Don Doroteo Cigars, was established in 2021 by Juan Lugo as an ode to his grandfather, tobacco farmer Doroteo Fermin Delgado and Dominican culture. The company’s inaugural cigar, Don Doroteo El Legado, garnered a 92 in a review I did back a year ago. Now the company has released two new blends in a new line called the Salt of the Earth – in an even warmer nod to his grandfather and mentor. Juan describes his grandfather ‘as the very definition of a salt of the earth person. A hardworking and honest family man who dedicated his life to tobacco.‘
Juan Lugo said:
“My grandfather and my Dominican roots are the inspiration for the Salt of the Earth line, which is why we used andullo in both blends. Andullo is distinctly Dominican and has been smoked as pipe tobacco by the Taino Indians on the island 500 years ago.”
The Salt of the Earth line comes in two blends, the Piedra Viva and the Piedra Angular, both of which were showcased at the 2023 PCA in Last Vegas last July.
For this review I will be talking about the Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva. The name itself translates to Living Stone.
The blend is described by the company as:
- Wrapper – Cameroon seed grown in Ecuador
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua Ligero Condega, Corojo Dominicano, Criollo 98, Nicaragua Viso Condega, Andullo Dominicano (Taino ‘Indian’ Tobacco)
The blend is expressed in a single (5.75 x 54) toro that comes packaged in 10-count boxes. MSRP has been set at $16.75/cigar.
As with the Don Doroteo El Legado, the company worked with La Aurora in the Dominican Republic to hand craft the Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth.
For this review I sampled 1 of the Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva toros that I received from the company for reviewing on Stogie Press. I think 1 is all I needed to truly appreciate this cigar.
The Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva is cloaked in a medium to dark brown wrapper that exhibits a slight sheen, a few veins, and touch of marbling in the leaf. Smooth to the touch, the cigar is packed well from head to foot and seems well rolled and constructed. A nicely applied cap finishes the construction.
Three bands adorn the cigar. The primary band use a yellowed white background with notes describing the cigar including blend type, tobacco age, year rolled, factory and origin. A secondary white and gold, die-cut band is placed just below the primary and boldly displays the company’s logo. Finally, a long velum sleeve is placed down to the foot. It uses a gold and white motif and displays a drawing image of tobacco leaves. The bottom includes a gold crest to finish the presentation.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up rich cocoa notes off the foot combined with cracker notes along the barrel.
I used my Haso Taiji double blade cutter too slice the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. Each puff offered a pleasant array of butter and cocoa notes that gradually join the mix. This is one I found myself cold puffing a bit more than usual.
Using my Xikar single fan flame torch, I warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of smooth buttery notes. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- The initial puffs right off the light are buttery smooth
- Aromas swiftly fill the air with notes akin to a fresh garden of vegetables
- Creamy nougat notes fill out the early profile with an added essence of cinnamon
- Dark chocolate begins to evolve deep in the first third
- Light grey ash holds solid on top of a thin and slightly jagged char line
- Distinct salty walnut notes add to the character and depth of the smoke
- The chocolate increases moving through the second third
- A smooth easy spice wraps it all together midway
- Long ash finally fell revealing a well centered burn cone
- As it transitions into and through the final tangy berry note enters
- Rich maple syrup aroma wafts off the foot
- Finally, a cream note finishes the journey
- Medium in Strength – Full Complex Body
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
The Don Doroteo Salt of the Earth Piedra Viva Toro journey starts as aromas swiftly permeate the surrounding air, resembling the fragrance of a garden teeming with fresh vegetables. The early profile is adorned with creamy nougat notes, complemented by a subtle essence of cinnamon that adds depth to the overall palate. As the journey progresses, dark chocolate undertones emerge, evolving in the depths of the first third. Advancing into the second third, the chocolate notes intensify, creating a more pronounced presence. A seamlessly interwoven smooth spice binds the various flavors together at the midway point. Transitioning towards the final phase, a tangy berry note makes its entrance, providing a refreshing twist to the overall composition. The rich aroma of maple syrup wafts from the foot, leaving a lingering sweetness in the air. Ultimately, the journey concludes with a graceful cream note, bringing the entire experience to a satisfying finish. This was one of those elegant cigars that was effortless and pleasurable. It is certainly worth a box buy and add to your rotation. I rate this a 96.
Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged Char Line
Bonus Points: (+1) Extreme Ash; (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Complex and Balanced