At this years IPCPR, Dominican Big Leaguer (DBL) Cigars announced the introduction of a DBL 35th Anniversary cigar. This cigar is a tribute to Francisco Almonte who has spent 35 years in the tobacco industry.
Imagine having worked with two of the most famous cigar makers, Mr. Carlos Fuente (A. Fuente Cigars) and Mr. Litto Gomez (La Flor Dominican Cigars). Imagine how much you can learn working with two masterminds in the cigar industry. This is what makes Dominican Big Leaguer (DBL) owner Francisco Almonte, a passionate cigar man, able to produce quality cigars year over year.
As a company, DBL Cigars is relatively young, hitting the market 5 years ago, yet Franscico has been able to navigate his company through the post FDA regulation era like a skilled sailor tacking his boat through shifting winds. All along the journey, he has grown his vertically integrated company to become one of the best boutique cigar brands on the market. The 35th Anniversary cigar is a testament to this growth.
As far as the DBL 35th Anniversary blend, the company describes it as:
- Wrapper – Cameroon-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador
- Binder – Dominican
- Filler – Dominican fillers, including piloto cubano
The DBL 35th Anniversary is available in a single 6 x 56 vitola packed in beautiful 30-count boxes with an MSRP set at $9.60/cigar. Besides great cigars, DBL also makes some awesome boxes or in many cases humidors for storing the product.
I recently received some samples of the DBL 35th Anniversary cigar to review on Stogie Press and today I offer my take on it.
The DBL 35th Anniversary Cigar is an absolutely gorgeous, silky smooth, square box press cigar that has oodles of marbling throughout its coffee bean brown color. The cigar is expertly finished with a triple cap and has nearly invisible veins and seams.
There are 3 bands used on this cigar. The primary band uses the company logo on a cream background followed by a secondary gold band, right below, that declares it as the “35th Anniversary – Master Blender”. The presentation is completed with a golden footer band.
Unlike many of the DBL cigars I have had the pleasure to enjoy, the DBL 35th Anniversary has a unique pre-light aroma. The barrel has a spicy fermented leaf aroma and the foot exudes notes of butter and hazelnut. This is much different than what I have come to know from DBL Cigars which usually present pre-light notes of cinnamon and raisin.
I sliced the cap with the double blade cutter I received from the company and proceeded with a some cold draw puffs. The draw was in between nicely restricted and slightly open. I know that sounds strange but it is the only way I could describe it other than it was just pleasant. The pre-light notes included a sprinkle of red pepper on the lips and a nuance of raisin and a hint of chocolate.
Cigar Review Notes
- The journey starts with a richness of espresso and dark chocolate off the first puffs
- A strong pepper note opens the nasals
- Thick creamy smoke fills the palate
- Medium grey ash evolves and sits on top of a thick and wavy char line
- The pepper has pleasantly receded and morphed into a hint of cinnamon on the tongue as sweetness and fruit move into the profile
- The stiffness of the barrel losses up as it warms to the burn
- Cinnamon notes increase
- The pre-light butter notes appear
- Once the ash falls there is a flat and centered burn cone
- Maple syrup aroma evolves after the first third
- Bitter dark chocolate (think 85% ) moves in
- The flavors of this cigar are very well balanced with the cinnamon chocolate and butter notes pleasing the palate
- Burn line has straightened out beautifully in the second third
- The chocolate sweetens near the end of the second third
- Excellent oils have developed on wrapper
- Spice increases in the final third
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 40 Minutes
Overall, I have to say the 35th Anniversary cigar from DBL Cigars and Francisco Almonte is a fitting tribute to the craft this young and growing company has become known for. This is one of the best balanced cigars I have smoked this year with notes of chocolate, sweetness, fruit, and cinnamon spice. The aged wrapper on this cigar was clearly demonstrated with a significant oiling through the burn. The early burn did present a bit of a wave until the second third and the burn cone was flat when the medium grey ash dropped. I rate this a 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Medium Grey Ash; (-1) Flat Burn Cone); (-1) Wavy Burn
Bonus Points: (+1) Excellent Oiling