Late last month, we reported on a new release from Ortega Cigars named The Glynn Loope Project. Produced exclusively for Virginia-based retailer Tobaccology, the new release pays tribute to the executive director of the Cigars Rights of America (CRA), Glynn Loope, who has headed the organization since 2009. 

“A few months back Brett (Fry), the owner of Tobaccology in (Manassas) VA asked me if I would be interested in working on the project with him, I told him I was,” said Eddie Ortega of Ortega Premium Cigars. 

Limited to just 2,000 total cigars, The Glynn Loope Project is a Nicaraguan puro produced at My Father Cigars S.A. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua and incorporates a Nicaraguan oscuro wrapper, dual binders from Jalapa and Estelí and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. Pricing is set at $7 per cigar, and $10 from the sale of every box will be donated to the CRA.

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project Box 1

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project Box 2

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project Box 3

The writing on the underside of the box lid says this:

Take A Stand: The Cigar Rights of America (CRA) is a grassroots movement and we need you to add your voice to ours. There is strength in numbers and TOGETHER we can change the course of policy, perception and elections! Ten Dollars ($10) from every box purchased of the Glynn Loope Project will be donated to the CRA! We appreciate all yoursupport and strive to continue serving the premium tobacco industry!

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Ortega Cigars The Glynn Loope Project
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Oscuro
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Vitola: Robusto Gordo
  • MSRP: $7.00 (Boxes of 20, $140.00)
  • Date Released: June 19, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 20 (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Covered in a dark espresso brown wrapper that is quite rough to the touch, The Glynn Loope Project is stocky when held in your hand and features a few major veins up and down its length. A trace amount of oil is present and the cigar is fairly dense when squeezed, allowing just a little give. Aroma from the wrapper brings notes of dark cocoa, espresso, barnyard,  and cedar along with a touch of black pepper.

Although The Glynn Loope Project takes a while to get lit, once it does there are strong notes of gritty earth, barnyard, hay, dark cocoa and slightly bitter espresso beans. Some spice on the tongue is noticeable, but not overt as of yet, but there is a fair amount of black pepper on the retrohale that seems to actually be getting stronger as the first third continues. I taste a pleasant sweetness underneath the other flavors every once in a while that reminds me of a dark fruit, but it is not distinct enough as of yet to identify. Smoke production is massive and dense, while the overall strength hits a point just below the medium mark by the end of the first third, although I can tell it is going to get stronger. Construction-wise, the draw is a bit open for my tastes, but the burn is excellent so far.

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project 2

The dark fruity sweetness gets a bit stronger during the second third of the Ortega, reminding me of plums, while both the black pepper on the retrohale and the spice on the tongue have dissipated. The dominant flavor is a dark cocoa mixed with slightly bitter espresso, almost like taking pure cocoa powder and dumping it into an espresso before drinking it. Other notes include leather, earth, hay and cedar, with the gritty earth note quite strong at times. Thankfully, the draw has tightened up a bit, while the burn continues to impress me with its consistency. The strength has increased noticeably, and manages to make it to a point halfway between medium and full by the end of the second third, but it is going to get stronger. 

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project 3

The strength increases by leaps and bounds in the final third of The Glynn Loope Project, hitting the full mark early on and surpassing that before the end of the cigar. The plum sweetness has decreased, but is still a major part of the profile, and the black pepper on the retrohale has actually made somewhat of a comeback, although still below the levels of the first third. Other flavors in the profile remain pretty consistent with the first and second thirds, with hay, earth, leather, cedar and dark cocoa leading the way, along with espresso beans. The draw has tightened up a bit more, but the burn continues to be wonderful in all aspects, and the smoke production is still quite high. The overall strength becomes almost overwhelming in the last inch of the cigar, and I put down the cool to the touch nub with a little less than an inch left.

Ortega The Glynn Loope Project 4

Final Notes

  • It is always nice to see major manufactures supporting the CRA, especially with specific releases. The CRA has released multiple versions of its CRA Sampler, the purchase of which includes not only 10 cigars from different manufactures, but also a year’s membership to the CRA organization.
  • halfwheel has a microsite dedicated to understanding and explaining all of the issues involved in the FDA regulations of premium cigars here.
  • The drawing on the band is distinctive, and the first time I saw it, it reminded me of old caricatures of George Burns for some reason.
  • This is the second consecutive cigar I’ve reviewed with use of a formal The as part of the name.
  • Having said the above, I would imagine some might find the drawing a bit creepy, while others might wonder why a drawing of the president of the Cigar Rights Association does not have a cigar on it anywhere.
  • There are not many living people with their faces on bands: Carlos Fuente Sr., Carlos Fuente Jr. and Mike Ditka all come to mind.
  • Make no mistake, this is a full strength cigar, although there is a fairly slow progression and it does not hit its high point until well into the final third.
  • Although the draw was a bit open on two of the samples, the burn was excellent on all of the cigars I smoked, never giving me anything close to an issue.
  • The cigar itself is quite dense, and combined with the large ring gauge it is no surprise it is a slow burner, with the average smoking time on my three samples right at one hour and 50 minutes.
  • Individuals on the halfwheel staff are members of the CRA.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Tobaccology. 
  • If you would like to purchase the cigar, you can Tobaccology at 703.330.1511.
87 Overall Score

The Glynn Loope Project is a rare breed, unabashed by both its size and strength. Although not overly complex profile wise, there are some nice flavors that are distinct on the palate and the blend is well balanced with the strength until the very end. Overall construction is excellent and the dense and massive smoke production is a nice plus. It is well worth buying to try on its own, but add the fact that a significant amount of money is being donated in the name of cigars, it is an easy release to get behind.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.