We got in the Super Bowl release from La Flor Dominicans, simply called the Super Bowl 2019 Release. It’s a unique cigar, in that the wrapper pattern has the tobacco shaped like a football. But how does it taste?
Like a typical La Flor, it starts off with well rounded pepper notes, but this really a more mild cigar than the Double Ligero or any of their other cigars. In fact, it’s pretty well rounded, giving off notes of cardamom, baking spice, hints of leather and warm bread. Yes, the tobacco does burn evenly, the ash is another sign of good construction.
I’d expect nothing less. Sadly, I didn’t smoke this for the Super Bowl, as I could give a fuck who is playing, not being a sports fan. And the price tag is a little heft here: $20.99. But the LFD, like most of the cigars I’ve reviewed from them, is well Roth the price, and at a better value than you probably paid to see Tom Brady yet again win another damn ring.
Many of you know I’m a weekly inhabitant of a spot in Decatur called “Got Cigars?” They’re located at 232 E. Ponce De Leon Ave right off the Square in Decatur, GA.
Comfortable, friendly, knowledgeable. This is a mini home or my “Decatur Office” when I’m in the mood not to work from home but don’t want to trek to Highland.
Along with standard products such as Fuente, Kristoff, La Flor Dominicana, and My Father, she has a rotating stock.
The shop owner has brought in a few new things to her quaint little shop. I’ve had a chance to taste a lot of newer things so I’ll give you a small rundown.
Cohiba Blue – the value-priced cigar is crafted with a three-country blend of tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Notes of vanilla and cedar find their way onto the palate.
Montecristo by AJ Fernandez- a traditional blend re-imagined by famed maker AJ Fernandez. Developed in conjunction with the Groupo De Maestros, this Nicaraguan blend showcases more spice and strength than the core Monte. I reviewed this cigar here.
La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro – A fairly complex cigar from La Palina, the construction is soild. Notes of wood and leather mingle with pepper and fruit.
Romeo by AJ Fernandez – My personal favorite AJ/Groupo De
Maestros blend, the Romeo y Julieta blend re-imagined by AJ. Like the Monte mentioned above, this cigar is blended in Nicaragua. More robust, but fruit, black pepper, heavy wood and cedar notes mix with bacon smokiness for a delicious surprise. I reviewed that here last week.
As we get further into the year and start digging in at newer releases, I find myself wanting to expand my regular rotation.
The LFD Reserva Especial was different from the start.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
Filler: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
The Gran Robusto is 5 1/2X60.
I know I’m a bit late to the party but taking this blog more seriously means rerouting energy previously unspent. I’m glad for it.
The usual plum notes from a cold draw are interesting in that pepper is present as well. Rich earth also.
This cigar starts off with much more mellow spice and flavor than most LFDs I’ve smoked. Not weaker, just less. The leathery pepper taste is present, along with softer, almost rosado-like flavors of cotton candy.
Light mocha flavors join the leather and spice but all flavors are softer than normal.
While in Atlanta, I’ve been checking out Highland Cigar Company, usually going on Sundays. Last week, the 28th of June, the folks there hosted Simon Brooking, from Beam/Suntori and we tasted some nice Scotch Whiskies.
Simon’s a knowledgeable guy about both Whiskey and the history of many different brands, plus the wet past of Scotland. His tales were amusing, his toasts, heartwarming and jokes, well any good Scotsman would be proud. Plus, for once, I wasn’at the only one wearing a kilt at Highland 😉
Now, onto the juice.
Three different scotches paired well with the Antonius Robusto – a mild to medium bodied Dominican cigar that had been rolled and “forgotten
about” for about 8 years. The blend had more power than expected, but was mild enough that a novice smoker could enjoy it, along with it not balancing well with the whiskies. To be honest, I was shocked that the cigar paired so well with an Islay whiskey, but that’ll come up in my notes shortly.
The first whiskey was Auchentoshan 3 Wood. Matured in Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry and PX Sherry casks, this scotch had really refined flavors and a lovely finish with a pleasant finish. I found it balanced and it blended well with the Antonius, complimenting the wood notes of the cigar. This was a favorite at Highland, due to the lovely, sweet finish.
Next was the Bowmore 12 year. Listed as an Islay, I found this to be rather pleasant compared to what most folks think of when someone says Islay Scotch. The mild citrus notes came upon me at the end of the drink, along with mild peat and sea.
Last was the Laphroaig Select – a masterful blend of various scotches hand picked by a “select group” of tasters. This is honestly the lowest peated scotch they make. Peat has been a bone of contention for me for years, due to the effects it has on my stomach (I suppose I could drink less but where’s the fun in that? LOL!) But this whiskey shows reserve on the smokiness, adding more balance and less of that gasoline taste that tends to put drinkers of whiskey off. The finish of the Antonius went very well with just enough backbone and intensity to compliment the Laphroaig and not be overpowered.
