La Gloria Mateo (Kuzi's blend)

To begin with, I'll warn the reader that this will be my first formal review of a cigar. After smoking everything under the sun for the past 4 years, I feel that I finally have a decent enough palate and knowledge to take this experience a bit farther.

This cigar was acquired in a trade with Kuzi about a month ago. According to him, he and his wife were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to blend a cigar during a trip to the Plasencia factory in Nicaragua about 2 years ago. I feel fortunate to have received this one.

La Gloria Mateo (don't know the origin of the name)
According to my crude calculations, the cigar has a ring gauge of approximately 46 and is 6-1/2" long.
Wrapper - Viso leaf of a Colorado Intermedio from Honduras
Binder - Natural Cameroon Viso
Filler - Dominican Ligero, Honduran Habano seco, and Nicaraguan Habano viso

The cigar had a simple white paper label with the name Plasencia on the front, and La Gloria Mateo printed on the back. It appeared to have a double cap. It was flavorless to the lick. I used a double guillotine cutter for a straight cut. The cigar looked rather crude. It was dark brown and leathery looking. The wrapper leaf looked well fermented. Fairly large veins and several small bumps were noted along the surface. It had a medium weight to it, and a firm feel with minor cushion. It looked delicious.

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The dry draw had a slight, undefinable, earthy taste. 2 wooden matches were used to toast the foot. A few easy puffs on the 3rd match quickly filled the burn. The draw was perfect. The initial puffs were a tad dry and brought out an earthy/farm flavor. Although I've never been to a large cigar factory, I'm suspecting that this is the aroma I was getting. Once the burn moved down, the flavors began picking up. It had a woodiness about it with an underlying spice (not quite pepper, but perhaps piquante). The wood flavor seemed to develop a somewhat creamy sweet spot once the cigar progressed to the middle of the cigar. The spice continued to build. The finish was medium, at best.

The first ash fell before an inch, and this continued throughout the stick. The ash just didn't hold onto this cigar. The burn line and draw were perfect for the entire stick.

Once it reached the middle third the sweet wood flavor and underlying spice were all coming together. If I had to narrow it down, the wood flavor was not pine, or cedar, but perhaps pecan or a fruit tree. Maybe a bit nutty. The oils in front of the burn were working well through this part of the stick and the flavors were all blending nicely. It has carried a medium body the entire time, but now, although the amount of smoke that the cigar was putting out still indicated medium, the fill of the palate was a bit fuller and the finish was a bit longer.

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The character of the cigar began changing in the last third. Although the wood characteristics remained, the sweet/creaminess had all but disappeared and the spice was beginning to change. It went from being piquante, to, (I don't want to use the term bitter), perhaps a tartness. You know that feeling when the very back corner of your tongue develops a twinge. Like after eating a tart lemon? This sensation continued for the rest of the cigar. The strength of the cigar continued to build and the tartness became more pronounced. I left 1-1/2" of the cigar in the ashtray.
Burn time - 1 hour and 25 minutes

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I won't try to break down and score all of the points on this review, but I will say that the burn, quality and draw were all perfect. The flavors were not bad in themselves, but were inconstant and didn't seem to mix well along the entire length. The middle third was enjoyable and I suspect that this is what Kuzi was trying to achieve. If I had to, I'd give the cigar an overall 8. As to the blender, on his first try, an A+ most definitely.
I chose this cigar to be my first review for several reasons. First, I was grateful that Kuzi offered it in the trade and I wanted to challenge myself by reviewing something that had so little history to it. Also, I knew that if I totally screwed things up, not many people would be able to prove me wrong. LOL.

Thanks for the cigar, Kuzi.

Comments

  • OchoZachoOchoZacho Posts: 1,471
    I want to try mine now! I've been sitting on it too long!!!! Thanks for the review.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    I didn't know kuzi got his own cigar blended.. That's cool. Nice job on the review.
  • kaspera79kaspera79 Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭
    I have one too.. In fact, I had it in my hand to smoke tonight. But then my neighbor called me and I was going over for some drinks. I didn't want to give this only half my attention, so I placed it back in the humidor. I will smoke this soon.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    interesting review.
    i put it with roughly the same flavors but with a hint of nuttiness as well. i gave it a 8.4 of 10 so we arent far off.

    i would probably not release it if i was trying to make money. it needs work.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    Nice review Rick.
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