Today I take a look at yet another revamped and tweaked blend from Abe Flores and his Puros Dominican Republic (PDR) factory in Tamboril, DR. Yes you read that right, ABE changed the name of his company from Pinar Del Rio to Puros Dominican Republic back 2021 but the name change allowed him to keep the acronym PDR. Abe made the choice of the name change as he started to build his overseas market and did not want anyone confused that his brand is Cuban but rather a celebration of the Dominican Republic.
Like other cigars in the PDR portfolio, the packaging has been changed and in the case of the El Criollito, the blend has been tweaked to use more Dominican tobacco in the filler in lieu of the original Nicaraguan.
The resulting blend is now described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuador Criollo ’98
- Binder – Mexican San Andres
- Filler – Dominican Criollo ’98 and Mexican San Andres
The A. Flores El Criollito is expressed in 8 different vitolas. They come packaged in 24-count boxes and the Puritos and Short Robusto are also offered in five and six-count tins respectively.
- Club (4 1/4 x 30)
- Puritos (4 x 34)
- Perla (3 3/4 x 42)
- Half Corona (3 1/2 x 50)
- Short Gordo (4 1/4 x 58)
- Robusto (5 x 54)
- Double Magnum (6 x 60)
- Setenta (7 x70)
For this review I sampled two of the A. Flores El Criollito Robustos which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The A. Flores El Criollito is cloaked in a medium brown wrapper that is fairly smooth with some noticeable veins running through the barrel. The cigar feels firmly packed but does exhibit some loose leaf on the foot. The cap is decently applied to finish the presentation.
Unlike others in the PDR line, the El Criollito uses a single thin band that employs a brown, gold, and white motif. It identifies this as the “EL CRIOLLITO” by “A. FLORES” in the center along with proudly declaring it as a product made at “FABRICA PDR CIGARS” and “HECHO A MANO EN TAMBORIL – R.D. (Hand Made in Tamboril – Republic Dominicana).
Running the cigar along the nose I noted the rich baking spice aroma along the barrel while the foot exuded a bold musty earthiness note.
Using my Baller cutter from CigarMedics, I opened the cap perfectly and gave it some cold draw puffs that I found to be a tad more open than I prefer, but certainly not airy. The draw offered a continued earthy note with a hint of spice.
Using my single flame torch, I warmed the foot gently to bring it to an even orange glow nd drew in the first puffs of peppery smoke that revealed as white pepper hitting the throat. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Peppery start that quickly reveals as white pepper on the throat
- Solid white ash forms on a medium thick and slightly wavy char line
- Full volume of smoke
- Cinnamon notes enter as the pepper fades
- Fruit notes join the mix adding a pleasant dimension
- Ash drops in nice chunk revealing a decent burn cone
- Coffee notes entering in the second third
- Continued cinnamon
- Cedar notes begin to form a background in the profile
- Woody aroma
- Hint of dark chocolate entering final
- Touch of almond with increased spice in final
- Smoke was a tad hot in final
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
The PDR Cigars A. Flores El Criollito was a fairly pleasant cigar that offered a moderately complex profile. I especially enjoyed the cinnamon notes that formed an early core along with the nuances of dark chocolate and almond in the final third. the burn had just a mild wave, never ran off and never needed a touchup or re-light through the journey. The ash was solid and carried well before dropping. The smoke did get a tad hot in the final. This medium strength offering is one I would say to grab a fiver of and let couple age some more and see how it develops. I rate this a 91.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Wave; (-2) Smoke is a tad hot in final