Por Larrañaga Galanes Cigar Review
Por Larrañaga are the oldest of the Cuban cigar brands still in production. Thanks to an excellent crop of Regional Editions from the brand in the 2010s, they have grown in popularity; with the majority of those special editions being thicker cigars and the only 3 in regular production being more slender, these new fans began (with me among them) to clamour for an always-available robusto-sized offering. In 2020 Habanos SA announced they had listened to the requests, and in late 2021 the Por Larrañaga Galanes began to arrive in cigar shops the world over.
The Galanes is slightly thicker (52 ring gauge) than a traditional robusto, and a touch shorter (4 ¾ inches). The feel in the hand and appearance to the eye of 10 golden sticks in the varnished wooden box is largely similar, as is the smoking time of 40-50 minutes. This is definitely a cigar to answer market demand, and a welcome addition to the range.
- At first glance, the cigar looks beautiful – light gold claro wrapper, the famous gold band glinting at the top, and a silky sheen to the outer leaf. One or 2 prominent veins spoiled the aesthetic slightly, but in general this was an attractive-looking cigar.
- Every single puff was as gentle and generous as it should be with any cigar.
- Sadly the burn of this stick let it down somewhat, with constant canoeing and touch-ups with a lighter every few puffs. The wrapper leaf did not burn evenly at any point, and the constant attention needed was a bit of a pain.
- A decent colour, but flaky and uneven, due in part to the burn issues.
- Plentiful, steely blue in colour and aromatic. While the burn may have been irritating, the amount of smoke given off was incredible.
- The flavours packed in to that smoke saved this cigar from really letting me down after having looked forward to its release for a while. The variation in notes took me by surprise a bit, the complexity was impressive and every moment was delicious.
- In general this cigar was sold short by what appeared to be a poorly-chosen wrapper leaf. While the look of it was tempting, the practicalities of burning it did not serve the cigar well. Anyone who smokes Cuban cigars regularly will know this pain, and hopefully the newly-appointed Quality Director will be able to address these issues going forward. Thankfully, tastes of the tobacco saved the smoked, as they so often do, meaning the wonky burn was merely a mild inconvenience in an otherwise enjoyable moment.
Final Score: 85/100
- I had been very much looking forward to the release of this cigar, and I was a touch disappointed by the burn issues. I was not, however, let down by the flavour. The first third brought a blend of creamy and coffee notes, backed up by a gentle hint of cedar – all flavours I would usually find in a Por Larrañaga. In the middle third the cream and coffee were replaced by much fresher grass and hay, still with a hint of cedar, but a surprising change from the beginning of the smoke. The surprises were not to end there, for the final third brought more intensity, the cedar deepened into a rich oak note and some peppery spice even began to appear at the tip of my tongue. I can’t wait to try another, and hope that it burns perfectly.