seven Edición Regional releases, including the sought after La Gloria Cubana Deliciosos, the first regional for Cuba, which came in jars instead of boxes.
If you are thinking about Edición Regionals, you probably also aren’t thinking about the Caribbean region. This is the second release to bear the Exclusivo Caribe secondary band following the Juan López Short Torpedo in 2008. As for the La Gloria Cubana Paraiso, it was part of the 2014 Edición Regional program, but wasn’t released until 2015. It’s an Edmundo size, 5 1/3 (135mm) x 52, limited to 4,000 boxes of 25 cigars.
For those not familiar with the program, we’ve summed it up like this:
In 2005, Habanos S.A. introduced a new series of limited production releases that would eventually become to be known as Edición Regional (Regional Edition). The program took regular Habanos S.A. brands and gave their regional distributors special sizes that aren’t part of respective brands regular production line-up. In some cases, like the Bolivar Gold Medals, Habanos S.A. gave specific distributors sizes that had been discontinued, but most are sizes that have never been available prior. There’s one major exception to the rule and that would be perhaps the most famous ER, the Edmundo Dantés El Conde 109, which is an ER available for Mexico that is related to the Montecristo brand, but is largely its own brand.
The first Edición Regionals didn’t feature the red and silver secondary bands that read “Exclusivo (Region Name)” that have become synonymous with the ER releases.
As for those seven La Gloria Cubana Edición Regionals, they are:
- La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos (6 1/8 x 50) — 2008 — Edición Regional Reino Unido
- La Gloria Cubana Deliciosos (5 x 48) — 2009 — Edición Regional Cuba
- La Gloria Cubana Triunfos (6 1/4 x 50) — 2010 — Edición Regional Suiza
- La Gloria Cubana Belux No. 1 (5 1/2 x 52) — 2011 — Edición Regional Belux
- La Gloria Cubana Paraiso (5 1/4 x 52) — 2014 — Edición Regional Caribe
- La Gloria Cubana Glorias (7 1/16 x 54) — 2015 — Edición Regional Alemaina
- La Gloria Cubana Revolution (5 1/8 x 55) — 2015 — Edición Regional Asia Pacifico
- Cigar Reviewed: La Gloria Cubana Paraiso Edición Regional Caribe (2014)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 5 1/3 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Edmundo
- Est. Price: $16.60 (Boxes of 25, $415)
- Release Date: 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 4,000 Boxes of 25 Cigars (100,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
While it’s not present on the three samples I reviewed, one of the Paraisos has a water spot right above the foot. Other than that, it’s a decent-looking Cuban with a wrapper color right in the middle of what I’ve come to expect from the non-maduro and aged offerings from the country, finished off with well-applied triple cap. Aroma off the wrapper is medium with some sweet chocolate milk, floralness and a bit of a blanched potato note. The foot is predictably much stronger and sweeter with a medium-full bubble gum-rich twang, oak and some Hershey’s milk chocolate. The cold draw is quite similar with the dry bubble gum flavors dominating oak and a bit of a jelly bean flavor. While the sweetness is somewhat oddly muted, there’s nothing to contrast the flavors. Two cigars have a cold draw that is a bit open while one is rather tight.
Unfortunately, none of the three draws change upon the first puff. Flavor-wise, the La Gloria Cubana greets me with a big, sweet, twangy earthiness, some sea salt, and touches of paprika and nutmeg. Interestingly, the twang reemerges shortly, a bit more of a dry bubble gum flavor than a floral note, and is now joined by woods, some mineral water minerals, burnt popcorn, a touch of buttermilk creaminess and on one sample, an unfortunate cilantro-like bitterness. Construction is noted by the draws: open on two cigars, tight on the third. Flavor is medium-full and building, body is medium and strength is right behind it.
The second third increases the intensity and amount of woodiness in the profile of the La Gloria Cubana Paraiso. Underneath that is some earthiness and mild grapefruit along with touches of pepper and a bit of saltiness and sourness. Body picks up a bit, getting close to medium-full, but the strength remains very much in the same place. Unfortunately, all three draws remain in the same place. The sample with the tight draw is forcing me to use my lighter to keep things going smoothly, though that’s not an issue with the two cigars with open draws.
A burnt caramel flavor adds itself to the final third of the La Gloria. It’s joined a half inch in by some burnt butter, though there’s oddly no generic toastiness. Occasional puffs show a citrus that seemingly wants to make itself known, but that never happens. Instead, it’s woody and fruit-free for the main flavor points, though a cranberry juice emerges on the finish. For better and worse, construction is very much the same: two open draws and a single tight cigar.
- The box code for the cigars smoked is ELG DIC 14.
- There are a few different places in the Caribbean known as Paraiso, the most famous is Paraíso, Panama which is located in the old Canal Zone and just north of the Pedro Miguel locks.
- Paraíso is also a department, or state, in Honduras. It is in the southwester part of Honduras and includes Danlí and the Jamastran Valley, two important areas for Honduran cigar production. The Plasencia family operates a factory known as El Paraiso.
- Caribbean Cigars Corporation N.V is the distributor for: Panama, British Virgin Islands, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts and Nevis, Surinam, Guadaloupe, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica, St. Marteen, St. Martin, Maria Galarte, St. Vicent and the Granadines, Bonaire, Haiti, St. Eustatius, Antigua and Barbudas, Dominica, Barbados, Curacao, Guyane Francaise, Anguilla, Montserrat, Martinique, Grenada, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Grand Caiman, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala.
- I have no clue what these cigars are supposed to sell for. I paid a bit more than $15 per cigar on the secondary market, but given the long list of countries these could be sold in, I imagine prices might vary wildly.
- The draws were slightly open on two samples. It was not egregious and I’m sure that many, if not a slight majority, might actually appreciate it. There was enough resistance where I could control the smoke, but right on the edge. As for the tight draw, it was not going to please anyone, though it wasn’t plugged. There was a noticeable hard spot on that cigar right near the band.
- In true Habanos S.A. fashion, the other sample was very tight and didn’t deliver as well in the flavor department either.
- I will say, I think Cuba’s consistency and rolling quality has been much better over the last few years. That being said, none of the three samples I smoked would have passed some of the more stringent quality control. We don’t score consistency, something that would have hurt the Paraiso.
- The first Cuban cigar I smoked was a La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’Or No.3. It was magnificent, a plethora of twang and floral flavors. Certainly an example of a flavor profile that is uniquely Cuban. I’ve smoked quite a few Medaille d’Ors over the year and they remain one of my favorite Cubans, though they are getting more challenging to find thanks to Habanos S.A.’s discontinuations of thinner sizes.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was a pretty quick one hours and 30 minutes, though as always—I smoke very slow.
The final sample, the one with the tight draw, threw me for a loop. While not exceptional, the first two La Gloria Cubana Paraisos were very good cigars. Detailed, rich and relatively easy to smoke. The final one required substantially more attention on my part for lesser results. La Gloria Cubana’s offerings have been subject to Habanos S.A.’s portfolio deletions over the years—and I don’t think it’s for the better. The two good samples neither remind me of--nor hold a candle to--the vast majority of the Medaille d’Ors I’ve smoked over the years.