La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican Criollo de Oro
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.75 x 54 Toro
Strength: Medium
Price: $10.49


General Cigar sent these to me 3 months ago. I haven’t smoked one making this review a total crap shoot. It is wrong of me not smoking one first…it’s against my core values…I hope it is a decent cigar because the price screams out “Look at me.” If it is a dog turd, I shall unleash the hounds of hell upon this blend. And pay Charlotte $10 to genuflect in front of me while I eat wafers…as punishment for not trying the damn thing out first.

BACKGROUND:
From the General Cigar press release:
“La Gloria Cubana presents “Criollo de Oro,” a new limited-edition collection named after the hybrid varietal developed by crossing two Cuban seed tobaccos: The versatile Criollo ’98 with the rare Cuban seed Pelo de Oro.

“The two-cigar collection is handcrafted by artisans at the El Credito Cigar Factory in Santiago, D.R. and will ship to retailers in October 2021.
Only 3100 boxes, in total, will be released.

“La Gloria Cubana Criollo de Oro begins with the proprietary Criollo de Ora wrapper grown in the humid microclimate of Mao, Dominican Republic. There, in the island nation’s picturesque Cibao Valley, the sungrown leaf matures with abundant natural oils that contribute to the cigars uniquely robust characteristics.

“Steve Abbot, senior brand manager for La Gloria Cubana, commented, “We created Criollo de Oro in the La Gloria Cubana in the tradition of blending proprietary and traditional tobaccos to deliver exciting smoking experiences,” said Steve Abbot, senior brand manager for La Gloria Cubana, in a press release. “Our artisans have delivered a cigar with a distinctive taste profile, crafted according to the brand’s meticulous standards. We’re confident that Criollo de Oro will appeal to a wide range of discerning premium cigar enthusiasts.”

APPEARANCE:
The stick is nicely weighted as I bounce it in the palm of my hand. Very lumpy and bumpy with some very large veins acting like they are the Rocky Mountains. Seams are tight. The triple cap is applied by professionals.

The wrapper’s hue is somewhat Bambi’s mom to an orangish tint due to the oiliness that sits atop the wrapper. The cigar is smooth to the touch. The stick feels hard from stem to stern. In actuality, as I spin the cigar in my hand…it is one butt ugly cigar. It better be good.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Toro 5.75 x 54 $10.49
Churchill 7 x 48 $10.99

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are very faint. What I can discern are floral notes, steak sauce, molasses, espresso, milk chocolate, cedar, malt, barnyard, black pepper and a nice surprise of fresh banana.

The cigar is nearly perfect in its draw, but I like it a bit more open, so I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and go to work. Now it’s better than perfect.

“Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison is playing on Pandora. What a gorgeous song. I love Van the Man…right back to “Gloria” in the 1960’s. This should be a good sign for the cigar’s final rating.

The cold draw presents flavors of black licorice, cinnamon graham crackers, black pepper, creaminess, malt, cedar, espresso, and molasses.

FIRST THIRD:
As it is a La Gloria Cubana, humidor time should have probably been 5-6 months. But once again, I feel it is enough time at 3 months to show me the blender’s intent, if not better. And an early review is also attributed to a very limited-edition. No point reviewing a cigar my lovely readers can’t purchase.

The first puffs are enticing and interesting. A nice medium strength with flavors of creaminess, malt, chocolate, espresso, licorice, cedar, and cinnamon sugared doughnuts. Very nice start.

I do taste a nice tease of complexity from the get-go. Bouillon cubes of character are in play.

Immediately, the sweet v. savory is balanced out. OK. I’m impressed so far.

The burn is wonky. If it doesn’t self-heal quickly, I shall be forced to use torch to foot. I hate that. It could also be a sign that this will continue through at least the first half. Charring the foot does not help the flavor profile one bit.

Creaminess is driving the Brink’s truck. It coats my mouth like a pearl necklace. (I’m straight but I need to ask Charlotte to be sure).

Strength is light medium.

I cannot detect any specific spiciness. The cinnamon is as close as it gets. It needs a little kick in the arse for my tastes.

An inch in, the blend begins to show some bona fide complexity. A nice character that reminds me of good Cubans. Very smooth and toasty.
Good morning cigar that won’t make you crazy.

The upward mobility of the complexity continues on its path. It’s getting better all the time.

“Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker. More positive voodoo signs this cigar just might be a winner.

Graham cracker interchanges with milk chocolate, lemon zest, lots of malt, and that big fat note of creaminess. Black pepper shows up for the first time…but is sitting in 4th chair.

I like the cigar. Its character is genuinely pleasing to my palate and brain sensors.
Hard to type while I’m bopping and swaying to Joe Cocker.

In a broad sweep of this cigar, it is subtle but impactful. It is the kind of cigar I prefer to smoke alone. If I’m herfing with friends and smoking this blend, I will miss out on all the nuances the LGC Criollo de Oro pumps out.

SECOND THIRD:
The first third burned too quickly. Only 15 minutes or so. Nicht gut.
I continue to have burn issues.

