Cuban Cigar Review: Por Larrañaga Galanes

On a hot, muggy Caribbean day in 1825, a Spanish immigrant stepped off a boat in the harbor of Havana, Cuba.  After weeks of travel at sea, he had finally arrived in the very place he would make his fortune and create a legacy. This man was Ignacio Larranaga, the founder and patriarch of the second oldest registered cigar brand started in Cuba.

Today, Por Larranaga is not what it was ten or even twenty years ago. Gone are the days of unique vitolas available in regular production. Nowadays the brand is reserved for regional releases and limited editions, but this may be changing. This is were the Galanes comes in. With this being the forth vitola to be added to the brand’s portfolio, let’s hope this is a trend that Habanos S.A. will continue throughout all the company’s brands.


VITOLA:   Factory Name: Galanes, Common Name: Robusto
SIZE:   4 3/4″ x 52

ORIGIN:   Cuba

WRAPPER:   Cuban
BINDER:   Cuban
FILLER:   Cuban




At my desk, in the garage

Both morning and afternoon

Coffee with cream and or water on all occasions

Mid-30s and low-50s depending on the time of day

Listening to the Dark Academia playlist on Spotify


RELEASE TYPE  Regular Production

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  OR in 2019, not really on the market until 2020

Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 10
Production Totals:  Unknown

o  Short Robusto  (4-3/4″ x 52)


Aside from Cohiba, Por Larrañaga has one of the most grandiose bands in the Cuban cigar industry. I can imagine Señor Ignacio being quite happy with himself seeing them hot off the press. The band is entirely guilted in gold ink, aside from the minimal verbiage. Further accentuating the band is a set of embossed borders along the edge and an  interior border resembling a wreath. Centered in the wreath is the brand name, flanked left by “VUELTA ABAJO,” and right by “CUBA.”  Even with all the guilt and glamour, there is still something magical about them glinting from the humidor. 



For this review, I smoked five cigars: two from one of my two boxes and three from the other. Each one of the boxes have the same manufacturer date and year. All twenty cigars are oily tanned brown, almost a claro but slightly darker. There is a good weight to each cigar, but they were a little lighter than I expect for a 52 ring gauge cigar. Every cigar reviewed was well packed, with no soft spots, and well rolled caps. The only mark down I could find is the appearance of the wrapper itself. Though each cigar was well rolled, the wrappers on every cigar are rustic. There are lots of noticeable small veins up and down the wrapper. The wrapper is also thin enough the binder and filler form ridge outlines on the surface of the wrapper. 



The aroma on the foot and wrapper are a bit disappointing. With the oiliness, I was expecting to get more of a scent. There is a bit of cedar and something sweet, but it’s hard to pin down what it is exactly. The room aroma is wonderful; the cedar notes on the smoke make me think of walking into a newly built humidor. 


Freshly cut the draw is dry, no loose bits of tobacco and hints of leather. There isn’t much I get as far as flavors. There is a fleeting fermented tobacco and leather profile, but nothing that lasts or adds to the prelight experience of the cigar.

Cut:  Xikar Punch Cutter
Fire:  S.T. Dupont soft flame Ligne 2

I think many people tend to shy away from using a punch when it comes to Cuban cigars, but the Galanes is not one you should worry over. The draw after using a punch has been wide open with each cigar I’ve smoked. Even with such a liberated draw and a lighter weight in the hand, each cigar feelspacked to the gills. There are no soft spots or loose leaves on either ends of the cigars.

The initial light went off without any issues. The foot toasted nicely with no cracks, splits or runs. Overall, the cigars seem to be in tip-top smoking shape. 


Like many of the newer Cubans on the market, the Galanes seem to put off a great deal more smoke than what I am accustomed to. Even during the foot toast, smoke rolls off gently, coating the room in a very fragrant dried cedar aroma. Now don’t misunderstand me, this is no Liga when it comes to combustibility, but I would smoke it in a well ventilated area.

>> Honey, Oak, & Short Bread

This is definitely a cigar that was meant for the morning smoker. From the beginning, you get all the flavors that compliment a good espresso/tea: floral honey, oak, and buttery shortbread. The smoke also has a lighter, wispy quality but still manages to express a good amount of flavor. The retrohale is nothing but pleasant, bringing more of the shortbread notes with a hint of black pepper on the end. The only dissatisfying things to note are the waviness of the burn and the flakiness of the ash. The ash did hold a good inch before cascading down into my lap.

>> Honey, Leather, & Butter/ Cream

Draw is still effortless with beautiful amounts of smoke. On the downside, the burn has required a few course corrections and the ash is not holding at all. With that said, the palate is still just a delicate and pleasant as it was in the first third. The sweet honey notes are still present; there is a bit of a metallic/fresh leather flavor coming through, but I’m enjoying it. The smoke has become creamier and more buttery adding some red pepper to the retrohale. So far, this cigar is hitting all my favorite flavors, especially paired with a good coffee.

>> Caramel, Cream, & Wood

I wish I had more negative comments to keep my review from sounding so biased, but there is almost nothing I don’t enjoy about the Galanes. The last third is just as refined and delicate as the previous two. The smoke seems to coat the mouth a bit more, creating a velvety and buttery texture. Each puff lends itself to a slow, soft exhale, allow me to enjoy each second that much more. The sweetness has become more of a caramel, the floral and wood note have remained throughout, and the retrohale is still creamy and peppery. An absolutely beautiful cigar to enjoy any time of day, but for me, it best suited for that first morning smoke.



The Galanes is what I would call a “reader’s cigar.” This is the perfect cigar to light when you are opening that book you’ve been meaning to finish. You can enjoy this cigar without fear that it will take you out of the storyline or project you’re working on. The Galanes is short, well-balanced and nuanced enough to keep the smoker engaged until the end, whether that be the book or the cigar. As for the transitions, they are subtle and elegant, something you may not notice if you weren’t looking for it. 


This is a completely different experience than the elegant profile mentioned above. This is the most inconsistent aspect of the Galanes. For all but one of the cigars I smoked, the burn line was wavy and required periodic correction. Lastly, the ash constantly fell from this cigar. After the first lump of ash fell, the remainder of the cigars ash was small flakey ash, never falling in very large chunks again. But even with these hindrances, I still really enjoyed this cigar. 

0.70 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.40 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
6.50 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.50 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment



This may be a messy smoke. I feel like I a have some understanding of what the dinosaurs in Asia must have experienced the day a massive meteor struck the Yucatán. Ash…ash every where. Similar to the ash constantly falling while smoking this cigar. Even after the carbon coating experience, I really enjoyed this cigar. If you find some available, buy two more than what you think you need, and enjoy! And don’t forget your towel.


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