A few months ago I was up in Dearborn, Michigan on business, and after a long day at work, I grabbed one of my colleagues who I know enjoys an occasional cigar and said “let’s go get a cigar and chill before you head home”. Always up for a little herf, he agreed and we set off to Don Yeyo Cigars on Michigan avenue in downtown Dearborn. This is definitely my local shop when I am in town. It has such a great mix of people and always feels like home when I go there, you know the type of shop, where everyone knows your name.
Once we get settled into the leather chairs, I ask my friend my Mark what he wants to smoke, and he suggests I pick him out something that won’t kick his ass and is not a pepper bomb. I had to think about that for little as I recall the last time I turned him onto a cigar I think my choice was not aligned to his palate; but I learn fast. I excuse myself for a moment and go into the humidor. I glance at the shelves and there it is – get the La Flor Dominicana 1994 also known as the 20th Anniversary. I fondly, recall enjoying this at the 2014 IPCPR in Las Vegas when they were released. It was probably one of the tastiest medium strength cigars I ever had from Litto Gomez. Funny thing is, I never did a review of it, so here I am making up for that as I brought out one for each of us.
Before we cut and toast these up I took him through the motions that I would normally do when reviewing a cigar. First was smelling the unlit cigar noting the nicely fermented aroma on the barrel and foot. Then I have him look at the band, explaining that a cigar in of itself is a work of art but don’t discount the band, as there is much thought put into the band design as perhaps the blend itself. I pointed out that the LFD 1994 is a special cigar from Litto Gomez, the founder of La Flor Dominicana. The year 1994 represents his start in the cigar business with his wife Ines. I told him I will explain that story as we smoke this cigar.
Looking at the wrapper we can see how silky smooth it is with a slight Rosado tinge to it. Certainly a well presented anniversary cigar.
The La Flor Dominicana 1994 was originally available in 4 vitolas:
- Conga (5 x 52)
- Aldaba (6 x 58)
- Rumba (6 1/2 x 52)
- Mambo (7 x 54)
Last year (2015) LFD announced the release of a 5th vitola in the line, the Tango (4 1/2 x 48). It should be noted that LFD has made the 1994 a regular production line for the company.They also finally released a limited edition beer stein presentation of them also.
Tonight we are smoking the Mambo.
Mark asked; “what the blend of this cigar was” and I said “perhaps we should look that up”. It took a just moment to find that information:
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Dominican Republic (La Canela)
- Filler: Dominican Republic (La Canela)
So it was time to get these ready to smoke. We clipped the caps and gave them a few cold draw puffs. A delicious pre-light nutty and earthy flavor greeted the palate. There is no spice or pepper on this, which is just what my friend wanted. Toasting the foot to an even orange glow, the initial flavors were coffee and cream with just a sliver of chocolate.The smoke is immediately smooth after a few puffs and there is a floral aroma filling the air around us.
After a few more puffs into the 1st inch, a slight sheen develops on the wrapper and the aroma develops to an orange flower scent. The ash is solid white. There is no doubt that I am getting my daily dose of magnesium intake tonight. A citrus note enters after inch plus of perfect burn and then the pre-light nut finds its way into the mix, midway through the first third. The nut is a terrific compliment to the citrus.
The citrus starts to morph into more of a cherry flavor at the end of the first third while the ash is holding tight. The aroma does another shift, and lets out more nut now.
Progressing into the second third, coffee joins the party along with a touch of cedar. The smoke is creamy smooth at this point, and at most, medium in strength. A slight spice enters the mix, it is not peppery but more like baking spice. It makes for a good dance partner with the cherry and cedar. The ash finally fell as I removed the tightly applied band.
As we are enjoying this fine smoke, I explained a little more about the 1994, Litto, and La Flor Dominicana. I told him Litto used to owna jewelry store in Miami, and back in 1993 they got robbed and that was enough of the jewelry business for Litto and his wife. It was then they decided to enter the cigar business and launched a line known as Los Libertadores, based out the Dominican Republic. Although the line had been greeted with some success Litto’s partners decided they did not want to continue in the business, so Litto and his wife formed La Flor Dominican in 1996, and well…the rest is history.
So here we are deep into the second third and there is nice sweetness developing. I can see Mark is enjoying this cigar immensely. It was just the right smoke for his palate. I mention the 1994 certainly would pair very well with a Pinot Noir wine. I get no debate on that.
As the LFD 1994 moves into the final third the cedar picks up and then the coffee finds its way back and finally a dose of cinnamon spice completes the experience with a maple syrup aroma that is just enough for me to want to fire up another. Mark had the same thought I suppose as he purchased a couple more to bring home with him.
Overall the La Flor Dominicana 1994 is break from the spicy peppery and full strength cigars that Litto is famous for. It was a delectable medium strength , full body cigar, that had a terrific complexity of flavor notes balanced well throughout the smoking experience. This is certainly a cigar anyone would enjoy and could be enjoyed any time of the day.