Origin : Cuba
Format : Perla
Size : 40 x 102 mm (4 in)
Weight : 5.91 g.
Price : $11.00 each/ $55.00 for 5 cigar cardboard pack Canada (LCDH)
More info about purchasing Rafael Gonzalez cigars...
Today we are bringing you a guest cigar review by Sean. Rafael Gonzalez Perlas is a good value Cuban cigar that shouldn't be overlooked.
Dark Maduro wrapper that has a slightly dusty bloom. It looks very welcoming. Decent construction, although the cap is not executed perfectly as you get with other cigars this size like Cohiba Siglo I, or Montecristo No. 5. There are small veins that are not at all dominant, and overall the cigar feels quite heavy for its small size and is well packed with uniform feel. The smell is that of mild barnyard that has a hint of sweetness, reminiscent of dark chocolate. The cold draw tasted somewhat sweet with hints of roasted nuts and typical Cuban tobacco. The band is the non-glossy, non-embossed band, which I still haven’t figured out, as other vitolas are donning a darker more glossy embossed band. According to the information obtained online, the non-glossy band was discontinued in 2010, so I suspect that these cigars are 2 years aged prior to their 2012 release, explaining the band.
1st Third: This cigar is wonderful from the first draw. Mild to medium Cuban tobacco flavor that is fairly complex for a small, cheaper cigar. The dominant flavor I taste is coffee that has a slightly sweet chocolate aftertaste. Lots of creamy smoke, and razor sharp burn and a good firm draw.
2nd Third: Same flavor profile but more intense. As this small cigar reaches the halfway point, it approaches medium tobacco flavor, but the coffee I picked up from the beginning is now more intense, more of an espresso or dark roast, and earth flavors. Also I can still detect a sweet note to finish. Ash remained intact until almost through the second third, and was medium to dark grey.
Final 3rd: Intensity has increased, and now the dominant flavor is that of spice with leathery notes, and hints of roasted coffee. I’m happy that the cigar is not too hot, because I intend to smoke this one to the nub. Creamy medium smoke continues to coat my mouth, with an even burn right to the nub. I’m sad to see this one end and look forward to smoking this cigar again.
Overall Rating :
This cigar is great for any level of smoker, from an aficionado to first time smoker. Well-constructed, although not to the extent of premium Cuban cigars such as Montecristo No. 5 or Cohiba Siglo I. But for half the price, this one holds against those very well with a complex flavor profile, razor sharp burn, and a very clean, delicious creamy smoke. The aftertaste coats the palate and is very pleasing, with taste of dark chocolate and roasted coffee that is still with me hours later.
I make sure that I always keep at least a couple of these in my humidor, for times when I don’t have an hour plus to enjoy a cigar. The smoke time on this was 42 minutes, great for when I’m at work, being that I work onboard a ship time isn’t always that available and I have to smoke outside. This cigar would go great with a coffee. I accompanied it with a glass of water because I enjoy the flavor of these so much that I didn’t want it to be eclipsed by anything else.
The Rafael Gonzalez Perla is a top Cuban value cigar, and although I paid quite a high price for it from a LCDH, it is worth every penny. This is a bargain Cuban with a premium flavor, which is on par or better than any other brand making the Perla vitola.