La Gloria Cubana Torpedo – Then & Now

I have the distinct opportunity to smoke one of the most sought after cigars ever. The original Miami La Glorias came about during the Cigar Boom and put Ernesto Perez-Carrillo on the map. You probably wouldn't have guys like Don Pepin Garcia, Pete Johnson or Dion Giolito without Ernesto. The La Glorias were so hard to find that folks were paying quadruple and more of MSRP.

LGC Torpedo

One of my buddies from Empire Cigars gave me a 15+ year old LGC Torpedo for the birth of my son. I couldn't wait to try this cigar that I had heard so much about. I was just going to write a review for this old torpedo when I realized this was a good chance to compare the blend Then & Now. So much has changed in 15+ years, including LGC being bought by General Cigar to even Ernesto leaving La Gloria to start off on his own again. Is there any way these cigars can still be similar at all? We'll see!

La Gloria Cubana Torpedo Natural - Circa 1994

Size: 6 1/2" x 54
Vitola: Torpedo
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

You should see the cellophane from this cigar! I hope the picture below does it justice!

LGC Torpedo
LGC Torpedo

Well, this is one rustic looking cigar. The cap is very rough but is glistening with plume. The pre-light draw is firm but yielding, and took a flame easily.

The flavors are interesting. They remind me both of current La Glorias with their unique earthiness and also Puros Indios cigars which have a distinctive barnyard aroma.

The burn is fairly even and the tobacco burns hot leaving more white than black in the salt and pepper ash.

After the first inch or so they flavors begin to develop nicely, leaving an earthy sweetness with a real mustiness in the aroma. Very tasty! If I smelled the smoke from this cigar and was not told what it was i would really guess it was made by Rolando Reyes (Cuba Aliados and Puros Indios). The barnyard aroma has a real throwback appeal but is really only present in the aroma not so much in the taste of the cigar.

This cigar is amazing, it still has tons of flavor after 15+ years! Halfway through there is leather and earth with some hay and coffee.

As I near the end, the flavors intensify and "sweet spot" flavors like licorice and espresso start to make their way on to my tastebuds.

The cigar just gets better and better, those sweet spot flavors intensifying to a crescendo that makes me burn my fingers as I nub this cigar to the end! Thanks to Atlanta "Sleepy" Mike for the privilege to smoke this wonderful rarity!

Rating: 97 (A)

La Gloria Cubana Torpedo Circa 2012

Clearly the General Cigar's rollers (El Credito factory) have had a lot of practice with torpedoes as this puppy has a beautiful pointed cap. The color is identical to its grandfather but more even and not as splotchy.

The cigar takes a cut from my PG cutter with no problem and the pre-light draw is waaaay easier.

So far the only thing the two cigars have in common is the shape. There is a bit of earthiness, but the cigar is a lot spicier and has a rich leather character.

The burn is not entirely even but satisfactory enough. The finish has a bit of licorice and leather. The cigar is not that complex and the flavors listed above are fairly consistent throughout the length of the entire cigar.

Rating: 86 (B)

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4 Comments on “La Gloria Cubana Torpedo – Then & Now”

  1. I see you have done a review on one of my all time favorite smokes. I envy you about having a 15 year old smoke lying around. In fact, that is when I started smoking LCG torpedos and have enjoyed them ever since.

    I have to agree with you on your ratings. I believe the earlier years the cigar was better. When I order a box of them, I try to leave them in my humidor for about 3 months to a year before smoking them. This is one cigar that gets better with some time in the humidor.

  2. Great idea for a review. Do you think any EPC cigars are similar to the old LGC? Maybe the original short run (which I loved) or the core line, which both have sumatra wrappers?

  3. I’m really glad to see a quick article about Ernesto Carrillo’s LaGloria Cubanos from both today and yesteryear. I have been crying a river ever since his 1993 LaGloria releases were substituted for what they became in later years. Their original Miami release in the early ’90’s were KICK-ASS GREAT!!! ‘Sure hope no offense at my statement, yet those bad boys kicked my tushy- they were monumental, powerful, heavy, almost decadent smokes that answered the prayers of us hardened aficionados. What they’ve become nowadays, along with the rest of the releases under Ernesto’s own name are practically no better than cookie cutter cardboard – NO distinction in as far as taste, power, and flavor. Despite my frenzied attempts at contacting his factory to see if there might be a box of ANYTHING left over from that early ’90’s period, it just seems that we’re destined to be destitute of what once was a sooooo wonderful, mighty, coveted smoke on a par with (if not far surpassing) the incomparable Cuban Bolivar cigar.

  4. I concur with Jag-Z. Those Early ’90s Glorias were the best cigar I ever smoked. I was living in South Florida at the time, and I even made a pilgrimage once to the El Credito factory on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, where I picked up a box of Churchills as well as a bundle of El Credito’s house brand (which were better than most premium brands). I bought box after box of Glorias, Churchills, Wavels, Double Coronas…and I have never again smoked anything that approaches that original Miami Gloria Cubana in unique aroma and flavor. It’s the Holy Grail for us dreamers. Will it be found again? Will the Cubs ever again win the World Series?

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