A number of years ago, my wife and I took a trip over to Ybor City, Florida to write an article on this iconic American cigar town. The main street of the city, La Septima, is dotted with a multitude of cigar shops and small factories, one of which is La Faraona Cigars. The shop/factory is owned by Odelma Matos, a Cuban immigrant who is the daughter of a Tobaqueros in Cuba and learned the art, craft, and science of tobacco and cigar manufacturing. Starting at the age of 16 years old Odelma followed her passion and was trained by Torcedores (Master Rollers) to become a Torcedora (female roller). Between 1997 and 2002, she mastered the art and always maintained the teaching of her parents to apply traditional values and standards.
The original La Faraona Cigars was created in 1987 in Havana, Cuba within Jose Manuel Guira’s manufacturing company. Once Odelma and her family immigrated to the US, it was her desire to continue the tradition and share “La Faraona” as brand. When I spoke to Odelma a few years back she noted:
“Our family carefully selects the leaves used in our cigars for a better burn and better taste. The right tobacco, hand rolled at the right tightness allows for a smoking experience compared to the old rollers of the Cuban factory workers.”
I recently received some samples of La Faraona Cigars from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press and today I am happy to present a review of their latest blend the Dala.
The blend of the La Faraona Dala is described as:
- Wrapper – San Andreas Corojo
- Binder – Esteli Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaragua, Honduran, Dominican
They are available in a four vitolas and come packaged in 20 -count boxes. They can be purchased directly from the company on their website.
- Figurado Faraona 5 x 60 (MSRP $8.00)
- Toro 6 x 54 (MSRP $7.00)
- Robusto 5 x 50 (MSRP $5.00)
The company’s site has a 5.5 x 52 for sale for $198.00/20-count box ($6.40)
For this review, I sampled the La Faraona Dala Toro.
The La Faraona Dala has a milk chocolate-brown wrapper with some veins and a slight tooth to the wrapper. It is heavy in the hand and packed solid throughout. The cigar is finished with an expertly applied triple cap. Examining the foot you will notice Odelma uses the traditional Cuban Entubado Bunch method to roll her cigars.
The Dala is adorned with a two bands. the primary uses a black and silver motif. The word “Dalā” is printed above an image of Odelma rolling a cigar on her thigh and the sides of the band state “Hecho a Mano” and “Hand Made”. The secondary footer band is plain black satin and finishes the presentation well.
Running the La Faraona Dala along the nose I picked up sweet fermented tobacco aroma on barrel and fresh hay and fruit off the foot
Using my double blade Zikar cutter, I sliced the cap and gave it s few cold draw puffs. The draw was perfectly restricted – just as I like. The cold draw offered notes of nut, light red pepper, and fruit. This is already turning out to be a cigar I feel I will enjoy here on crisp winter day in the Stogie Press lounge.
Cigar Review Notes
- Warming red pepper on the nose
- Early pepper is warming the cheeks
- As the pepper receded a rich espresso note graces the palate
- White ash develops on medium char line
- Cream adds to the espresso
- Some natural sweetness
- Ash fell after 2 inches fairly flat cone
- Slight off burn that corrects on its own
- A mild nut enters midway
- Sweetness and nut blend well
- Very smooth smoke at this point
- Spice moves in along with a maple syrup aroma
- The flavors maintain but the aroma shifted to a rich walnut
- Slight butter note mixed with spice at the end
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was one hour and twenty minutes of pleasure
Overall, the La Faraona Dala was a magnificent smoke with a balanced set of palate pleasing notes and aromas. This was an easy cigar to enjoy and would perfectly pair with a cafe cubana in the mid-afternoon. If you are ever in the Tampa, Florida area head over to Ybor City and look up La Faraona Cigars, their cigars are rolled in-house with a price that won’t break your wallet.