The positive effects on Cuban cigars of allowing them to rest and mature before smoking have long been accepted. A myriad of pages across the internet have been devoted to the virtues of resting your sticks before you smoke them, to the best tactics to employ when you do, and to which cigars (if any) react better to the process than others. While it may be fascinating and beneficial to test these theories with cigars which would today be considered vintage, it can be expansive and difficult. Much more easy and accessible is the practice of resting your own cigars and sampling their development every few months by using a box of a fairly new release, like 2021’s Por Larrañaga Galanes.
The Galanes is a 52 ring gauge by 4 ¾ inch robusto. It was released to build on the success of various Regional Editions in a similar size, and to answer the clamouring of aficionados for a Regular Production Por Larrañaga which had a bit more heft to it. It arrived to most markets in late 2021 – despite being due to arrive in 2020 – and was generally well-received by smokers. In the summer of 2022 I sampled one from a box of 10 for the EGM Blog, and recently I revisited the same box to see how a few more months had developed the cigars within.
- The wrapper of this cigar was smooth and silky, and a lovely colorado-claro shade of brown.
- Perfect, from first puff to last.
- The last time I reviewed a stick from this box there were issues with the burn – not so in this occasion. Perfectly straight burn line, and never needed relit.
- Silvery-grey, solid and compact.
- Just like the last example, plentiful plumes of steely-blue smoke flowed from this cigar.
- The greater body of tobacco in this thicker ring gauge allows the Por Larrañaga flavour profile to be more fully expressed, and the cigars from this box have certainly packed lots of those flavours in. As expected, a few more months’ rest has seen the sweetness round off a little as the nicotine dissipates more, and the creaminess build in its place. Very impressive.
- The technical combustion/construction problems encountered the last time I reviewed this cigar proved to be a one-off for the box. The performance of this stick was sublime, and the flavours which greeted my palette delicious. The improvement in just 4 months only bodes well for the future.
Final Score: 94/100
- The first third of this cigar had a rich, creamy body, filled with notes of caramel and gentle grassy flavours. This creaminess and sweetness were evident the last time, but there was a definite step-up in the maturity of the flavours. The middle third once again brought cedar and grass, but again a richer version of the notes than I had experienced in the summer. As the cigar moved into the final third this richness grew stronger; notes of nutmeg and cinnamon arrived, with more cream and coffee flavours in their wake. Just a few months had made a remarkable difference to the experience of this cigar.