Tag Archives: La Flor Dominicana

La Flor Dominicana La Volcada Cigar

LaFlorDominicana_La VolcadaIt’s been uncomfortably cold here in PA, so smoking Churchill size cigars hasn’t really been the best idea, but Jonathan Carney of La Flor Dominicana sent me a few of their newest offerings, the La Volcada (TYJC). This is only available in the 7″ x 50 Churchill vitola and had a neat coiled pigtail cap. The name comes from a Tango dance move, popular in Uraguay, where Lito Gomez grew up.  The La Volcada has a beautiful dark San Andrés wrapper, Ecuador Corojo binder and Dominican fillers grown on Lito’s farm in La Canela.  I braved the elements a couple of times, but really can’t wait for warmer weather to enjoy this cigar again (in truth, I can’t wait for warmer weather period, winter’s just started and it’s been way to cold and snowy for my liking already!).  This cigar is everything I want in a cigar.  It’s got my favorite sweet, earthy, cocoa, espresso flavors, and is very well-behaved, burning cool and slow for a nice two-hour vacation.  I haven’t seen these in stores yet, and they appear to me listed at online retailers, but out of stock at the places I saw, but when these are available, I recommend sampling them if you like the same cigars I like, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

 

I’ve taken to walking Macha bundled up (she has a coat too), and enjoying a smaller cigar on the porch with the propane heater, smaller cigars are harder to deal with while wearing gloved (and any cigar is impossible with mittens!).  I seem to have a ton of robustos and coronas, so this is a good time of year to smoke some of them. My usual procedure is to walk Macha with a large cigar and finish the cigar on the porch, so this times out about the same. This evening, for example, we bundled up and took a walk, then I came back and lit the heater and a CroMagnon Mode 5, a delicious little perfecto, and last night it was a LG Diez from La Flor Dominicana, which was equally delicious.  They are predicting another snow tonight, and I see where a lot of places in the south had snow that don’t usually get it. My condolences, I’m getting too old for this crap…

 

I still need to hear from the winner of the La Gloria contest, and the giveaway for the cool stuff from Drew Estate is ongoing, so get over there and enter!  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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A Visit to A Little Taste of Cuba in New Hope PA to Meet the Cigar Prop Man!

I’ve made mention of the Cigar Prop, and it features prominently in many of my Instagram  photos and occasionally here. The Cigar Prop is a machined aluminum cigar stand that I use quite frequently, and the creator of this item is a long time reader, Kevin Shahan. Kevin resides in Florida and in addition to being the Cigar Prop guy, is also quite well-known in the bearding community (is that a thing? apparently it is!) as the creator of Irish Beard Balm. Kevin dropped me a note a few weeks back saying he was going to be in New Little Taste of Cuba - Photo by JessicaJersey this weekend so we made plans to meet. The little riverside village of New Hope, PA seemed to be just about in the middle of where he and his girlfriend, Jessica, were staying and where I live, and it just so happened there’s a cigar store there! So we made plans to meet up yesterday. over the last twenty years of interacting electronically with people I’ve gotten used to meeting folks in the flesh that I’ve only exchanged text with, and nine times out of ten it works out, like meeting an old friend you never met before. Such was the case with Kevin. I spotted him on the street, we met, and made our way to the cigar shop.

 

lfdA Little Taste of Cuba is one of two stores (the other in Princeton, NJ) owned by Jorge Armenteros, who is the guy behind Tobacconist University, which is a course that teaches about everything cigar, pipe and tobacco. The shop is right on Main Street in New Hope, ironically in close proximity to a bar called Mojito and a restaurant called Havana. The shop is cozy, there’s a small walk in humidor that features mostly top shelf cigars, Padron Anniversary, Liga Privada, Sobremesa, et cetera. The staff was very friendly and helpful, as one would expect in an establishment who trains other tobacconists. Certainly the focus was on quality over quantity here. I selected a La Flor Dominicana Reserva Especial El Jocko Maduro that has the white Reserva Especial Little Taste of Cuba - Photo by Jessicabands that I’m not used to seeing on this cigar. It’s been forever since I had this cigar, and it was delicious. Perhaps a bit much for noon, before lunch, but I was sitting on a comfy leather couch, talking cigars and stuff with Kevin while the girls checked out some of the surrounding shops. We eventually finished up and went to an Irish pub for lunch. Many thinks to Kevin and Jessica for taking the time to meet with us! Vegas, next time, eh?

