Cigar Review – La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial

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

    La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial Gran Robusto
  • 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.

Cigar Review – Ultra Luxury: ACC S. E. 1960 Oak Sherry Barrel

 

1960 Oak Sherry Barrel by ACC Cigars, atop the Don Cervantes Travel humidor

At first glance, this dark cigar looks like it’s going to be a powerhouse.  The band has a very old world Cuban feel to it in design and because it matches well with the darkness of the leaf, it makes it harder to see.

But for a cigar with such a hefty price tag ($2,500 per cigar), I have my suspicions. Yet, the website (Yamantaka Global) says the cigar is the same vintage tobacco as the 1950s Cubans. It’s obvious that this cigar is also rolled entubado like everything else ACC does. What that means is that the cigars are rolled in a tube-like fashion, and require a higher skill level of roller, else the attrition rate of production becomes really high since older tobacco is more susceptible to damage.

I’ve smoked enough ACC cigars to know the quality behind them has always been top notch, but this is hands down, the most expensive cigar on the market, and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever smoked to date.

Cutting the cigar and doing a pre-light draw reveal really smooth flavors that are a little hard for me to identify, and I’m drinking water with this cigar.  Upon lighting, the cigar has a smooth taste, with mellow notes of sherry and oak, as one would expect, from a cigar with this name.  (Reminds me of the style used by Drew Estate to make their barrel aged cigars.)

The cigar has a beautiful draw, sending a plethora of almost sweet, white/gray smoke into the air.  That trademark ACC scent isn’t present on this cigar though, but that’s okay. The feel of the cigar in my fingers suggests plenty of tobacco in the blend and at first puff, one would think, would have a tight draw. But no, the draw is excellent as I mentioned earlier.

Medium bodied, but full flavored, the oak becomes soft vanilla notes across the palate.  If I searched hard enough, I tasted the lightness of sherry, making me wonder what style of sherry they used for the casks.

Solid cigar all the way through though.  And a great start to me getting into higher premium cigars!

 

Scotch Whisky Review: Aberfeldy 12 year

Aberfeldy 12 year Scotch Whisky – a Highland Region Blend

When I was looking for an introductory single malt scotch whisky, I’d asked another customer at Greens Package store on Ponce (Midtown Atlanta) and he’d suggested the Aberfeldy 12 year. Said even his wife drank it.

For a single malt that’s 12 years old and priced at under $30 I have to admit, it was a solid purchase.  Notes of honey and spice characterize this cigar friendly malt, along with a bit of peat.

I’m not normally a fan of huge peat but this wasn’t that.  A highland region whisky, it was a smooth sipper from start to finish.  The balance in it was exceptional for the price.  I half  expected it to need a cube like some of the other whiskies I’ve been drinking, but it didn’t.  I never did get a chance to test that out, however.

 

Cigar Review: Raices Cubana Distributed by Alec Bradley

Raices Cubanas 1941 starts with a medium-brown Honduran wrapper that’s glistening with oils. A careful blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers lies just beneath, encased in a Nicaraguan binder.

Raices Cubana – Distributed Alec Bradley

The review:  This is the 6X60 size and normally I shy away from that large a ring gauge (with the exception of Padron) but this cigar definitely didn’t disappoint.

Pre-light draw is very raisiny. The initial puffs are nutty and semi-sweet   Black pepper features prominently up front once the cigar gets going.  A good amount of smoke plumes from the foot.

The cigar has a very easy draw for being packed so full of tobaccos.  The burn line started off uneven but I chalk that up to my lighting technique, and a touch up fixed that.

Flavors at the second third include cocoa spice and red pepper. The cigar becomes mellow at this point while maintaining softer flavors wth hints of wood and black pepper.   By now I’m really enjoying the complexity of the cigar.

The final third of the cigar is where it gets interesting.  First, we had that red pepper bit, then black pepper, and finally?  Vanilla Coffee Bean!  YES!  ha!

This is definitely a medium to full bodied smoke though.

Cigar Review: Montecristo by AJ Fernandez

The Montecristo line isn’t a line I normally gravitate to, not with all the boutique blends coming out from some of today’s hottest blenders, but I picked it up in my local shop here in Decatur.  (Got Cigars?  232 Ponce De Leon) at the suggestion of the owner.

What can I say to start with?

Montecristo by AJ Fernandez

The backstory:

Made in Nicaragua at the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Fernandez worked with Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros to develop this new Montecristo, which consists of Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and filler from Nicaragua and Honduras.

Montecristo Crafted By A.J. Fernandez will come in five sizes: Churchill at 7 inches by 50 ring gauge; Figurado, at 4 by 52; Gordo at 6 by 58; Robusto, 5 by 52; and Toro, 6 by 50. The Montes, which are all box-pressed, are set to retail from $9.95 to $12.50 and come in 10-count boxes

The Review:

This oscuro cigar starts off with solid wood and white pepper notes.  The box press is firm in the hand, but not razor sharp like the Padron Anniversarios for example.  Light brown in color, with a solid pre-light draw, the flavors emerging from that were pretty light to my taste.   Upon lighting, the cigar showed not only an even burn, but consistency of the following:  Said white pepper, wood, with a touch of honey and bread at the back of the tongue.

 

The second and final third of the cigar maintain that consistency with one exception.   The flavors balance out more and the Montecristo draws better.   I’d say this is a medium-bodied cigar.  Would I grab another?  I sure would.