Once Little Havana’s best kept secret, La Gloria Cubana has become the cigar of choice for cigar smokers the world over who appreciate a richer, fuller-bodied smoke. Handmade in the Dominican Republic under the direction of Cuban master blender, Ernesto Perez Carrillo, it offers a Nicaraguan binder and a delicious balance of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, complemented perfectly by a dark, beautifully-aged Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper. Together they deliver the full, rich, creamy and strong flavor that has earned the brand international acclaim, along with notes of leather and roasty chocolate, with touches of sweetness, spice, and cedar. The La Gloria Cubana Churchill received a stunning 92 rating in Cigar Aficionado magazine. Marvin Shanken, publisher, hailed the cigar as “one the most delicious non-Cuban cigars I have ever smoked.” A stogie this rich deserves a full bodied wine; one panel member suggested Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2016 as one option.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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