Johnny Piette of Isabela Cigars is ruminating about becoming an advertiser again. This will be good for you, my dear readers. Johnny is very generous with my readers. I’m just waiting for his $2500 check to clear from the Bank of Cypress.

The stick needs another 3 months of humidor time. I taste and feel the blender’s intent which is how I approached this review. With a few more months of naked hibernation, I believe this cigar will be stunning.

At this time, the cigar ain’t stunning, but it is very pleasant and has my full attention. Nice smooth ride.
But for a sawbuck, this blend should have some nitro packed in the trunk.

The burn issues are not impressing me.

In high school, I dated this tall, skinny blonde. On our second date at the movie drive-in, I made the move to her blouse. She incoherently brushed my hand aside. I thought she was being coy. But once my hand had touchdown, I pulled it out from her blouse, and I had a huge handful of Kleenex that was stuffed in her bra. Don’t you just hate that when it happens?

I dated this other girl named Cheri. Good looker. First date was the movie drive-in. (Yeah, I know how to treat women). Half an hour into the film, she reached into my pants, pulled out a plum, and went to work. This was new to me. Every date was the déjà vu all over again. But she was so nonchalant about this that it kind of freaked me out. We stopped dating and one of my good friends began dating her. On their first date, Cheri told Bob she made mistakes with me and there would be no schmekel activity. Bob cursed me out for months.

The halfway point is upon me after only 30 minutes smoke time. A Toro should be at least a 90-minute cigar.

The blend takes its time in growing its complexity. A slow roll. No sudden jerks. Very fluid.

The creaminess becomes vanilla pudding or vanilla ice cream. Very tasty. The spiciness has disappeared. It really does need that kick.

I’m always disappointed when a cigar manufacturer puts the onus on its customers to properly age the tobacco. The leaf stats make it clear that this is a special cigar…but it’s only Tiny Tim special. And I can’t hear a ukulele.

As I am writing the drivel above, the cigar makes its run for the border. Everything improves. The once subtle flavors are hanging out on the corner singing Doo Wop.

Much more intense experience than earlier…justifying my analysis that this baby needs 5-6 months of humi time before it really shines.

Transitions finally kick in. The finish is swathed in lovely elements. Much better.

Since the cigar production quantity is only 3100 boxes, the price will never see a price reduction or special…unless it becomes one of those sticks that smokers stay away from and next year this time, you can pay only $4 on an online auction site.

The first half was less packed than the second half. The speediness of the burn has slowed down remarkably.

Creaminess, graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, malt, molasses, cedar, and a very nice generic nuttiness fills out the profile.
The lemon disappears completely.
Still, no spice.

Ginger enters unexpectedly. A nice addition.
Marinated skirt steak feature makes me hungry.

My early 70’s band, Homegrown, could mimic any band. Four of the five guys in the band were lead singers. At that time, the public was pummeled by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Homegrown could do an entire set of all their hits and people would stop dancing and just watch and listen to the band. Gave me goose bumps.

LAST THIRD:
I am now at 45 minutes of burn. This cigar will only be a 60-minute smoke. As long as it is a stellar blend, who cares?

The cigar has gone from shy and smooth to big bold flavors accompanied by some serious complexity.
It is dog smacking its lips time.

Strength remains at an easy going medium. No nicotine flare ups.

I still have a few sticks left to smoke. I won’t touch them for another 3-4 months and I will return to this review and report.

Not a lick of harshness or heat.

I watched a few video reviews lately. I can’t do it. I cannot watch some dude taking big puffs, staring at the ceiling, and then reporting he tastes earth, wind, and leather. I can’t do it. If I wanted to watch someone smoking a cigar, I will sit in front of a huge mirror.

I am pleasantly surprised by the LGC Criollo de Oro. Is it worth nearly $11? Maybe. More humidor time will tell the tale.

It is rare to start a medium strength cigar and not see it become much stronger near the end of the journey. Nice.

Oh shit. “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. Such a gorgeous song.
Pandora has not let me down.

Peanut butter shows itself. With some apricot jam. Like finding two prizes in your box of Cracker Jack. It’s been 40-50 years since I ate Cracker Jack. I could go for some now.

Even better…”Fever for the Bayou” by Tab Benoit. Now I’m line dancing in my chair.

I’m nubbing the sucker. The flavors stay potent to the end. And still not a lick of harshness or heat.
If I had waited another few months to review this cigar, it would have gotten a higher rating.

The pandemic really fucked Dr. Rod over. He has this incredible new design for a cigar punch (PerfecPunch) with three options. But China is fucking him in the booty. Once it is released, everyone will want it. I have a prototype and use it all the time. I swear that Rod has all the skills of a good mechanical engineer. This punch will be nothing like what’s on the market now. The blade design is revolutionary and you just won’t see this baby get dull on you in 6 months. If I tell you anymore, Rod will have me outed.

The review ends with Led Zep’s “Hey, Hey, What Can I do?” Perfect.

I can recommend this cigar. No idea how long it will be available.
Every online store I find the cigar available from only sells the sticks by the 20-count box. Except for Atlantic Cigar. Singles and five packs. Tell them katman sent you.

