Monday, November 21, 2011

La Gloria Cubana Charlemagne vs JR Alternative to La Gloria Cubana
Size: 7.5 x 52
Tobacco: DR/Nicaragua
Price: $6.28

"The LSU Cigar"

18 months ago, I bought a bundle of JR Alternatives to La Gloria Cubana, and JR threw in a couple of real LGC's for comparison. I aged them all for a little over one year, then took my time working through the bundle over a span of six months. In general, I think JR Alts from Nicaragua are usually very good, but the ones from Dominican Republic leave me underwhelmed. These are mild-to-medium in body, without a lot of taste. The consistency of this bundle was not as good as I would have liked: it featured a few bitter cigars, and a few tight cigars. But most of them were serviceable, just your average run-of-the-mill cigars with palates of wood and nuts. Paired well bourbon or strong beer.

The real LGC Charlemagne, on the other hand, was noticeably better. They were slightly longer (7.25 inches versus 7.0) and thicker (52 ring guage versus 50). The wrappers were a darker camel-colored brown, as opposed to a light creamy tan. Prelight aroma was more pungent. Flavors were stronger, headier, with a noticeable lingering finish. The LGC smoked slower and cooler.

I lit one at Bryant Denny Stadium in traditional celebration after beating Tennessee, and I smoked it for about 90 minutes to the nub. I was going to smoke the second one two weeks later, when Alabama beat LSU and moved to #1 in the polls, but then as it turned out we lost in overtime. I'm saving that cigar in anticipation of a rematch in the BCS National Championship game. If we don't get the rematch, then I'll save this cigar for next year. But it has become my LSU cigar. I won't smoke it until we beat them.

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