Turning 85 is a big deal, and Tabacalera Palma wanted to do something just as exciting to commemorate this incredible feat. When they sat down to think of ways to accurately convey what this occasion meant to them, they decided to consult their fathers. Jochy Blanco revisited dozens of scribbles and stand-alone paragraphs in his father’s notebooks and reexamined the tobacco growing and processing wisdom of two generations, along with the cigar manufacturing wisdom of one generation.
The company created two cigars to celebrate tis milestone with both of them being packaged in a split box of 10 cigars each. Today we review the cigar blended by Jose Manuel Blanco, which features a Broadleaf wrapper. A couple of weeks ago we reviewed the version by Jochy Blanco which is the Ecuador Connecticut version. The other cigar in the box features a Broadleaf wrapper blended by Jose Manuel Blanco.
Cigar Review: La Galera 85th Anniversary
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Dominican Republic (Corojo)
Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Dominicano & Criollo 98)
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: Packaged in 20 count boxes, containing two different cigars blended by father (Jochy Blanco) and son (Jose Manuel Blanco). In addition to featuring 10 of each blend, the box serves as a keepsake where it can be used as an ashtray. The Jose Manuel Blanco blended cigar features a dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with one notable vein. The ornate looking La Galera band is joined by a secondary band denoting the 85th Anniversary. In the hand the cigar appears to be well packed with a slightly spongy foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the La Galera has a subtle raisin sweetness along with a nutmeg and sunflower seeds while the aroma from the foot of the cigar has an earthy aroma consisting of a subtle cedar and wheat component. This is to be expected since the cigars Ecuador and Broadleaf consists of the same tobaccos and the cold draw focuses on the filler tobaccos. There is a bit of spice on the lips which comes into play from the wrapper. Once the cigar is toasted and lit there are elements of a steak that has the right amount of char from a grill.
Moving into the first third, the char notes dissipate rather quickly as the cigar develops notes of mocha, molasses and brown sugar. The brown sugar really shines as the smoke is expelled and on the retrohale it is intensified. Additionally the cigar sees more complexity than the Ecuador version which says a lot. There is an addition of plum and espresso the latter develops nicely as the first third concludes.
As we move into the second third notes of plum, gingerbread, mocha and espresso intertwine on the palate to perfection all working in equal parts to create a mouthwatering experience. As we cross over to the halfway point espresso takes hold with a subtle sweetness in the background and on the finish. The retrohale serves up a subtle cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of white pepper and leather.
As we conclude our cigar smoking experience with the La Galera 85th Anniversary Broadleaf the cigar sees notes of strong espresso with nuances of mocha and leather. As the cigar reaches the final inch some cinnamon makes it way on the palate where it has been relegated to the retrohale prior to the point. The finish is long and savory making this an outstanding smoke.
The Finish: As a person who loves a stronger cigar, I was really impressed with the Ecuador Connecticut version scoring it a 95. The Broadleaf is equally on par, though I might reach for the Ecuador more often despite the cigars getting the same score. The reason for this is the Broadleaf is more full and best suited for an after dinner cigar where the Ecuador could be smoked any time. I look forward to pairing this with an Old Forester 1920 which has a nice banana sweetness of the front end that should help bring even more sweetness out of this smoke.
Price: $14.69 / $259.99