La Galera Habano El Lector Cigar Review

The La Galera Habano comes to us from Tabacalera Palma. While that company might not be known outside the cigar geek community it is a company that has origins back to the mid 19th century when a Spanish citiizen named Jose Manuel Blanco Lozada moved to the Dominican Republic to specialize in the trade of tropical fruits and tobacco.

In 1936 one of his children Jose Arnaldo Blanco II founded Tabacalera Palma. By 1960, Las Palma had grown to employ more than 200 full time rollers producing cigars for the local market. Today, the company is run by the 4th generation of that family; Jose Arnaldo Blanco III who is affectionately known as Jochy.

La Galera is the first project from Jochy Blanco that will be distributed by Indian Head Cigars; a company he acquired back in the fall of 2015.  The name of the cigar is a term for the heart of any cigar factory. In this case, it is the space where experienced rollers concentrate to express their art in creating cigars using the best tobacco from the fields of the Cibao Valley in the Dominican Republic.

Cigar Review: La Galera Habano
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic (Corojo)
Filler: Piloto Cubano, Criollo ’98, Pelo de Oro
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 54
Size: El Lector (Toro)

The Look: Packed in 21 count gloss finished dress boxes made of wood, the La Galera Habano has a look of elegance. Adorned with a gold footboard the Habano wrapper is flawless with a chestnut like coloring. Rolled to perfection with no soft spots or voids in the tobacco bunching. The wrapper had some thin veins and some slight oils that almost get lost under the oversized band. Featuring a spring like combination of colors with some gold and white, the La Galera band is an eye catcher on the shelf with its ornate design.

The Notes: Once the cigar is clipped with my Lotus Jaws cutter, the initial notes are earthy with a subtle sweetness and creaminess that reminds me of old bottle caps candies. The aroma off the foot of the cigar is a subtle spice with an abundance of cinnamon that fills the nostrils.

Once the cigar is toasted the cigar serves up toasty notes with a focus on wood. There is some sweetness and a subtle flavor that I can only describe as Pelo de Oro. It’s not quite sweet and not quite bitter but it is definitive Pelo de Oro. On the retrohale of the cigar there is some added spice and nutmeg that extends into the moderate in length finish.

The second third sees some sweetness develop with a creamy note that envelops the palate. The wood notes remain but some of the cinnamon experienced on the cold draw makes it’s way back into the La Galera Habano from Tabacalera Palma and Indian Head Cigars. On the retrohale the nutmeg notes remain and the pepper notes kick it up a notch.

In the last third of the cigar the Pelo de Oro notes really begin to shine. There are vegetal elements with a touch of floral on the aroma. The cigar remains woody but a chocolate like element begins to shine as the cigar comes to a close. The retrohale sees black pepper linger on the finish on this well balanced cigar.

The Finish: The cigar has some familiarities to it which is to be expected because even though you may not know the name Jochy Blanco or Tabacalera Palma they grow a lot of tobacco in the Cibao Valley of Dominican Republic. Some of their tobaccos are featured in cigars such as LFD, Aging Room and others. But even with the similarities the cigar has its own signatures as well that make this a stick worth trying.

Score: 90
Price: $7.19 / $132.99 Box of 21


La Galera Habano Foot

La Galera Habano Foot

La Galera Habano Burn

La Galera Habano Burn


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