Fuerza (Short Robusto), 4.5" x 50 ring gauge / $6.20, Silo Cigars
So little is revealed about the Curivari brand on their website that it leads to rumors and speculation. One rumor I heard (from a source I cannot name) is that this company's cigars use Cuban tobacco...it wasn't said if that meant "pre embargo leaf" or more current stuff, but either way how can you verify whether it's true or not? Some would say "by the way it tastes" and those with tons of experience may actually be able to do so, but I would say there are more people that think they fit into that category than people who actually do. Our policy here is to take what the manufacturer says at face value and make judgements based on that. Could they be lying to us? Sure...they could be using Mexican leaf and stating it's Nicaraguan...or at least implying it...but we try to give the benefit of the doubt. With that being said, the Curivari website states that the Gloria de Leon (Lion's Gloria) is a Nicaraguan Puro using "Authentic Cuban Seed Criollo and Corojo" leaf.
The band is very Cuban looking...classic red and white with gold foil, very simply, yet very classy. The wrapper was a medium brown with lots of red in it and darker brown mottling in a streaking pattern that went in the direction of the roll. It had a nice woody, earthy note with a little cinnamon; the foot was a darker earth smell, with strong natural tobacco and leather aromas. The cold draw was perfect and had a very nice flavor that was a mix of earth, cedar and just a tiny bit of pepper spice.
I got the Gloria de Leon lit and my reaction from my first real puff was simply..."Wow." It was smooth and creamy, sweet and a little earthy, sort of cedary and mildly spicy all at once. The spice came through exceptionally well on the retrohale. Before the first third was over the more earthy flavors broke through with a strong black coffee note; cedar and sweet tobacco backed that flavor up and balanced it very well.
As the second third burned through I noticed the flavor profile changing to become more dominated by the cedar flavors and notes of cinnamon and other cooking spices emerged. There was still a strongly earthy undercurrent to the flavor and a decent amount of pepper spice on the nose, too. Construction was proving to be superb, with a fantastic burn, very even burn line and strong ash.
The cedary flavor ebbed a bit in the final third, allowing more of the rich, sweet tobacco flavor to come through. I have to admit I was surprised at the amount of flavor and complexity in this smoke; it was the best of the Curivaris that I've had so far...and the others were very good! Did the flavors make me think this cigar was Cuban? Not so much...I found myself drawing more similarities with some of the flavor notes I've found in the better Viaje cigars; in essence, I concluded that the Gloria de Leon is simply an exceptional Nicaraguan smoke. I found the body to be in the medium to full range and strength was in the medium-plus area, so I would not be too much cigar for any smoker with a bit of experience. I can definitely see this one in my humidor a lot...and possibly a box purchase happening in the not-too-distant future. This was a spectacular cigar for a very decent price.