The big online stores aren’t carrying it due to the limited-edition status.
These sticks are worth a fiver at least.

RATING: 90

And now for something completely different:
1983

Butch Patrick is a very personable and charismatic dude. When he is sober, that is.

I’ve read that he has been on the wagon for a few years. I am happy for him. Alcohol was killing him. His problems, back when we did the “Whatever Happened to Eddie” project, was more about alcohol than drugs. He started drinking as soon as he woke up. Starting with beer and moving on to straight liquor as the day progressed.

Unfortunately, back in the early 80’s during my project, his behavior nearly killed me. He was a handful.

The record company and PR agency demanded I babysit him at all times when we did promotional tours. Normally, they just send the artist out alone. But Butch couldn’t be trusted to keep appointments. Half the time, he didn’t even know where he was when he woke up in the morning.

We did a big Chicago morning show. Same time that ex-Monkees, Peter Tork, had a new band. It was made up of very young heavy metal guys. Very strange. All leather and spiked hairdos and lots of chrome.

We sat in the green room with Tork, and his band, and all he did was piss and moan about the Monkees. It got to be disgustingly obnoxious after a while.

That night, we did the same big club promotion. Peter’s band played. And guess what? 8 out of their 10 songs were all Monkees songs. Made me laugh. Especially since he really didn’t have much of a voice. And then there were his 20-year-old band mates all dressed in black leather and wearing spiked dog collars.

Tork and I traded T shirts. I had the Eddie Munster shirts and he had…guess what? T shirts that had the Monkees’ logo on it. Still have the shirt but I couldn’t fit into it without cutting myself in half.


P
Should have gotten him to sign it so I could sell it on eBay for $10.

That night, Butch and Peter spent a lot of time together. They both were knocking down shots of tequila like mad men. And Peter kept giving Butch coke to keep him from passing out.

They had a lot in common. Butch was only paid $400 per episode on The Munsters. Back then, a season was 25 shows. And The Munsters was only on for two seasons. Plus, this was before residuals were in play. So, Butch doesn’t make a single nickel on all those replays of the series. He made a total of $20,000 for 50 shows.

On the other hand, Fred Gwynne was smart and demanded a cut of the show. He was the only one to get residuals. It was a couple years after The Munsters ended those residuals were mandatory. So Butch did a bunch of 70’s shows and got residuals of $65-$75. When the checks came in the mail, they went to his mother’s house, and she would cash them. He changed the address, so they came to me because he trusted me. I would open the letters and see these terribly low checks for doing Mannix or The Brady Bunch.

Where was I? The club with Peter Tork.
Al I could think was oh no. Not again. I would have to pry him loose from the club at a decent hour because we had more promotion to do in the morning.

As was usually the case, I left without him. He had a hotel key. I insisted we share a room. For emergencies, of course. I had literally become his parent.

More than once, I had to bring him out of a drunken stupor to get him up and out the door to do the promotion on radio or TV.

One day, as the project was falling apart, Butch came to my house in Long Beach around noon.
He was living with his mother in Gardena.

I was having leftover spaghetti for lunch. My screen door resounded with loud knocks and in walked Butch. Drunk as a skunk with a beer bottle in his hand.
He started throwing stupid ideas my way on how we could get the project back on track.
I asked him politely to allow me to finish my lunch and then I would gladly talk about it.

But no. He wouldn’t let up. The whole project was tearing me apart. It was my financial investment along with a couple of investors.

I kept asking, and then yelling, for him to shut up.
Finally, I couldn’t take it. I threw my plate of spaghetti against the wall where it stuck like glue.

He stopped talking and just stared at me and then the spaghetti on the wall.
And then back to his ideas again.

I got up and pushed him out of my house.

The dumb fuck had driven himself to my house drunk. So, I pulled him back inside and locked him in my bathroom. Then I barricaded the bathroom door with the coffee table.
I sat back and watched some TV while Butch screamed.

After 30 minutes, I let him out. I made him drink several cups of coffee and sent him on his way. By that point, I didn’t care if he got caught by the cops. Best thing for him I thought.
More later….



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

2 replies

    • I am not surprised.
      I am good friends with the manager that put up with him for 25 years.
      I heard stories about how he finds rich people who are enamored with the Munster cache…and then he would rip them off.
      He would disappear in the night and Butch had a shit load of angry people looking for him for years.
      He was/is a real pro of a scam artist.
      But murder?
      The guy has made a living, his entire life, from a two season show 55 years ago.
      He can’t get a job as an actor so he has made a living scamming people and showing up for any Piggly Wiggly store opening.
      He hits all the has been and washed up actor conventions and sells his autograph and line of Munster swag.
      He mostly lives off the schnooks that want to hang with Eddie Munster.
      I’ve always made jokes about waiting for him to climb a tall clock tower with a carbine and start picking people off.
      I still have all the shit from the 1983 project; singles, shirts, signed promo pics, and the video with outtakes. I figured if something happened to him, I could clean up on eBay.
      If he doesn’t slip out of this one whole, the clock tower can wait.

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