Established in 1885 by Sociedad Casañas y Castro, La Gloria Cubana is, as the name suggests, a Cuban brand producing fine cigars.
Between 1905 and 1944 the brand was in the hands of Jose Fernández Rocha whose company (J. F. Rocha S.A.) funded Bolívar in the beginning of the 20th century.
This shape survived to the present century because it was adopted by Romeo y Julieta for a cigar named the Celestiales Finos, which ceased production in 2002. The original vitola measured 5⅜in (137mm) by 46 ring gauge but La Gloria Cubana Británica Extra has had two extra points added to it’s girth, and so it exceeds the measurements of a regular Británica.
In the nine years that followed the Británicas Extra size has been used on three further occasions, each time for different Regional Edition cigar around the world.
The sides of the cigar are not parallel (figurado shape), but it’s not a double-figurado like the Partagás Presidente or the majority of Cuba’s vitolas. The mouth-end is round, as opposed to it’s pointed head.
Instead, the correct term to describe its shape is a perfecto, and there are currently no other perfectos made by any other brand in Cuba.
This unusual shape is hard to roll. Exceptional skill is needed to tailor each cigar to not only look and taste good, but also draw well. To ensure satisfaction, smokers are often recommended to make a slightly deeper cut than usual.
Habanos S.A. (the arm of the Cuban state tobacco company, Cubatabaco) began to look for ways to draw attention to its less well-known brands in the first years of 21st century. Harnessing the talents of all companies that distribute Habanos in markets around the world. In exchange for exclusive rights to sell cigars within their territories for two years, each distributor was invited to select brands from a list of fifteen and sized from the standard Habanos’ portfolio, provided they were not already made by the brand in question.
Hunters & Frankau helped to pioneer the project when, at the start of 2005, it was granted exclusive rights to the Ramón Allones Belicosos. It was quickly decided that every box would be numbered and each cigar would carry a second band identifying the country or region for which it had been made. From then on, these cigars have became known as Habanos Regional Editions.
The bands adorning these cigars are a recreation of an example found in a collection in Havana by Jemma Freeman, Hunters & Frankau’s Executive Chairman.
Early tastings have indicated that these cigars are delivering a medium-bodied blend faithful to the brand and similar to the 2008 Glorioso. However, it is also generally agreed that they possess exciting potential for ageing.
In “An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars” Min Ron Nee desicribes La Gloria Cubana as sharing some flavour notes with Partagas, but he goes in to say “The differences are being less earthy and less robust tobacco taste. The additional combination of floral, sweet fruity flavours creates the hallmark taste of La Gloria Cubana cigars”.