My wife hooked me up with a cigar sampler from my friend Garrett Johnson of Smooth Draw Cigars. If you aren’t familiar with Smooth Draw, check out the feature piece I did on them recently. If you want ultra boutique cigars, this is where you go to find them. This was one that was included in my sampler. When I say ultra rare, the ONLY place you can buy this cigar in the U.S. is at https://smoothdrawcigars.com/product/gloria-bendita-golden-ashes-box-of-20/
Like many of the cigars Garrett has, I had never heard of Gloria Bendita cigars. I had to do some research and what I found was this.
“GLORIA BENDITA produce three different lines which are Golden Ashes, Connecticut and Oscura. Currently, the Connecticut line is still in production and should be available soon.
Similarly, the company offers the service of personalized cigars which gives customers the ability to create their own cigars or brands according to their requirements (blends, vitolas or sizes, etc.) no matter if you are a retailer or wholesaler.
The company started operations in the year 2015 and its factory is located in Tamboril Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. The company is represented by Mr. Xavier Fernández who is a passionate lover of the world of tobacco and cigars.
They produce about 500,000 cigars per year.
All of their cigars are long filler and manufactured in Dominican Republic entirely by hand by skilled craftsmen with the finest raw materials aged between 3.5 and 4.5 years.” (Taken from Smooth Draw Cigars website)
Let’s take a look at this cigar and see what we get shall we?
Gloria Bendita – 5 x 52 Robusto
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder/Filler: Undisclosed Dominican
Origin: Tamboril, Dominican Republic
Appearance: Dark brown wrapper with a lot of small/medium veins and tight seams. The band is gold with a light purple color and white lettering. It is a very simple, clean band but it works well with the cigar. A rounded double cap tops it off.
Pre-light: The cigar feels firm with no soft spots and is well packed. From the barrel I pick up mostly earth notes with hay and natural tobacco. From the foot I get more of the same with a light barnyard scent. I am not sure what to expect from this cigar for sure. I use a V-Cutter to split the cap and the cold draw presents a nice open draw with just a touch of resistance keeping it from being too airy. I pick up notes of hay, earth, and tobacco.
1st Third: Once I get things nice and toasted, I pick up a cocoa like sweetness, heavy cedar, and a faint pepper spice. There is almost a floral/grassy note that I cannot pinpoint. It may just be the lingering of the sweet cedar but it is a unique profile. It has a very earthy, natural feel to it. The draw is open, burn is a touch wavy, ash is holding nicely and I am getting heavy smoke production from this stick. As I move more towards the end of the 1st third the flavor really open up and presents a very tasty blend of cedar, cocoa, and a touch of spice. The strength is medium.
2nd Third: No real change during the transition. The flavor profile remains pretty consistent as I hit the halfway mark. Nothing really jumps out at you with this cigar but the flavor is very nice. It is natural and earthy but the blend works very well. I enjoy the cedar and spice with hints of sweetness here and there. The performance is on cruise control. The draw is still open, the burn is slightly wavy and the ash is holding tight. The strength is still a medium to me.
Final Third: More of the same as I finish this one off. No major changes in the blend. I don’t consider this a bad thing at all. It isn’t super complex and sometimes as a reviewer it is nice to get one that you don’t have to try and unravel and decipher. It is nice to just be able to smoke it, know what you have and enjoy it. And enjoy it I did, all the way to the nub. No burn issues, no touch ups needed, draw remained good throughout. Strength ended medium plus for me.
Final thoughts: I wan’t sure what to expect from this cigar as I knew nothing about it going in. I have seen the cigar online via Smooth Draw but other than that, there isn’t much out there about it. Once I started smoking it, it had a very straightforward flavor profile that remained consistent from start to finish. The performance was great and there was no maintenance required. Light it and enjoy it. If you want a super complex cigar, look elsewhere. This cigar offers a very nice flavor profile that doesn’t change up much at all but as I stated, is not a bad thing. I like the flavor profile and found it enjoyable. It is a natural, earthy, woodsy cigar that is easy to smoke, easy to enjoy.
I would definitely smoke this again. This would be a great cigar to pair with a cup of coffee in the morning or anytime of day.
I would love to try the Oscuro blend and see how it fairs. I encourage you to check this cigar out along with the other ultra-rare cigars offered at Smooth Draw Cigars. Be sure to tell them you read about it here.
I hope you enjoyed the review of the Gloria Bendita Golden Ashes cigar. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends.