Cigar review of La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale, Ernesto Carrillo

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale

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Mayonnaise & beer?! Why not add a cigar?

A good friend of mine shared the following with me a week or so after losing his father. You may have even seen a version of this circulating via email. It provides a great perspective and I apologize to the unknown author for sharing it, though I am a bit disappointed that the story did not include a cigar, but I sense it could be improved upon if it did.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things -- your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions -- and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.'

‘Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.'

‘Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'
The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

I'm convinced there is a missing verse about a cigar; I may have to write one. Now, let's get smokin'!

Cigar Review:

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro EspecialeI recently had the pleasure of smoking a couple of La Gloria Cubana's new blend, the Artesanos Retro Especiale cigars. These cigars hit the market in the September timeframe and I fully expect them to be recognized as one of the top new cigars of the year. La Gloria Cubana is now fully owned and operated by one of the larger cigar makers / distributors, General Cigar. Legendary cigar man Ernesto Carrillo has moved on to create a namesake brand, but the La Gloria Cubana brand that he made famous is still going strong and innovating with this new release. The blend includes tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.


I smoked a couple of these cigars outdoors on the deck about one week apart. The first one was accompanied with only ice water. The second was smoked while drinking a cup of black coffee, an excellent pairing with almost any cigar.

Look and feel

The cigar features a flawless, light gold Connecticut seed shade wrapper that was cultivated in Honduras. The General Cigar folks credit this wrapper for both the cigar's golden aesthetics as well as its positive impact on the overall taste. The cigar was beautiful, though I always associate La Gloria cigars to their well established darker wrapped classics, like the Series R. The cigar seemed balanced in the hand and appeared to be well constructed. I was smoking the Club size, 5 3/4" by 47 ring gauge.

Aroma and Taste

The pre-lit smell of the cigar was strong and earthy, which told me I was in for a treat. In spite of its Connecticut wrapper, General Cigar touts the blend as being "brash in its full flavor and engages the entire palate." This certainly holds true as the cigar starts off. It bursts with flavor, mainly of wood, and I was getting a fair amount of smoke for the smaller ring gauge style of cigar that I was smoking.

The cigar quickly settles into a full to sometimes medium smoke, whose flavors were very diverse. The wood flavor, blended with a dark coffee, nutty. In its medium phases you could detect a creamy flavor, too. I thought the cigar to be an excellent smoke and I will look to smoke more of these in the coming months.

RATING: 9.4 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – The cigar provides the smoker everything you would want. Its flavor is fairly complex and the burn was near perfect, requiring little maintenance. Though generally full flavored, it was far from harsh and fairly smooth in its finish. I will look to smoke one of these in the larger ring gauge format in the future, just to compare.

Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email:

Cigar Quote

"I promised myself that if ever I had some money that I would savor a cigar each day after lunch and dinner. This is the only resolution of my youth that I have kept, and the only realized ambition which has not brought disillusion." – Somerset Maugham