Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Club
Size : 5 3/4 x 47
Wrapper : Honduran (Connecticut seed)
Filler : Nicaraguan & Dominican
Binder : Nicaraguan & Mexican
Price : $7 each
More info about purchasing LGC Artesanos Retro Especiale...
La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale, the newest line from Team La Gloria, spent eight years in the making. This line features a brand new, golden wrapper which was the result of two years of development and cultivation. The line also features a redesigned band, which manages to take a big step away from the Cubanesque band of earlier LGC lines while still remaining true to the same general design. In general, I found the Artesanos Retro Especiale to be a tasty smoke initially, but each sample that I smoked seemed to lose its character about halfway through.
The new LGC band is phenomenal! The design does a great job of moving forward artistically while still remaining true to the original LGC band--I couldn't stop looking at it! The cigar itself was also attractive, although not quite as attractive as the band. The golden wrapper is quite stunning, and it has an interesting look that falls somewhere between a Connecticut wrapper and a Habano wrapper. However, most samples had some medium sized veins, and a couple were a bit mottled looking.
All the samples had some degree of lumpiness to them, although never an extreme degree. Draws ranged from slightly loose to spot on. These cigars had tight seams and well-constructed caps.
If I was breaking the flavor score into halves, I would give 4.5/5 to the first half and 2/5 to the second half--the change between the halves was just that great. The initial puffs were clearly Connecticut: musty and creamy with a little wood and a tiny amount of spice. The first half continued with some bread and the occasional sweetness, but the creamy/musty Connecticut flavor stayed dominant. These flavors were very enjoyable and made for a pleasant opening to the smoke; however, in each sample the flavors all faded down to an earthiness at around the halfway point. From that point on, the flavor barely changes. Some samples gave an occasional note of bread or caramel, but the entire second half was largely static and earthy. This is a stronger cigar than I expected, coming in around a solid medium+ and maybe even creeping up towards a full by the end.
These cigars cost $7 each and have a smoke time of about 90 minutes. This price point is occupied by a number of cigars, and the LGC Artesanos Retro Especiale doesn't do much to distinguish itself.
Overall Rating :
Oftentimes new releases are released with such haste that the true flavors of the cigar don't have a sufficient amount of time to develop. Although I gave these cigars an appropriate amount of humidor time before smoking them for review, I feel like at least six months of aging would allow this smoke to develop into something much better. That would give the flavors more time to develop, especially in second half of the cigar. Based on the way the first half of the cigar wowed me, I will definitely be revisiting this cigar in a few months.