Overall, the Antonius was a solid choice for this whiskey pairing. Balanced with wood notes, hints of spice and vanilla appeared on the palate. Firm in the fingers, the draw was delightful. A cold draw brought in flavors of cinnamon and baking spice. Construction was also solid, though I forgot to get pictures for the blog.
There were two other whiskies we’d tasted but sadly, my notes are not legible – typical of being a published romance novelist. They were both Laphroaig, however, and wonderful in their own right. I’d lit up a second cigar at this point.
I picked up a flight sampler a few weeks back from CI and had a chance to try something new from Casa Magna.
The wrapper is a beautiful, reddish brown with a few veins.
The pre-light draw tastes of sweetness and spice, something I’m familiar with and a fan of, concerning Casa Magna. The Colorado is a long time favorite and I’m beginning to lean toward the “Manuel Quesada can do no wrong” camp.
Upon lighting, the cigar starts off with hints of white pepper and a smooth taste. The draw is solid and consistent. I make sure to mention this because this is more or less (to me) a value cigar and like so many value cigars, possesses the potential to either disappoint, or be a very solid cigar. The construction was solid, the cigar feeling like a cigar should in the hand. Not too tight, nor was it rolled loosely. The cigar actually had heft in it.
This cigar gave me about an hour and a half of smoking time, with a mostly even burn that corrected itself after a short touch up. The flavors mellowed and the white pepper became less intense over the course of smoking, but overall, this cigar is a solid stick.
Once a cigar smoker begins to expand their palate and get away from Macanudo, they’ll invariably find their way to Arturo Fuente. The Fuente line as I’ve mentiond before is a great line for beginners as well as more experienced cigar smokers due to price and quality.
Typical of the Arturo Fuente Churchill cigars are soft flavors of cream from the cameroon wrapper with hints of spice. The construction is superb. A nice tight ash holds well for about an inch before dropping off.
A thick light gray cloud of smoke billows from the cigar, helping the newly accustomed cigar smoker relax and ponder the hard work put into the cigar by the Fuente Family. Medium in finish, the cigar is consistent all the way to the last third where the flavor changes slightly and warms up a bit. The Arturo Fuente Churchill wil last about anhour and a half.
I do reccomend Arturo Fuente’s cigars as a way for beginners to experience the finer pleasures of life.
This tiny vitola packs a lot of flavor as did the Work of Art from the Hemingway Line by Arturo Fuente. The Perfecto shape signifies a skilled roller as does the one inch ash that clings after being lit. Notes of sweet cedar compliment a medium finish that lasts all the way to the nub.
I will be honest, this being the first one I’ve smoked, it burned a little hot. Paired with water, the Arturo Fuente Short Story was a little bitter on the prelight but had delicious aromas and a consistent taste just as it’s little brother, the Work of Art.
For new cigar smokers, this is an excellent way to get into a new habit that promotes relaxation, good flavor and only takes roughly 30-45 minutes of time. Once you try the Short Story you’ll quickly find yourself wanting more. Pair with a sweeter bourbon such as the Four Roses
The Arturo Fuente Work of Art is the first cigar I’ve tried from the Hemingway line. What a powerhouse in such a small vitola! This cigar is barely 4 inches in length. Showing skilled construction in the type of roll showed itself after the cigar has burned down about a quarter of an inch.
The taste starts off like any other Fuente Hemingway, sweetness from the Cameroon wrapper and Dominican binder/filler. The sweetness blends into a pine/cedar combination that’s rich yet not overpowering. A full finish leads to satisfaction for a half hour.
The Hemingway line is the first of Fuente’s limited production run so score these if you can!
This well constructed cigar from the Fuente family is one of the finest Puros to come out of the Dominican Republic.
Notes start off with a silky smooth taste from aged tobaccos that meld into hearty a spicy rich taste on the palate. From such a little vitola comes a thick plume of gray smoke with a dark gray ash. The medium finish compliments the rest of this complex cigar leaving the smoker with a satisfied experience.
Aged leaves for the Opus X contribute to a variety of tastes that differs slightly from size to size and will not disappoint fans!
This is one cigar to have in your humidor and I’d like to add that since it’s a smaller size puro, it’s perfect for those quick occasions when you want a lot of flavor but don’t have much time.
I picked up the Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) last week from Tobacco Road on a whim when I had a few extra dollars. At a price of $17 a stick (Grants has the same size slightly cheaper) it’s not something most of us can afford to smoke on an every day basis but I did say I’d review higher end sticks 🙂
I picked up the Corona Gorda at a size of 5 3/4 X 46 and clipped the end. Upon the first taste I noticed a rather airy, light draw from the cigar, similar to the Padron 2000 stick (that to me indicates a looser wrapping). The construction of the cigar was firm and solid, though I was a little scared as the wrapper holds a pretty brown color but feels slightly dry.
The cigar held firm the entire smoke! Creamy notes on the first third with an almost white ash held my attention. The flavor profile later became a tad spicy but still deliciously creamy all the way until very end when I damn near smoked my fingers off! Slight cedar notes were prominent on the last third.