Comparison: Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas vs. Galanes
For the Comparison section of our guide to Por Larrañaga cigars, we’re going to be examining the similarities and differences between two vitolas which are much sought after by cuban cigar aficionados across the globe, one of which is a beloved pre-revolution stalwart of the brand, and a newcomer with a unique size format which has been flying off of the shelves in cigar stores worldwide since its launch in 2021!
So without further ado, let's delve into the wondrous delights of the Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas and the Por Larrañaga Galanes!
Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas
The Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas has long been the standard bearer for the brand in the UK, at certain points being the only vitola being sold on these shores. There are seldom few sticks which could surmount this monumental task, especially when having to contend in the very competitive Mareva arena against other legendary examples of the size, such as the Montecristo No. 4, Cohiba Siglo II and Bolivar Tubos No. 2 to name but a few, however this has proven to be light work for the Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas over the years as it continues to endear itself to countless consecutive generations of cigar enthusiasts with its highly nuanced and complex delivery of flavour, excellent construction and simple yet striking presentation.
As with many other vitolas of a similar ilk, ardent fans of the Petit Corona insist that it requires a thorough five years of ageing for the stick to fully develop and marry its array of flavours, with some enthusiasts boldly declaring that the stick picks up in strength over the course of its slumber, leaning more into a medium level strength than fresher examples of the vitola.
Adored for its phenomenal rich, sweet notes and delicate aromatic character, the Por Larrañaga Petit Corona is a fantastic testament to just how much flavour you can concentrate down into a Corona sized vitola, especially for one which has maintained a very modest and accessible price tag throughout the numerous decades it has persisted for!
We have long felt that there’s a time and a place for doing things the traditional way, and that it can coexist in the same space as experimentation and given their small roster of vitolas Por Larrañaga are a perfect microcosm of this, which brings us to the second element of the comparison.
It’s a relatively unknown concept for Por Larrañaga to play host to a heavy ring gauge vitola in their core range portfolio, (with the exception of the Picadores which is still classed as a Corona Extra size,) as the last time the brand featured a heavier ring gauge offering as part of their standard production was the Por Larrañaga Magnum, a Double Robusto which was discontinued in the 1970’s.
In keeping with the times and consumer demand, that has all changed now thanks to the advent of the Por Larrañaga Galanes! A unique vitola size for the entire Habanos portfolio, the Galanes was a most welcome addition to the Por Larrañaga range and a breath of fresh air when contrasted against the lion’s share of Cuban releases over the last few years, which have consisted predominantly of expensive Edicion Limitada and Regional Edition vitolas, keeping firmly with Por Larrañaga’s historic penchant for maintaining a selection of cigars accessible by folks at every level of status.
It’s interesting to note that even for a particularly young Cuban release, the Galanes maintains a level of composure and restraint that isn’t typically associated with many fresh Cuban cigars, where some young Cuban vitolas are brash and fiery the Galanes is instead fresh and well rounded; bringing a very creamy, cereally motif to the palate in the first third, bolstered with light coffee notes and a salty, nutty quality akin to Cashew nuts, all underpinned by a caramel-like sweetness and a tangy cedar wood spice. Broaching into the second third the flavour profile is subject to a very intriguing transformation, taking a brighter, fresher turn, positively bristling with grassier notes and hints of hay supported by the recurring cedar wood spice from the first third; yet where these notes in a younger cigar can often be aggressive and overtly vegetal, the Galanes presents this in an unusually metered manner. Cantering along through the final third does bring more intensity as one would expect, but the strength of the Galanes is still far from breaking out of the light-to-medium bracket, though the flavours undergo another fantastic metamorphosis here, with the prevailing cedar taking on a richer, oakier form and the sweetness of the first two thirds giving way to allow a tantalising pepperyness to flourish and give the stick a little kick as it draws to a close.
The comparison between the Por Larrañaga Petit Corona and the Galanes is quite an intriguing one, on paper these sticks are very similar in terms of their initial flavour profiles and their respectful price tags, with much of their differences lying in their size and the way they split off onto different paths in where they take their progression throughout the smoking experience: Whilst the Petit Corona has a very linear and sensible development of flavours, the Galanes is somewhat more avant garde and takes you by surprise with the twists and turns it suddenly presents (particularly in the second third).
We’re likely going to have to revisit this comparison in a few years however, as we have decades of experience in how the Petit Coronas develop, mature and where the sweet spot for ageing is; however, this is still an entirely unknown quantity for the Galanes, it will be very interesting to observe just how these delightful tawny beasts will come into their own over the years and if those intriguing transitions of flavours will be as prevalent a few years down the line or if they’ll undergo their own surprising transformation in kind.
Ultimately, if you can lay hands on a Por Larrañaga Galanes at this time, we’d highly recommend snapping at least a couple up and seeing the wonders it has in store for you yourself, but failing that, you can absolutely never go wrong with the Por Larrañaga Petit Corona, it’s been the standard bearer for the brand all these years for good reason!