Rafael Gonzalez Perlas

Rafael Gonzalez Perlas

Origin : CubaRafael Gonzalez
Format : Perla
Size : 40 x 102 mm (4 in)
Weight : 5.91 g.
Hand-Made
Price : $11.00 each/ $55.00 for 5 cigar cardboard pack Canada (LCDH)
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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.

Pre-light : ★★★★☆
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.

Flavor : ★★★★½

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 : ★★★★½
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.

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5 Comments on “Rafael Gonzalez Perlas”

  1. Aldo Mombello says:

    Grat “little” cigar. I agree completey this review, all characteristic of Rafael Gonzales brands are represented in Perlas, as in the most famous Rafael Gonzales Lonsdale. In this class of little cigars I consider also Partagas Short (vitola “minuto”, this R.Gonzales is vitola “perla”) but very different for strenght, taste an flavour from RF Perlas, Cohiba Siglo I, Montecristo n.5 and also a little bit different for size if I remeber H.Upmann Petit Upmann (vitola cadete, ring gauge 36) the preferred cigar of JFK. There is a legend that say that Presiden Kennedy delayed the embargo against Cuba of two days for store many boxes of this little HU cigar.

  2. Thanks, sounds great. Always looking for a tasty quickie.

  3. Great review! I agree with the reviewer, lovely, affordable small smoke that does not cut corners. I find myself keeping at least two boxes of these in the humidor at all times. The Rafael Gonzalez Perlas is one of those Cigars you could smoke with a morning coffee, after lunch, or during mid afternoon taking a stroll.

  4. Aldo Mombello says:

    To come back on the discussion of this night about cigars too large and too short, this Perlas vitola cigar, from Rafel Gonzales brand that is more famous for its Lonsdale (dalias vitola)support my reasoning that a cigar should be well balanced in ring gauge and lenght. This little cigar has a complexity of taste, flavour and intensity much more expressed than the “short giants” of whose I speak last night.

  5. Budgie says:

    Rafael Gonzales – Perla (one hour)
    Prelight: Very easy draw. Obviously hand rolled with pleasant unevenness, leaf veins pronounced but not intrusive. Firm cap, easy to cut with sharp knife, no compression.
    Lighted: Somewhat uneven burn. Flecked, bitty ash.
    First ⅓: mild with a bit of after bite. Sweet on the underside of the tongue. Extremely cool draw. Cocoa flavour developing, becoming milder? Robust ash, though still uneven with ¼” discrepancy.
    Second ⅓: Juicy, but mild, comparable to El Rey Demi-tasse. Draw becoming firmer. Unevenness becoming quite pronounced with elements of non-burn, untidy. Cocoa has given way to nutty. Quite possibly head cut not deep enough, buildup of moisture compacting cap. Extremely cool draw but noticeable bite on lips. Draw becoming a bit laborious, will cut a bit deeper into end cap.
    Final ⅓: Success! Another 1/2mm off cap, lots of moisture but instant freeing up of draw. Unevenness relentless, following line of leaf roll. Developing espresso edge. Flameout! Relight, almost crater at foot, harsh couple of draws. Quickly re established burn but along diagonal of wrapper leaf line. Flameout, again! Better relight, surprisingly mild and relatively cool to the final nub, though with espresso strong roast aftertaste. Final bit for sheer bloody mindedness sake! Hot to draw.
    In sum: A very satisfying, gentle flavour, a bit of hard work, not ideal for a beginner. Remember to cut at least ¼” off cap! Suitable step up from an El Rey demitasse. Not very suitable for breezy out of doors! Recommend a gentle drink; G&T with lime and a windstll or indoor environment.

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