 

I can’t tell you how cool it is to meet up with a relative stranger, and it’s like you’re long-lost brothers. I have had the great pleasure of meeting several of my readers, and, so far, none of them have been homicidal lunatics that I could tell. Dave W. is reasonably local and won the last contest, and I would like to meet him for a smoke one of these days (I shipped his goodies as I don’t know when we will be able to meet up), and I’d be pleased to meet any one of you who wastes their valuable time reading my nonsense!. I’ve made great friends through simply loving rolled up leaves, and it’s great any time I get to meet someone I’ve interacted with on-line. By the way, go buy a Cigar Prop or two, I use mine all the time!

 

That’s all for now! I’ve got a Prime Living article to finish writing, and the cigars aren’t going to smoke themselves! Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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An Enclave and Cigars on a Friend’s Deck in February: Kristoff and La Flor Dominicana

AJF_Enclave_ToroThe weather has been unseasonably warm here in SE PA, 70s in February? I love not having to bundle up for my evening walks, or thaw my fingers with the propane heaters when I get home.  I can’t help to think we are going to pay for what has been a mild winter with little snow in March, but I’ve enjoyed this great weather! Any way you look at it, Spring is on its way, and that’s a great thing. So Friday evening’s cigar was an AJ Fernandez Enclave Toro, a 6″ x 52 covered foot beauty (the covered foot was this weeks trend as it turns out). I’ve been abusing myself lately, last week  I tripped and fell, and Friday I burned the crap out of my mouth biting into a pizza roll. Pizza Rolls, when microwaved according to the directions, attains internal temperatures approaching that of the sun. Not exactly a high-brow menu choice, granted, but a guilty pleasure that just needs to be handled a little more carefully. So, I didn’t want to smoke something unfamiliar and miss something with a compromised palate ( not that my palate is anything to write home about).  The Enclave is a familiar cigar, known to have excellent flavor, burn and be strong enough to taste, but not so strong as to do further damage. Did I know this came in a broadleaf wrapper too?  One more cigar for my shopping list, I suppose, because the Habano wrapped version is a great smoke, an easy choice for a “go-to” list.

 

Kristoff CTSaturday I decided I wanted to get out for a smoke, so I dropped my amigo Mike a note and he invited me over to have cigars on his deck. He told me the cigars would be on him, which is weird for me because I’m accustomed to being the one to provide the smokes. Mike only lives a few miles away, and we met when he won one of the presents in a 12 Days of Spectacular Giveaways a couple of years ago and got together at a local shop. We’ve become good friends since.  So I selected a cigar from Mike that I hadn’t had before, a Kristoff Connecticut Robusto. Kristoff is a brand that I hear about all the time, but I haven’t smoked a great many of their offerings. I don’t know why that is really, they look great, I love the Epic line of cigars that is made in the same factory as the Kristoff, and they have a huge portfolio of cigars with yummy sounding names, like San Andrés and Cameroon and Habano. Also, a lot of them have a pigtail cap and a closed foot, both features I like. It doesn’t get much better than sitting outside on an unexpectedly warm, sunny day enjoying a great cigar with a friend.  This Connecticut was a medium bodied smoke with nice flavors, not really heavy on the typical grassy Connecticut shade flavor, but a nice, mellow smoke. As the wind kicked up a bit with a front coming in, the burn stayed even and this was a very satisfying cigar.

 

LFD FirecrackerMike generously offered me a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Firecracker, from 2 Guy’s Smoke Shop‘s Firecracker series. Last fall I had the opportunity to smoke the Cro-Magnon version in this series, with was quite awesome (read about it here, ironically, I also featured the Cigar Prop in the same post, and look forward to hearing Kevin talk about that on Kiss My Ash Radio that aired yesterday). The Firecracker is a 3¼” x 50 with a long tail that makes it resemble an M80 firecracker, and the blends are generally on the stronger side to go along with the theme. 2 Guy’s usually has these in time for the 4th Of July, and this year’s iteration is made by Fratello Cigars. I think Mike was willing to part with this cigar because he was a little intimidated by it, having heard that it was unbearably strong. This one also had a covered foot, making it the third cigar in a row for me with that particular feature. The cigar started off with a burst of strength, and some extra flavor from the wrapper. I kinda feel bad for smoking this cigar, because while it was strong, I don’t think it was too strong that Mike wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I do greatly appreciate the chance to smoke this great little cigar, which timed out perfectly as a front rolled in dropping the temperatures and bring a thunderstorm. Again, thanks to Mike for his generosity and hospitality (don’t forget to check out Mike and his daughter’s site, WineadorArt.com, to customize the glass on your humidor, cabinet or wineador. I’m thinking of commissioning a piece for my cabinet…).

 

I guess I’m going to have to reach out to John Budka, the winner of last week’s contest, as I haven’t heard from him yet and want to get the goodies mailed out. That’s all for today, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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La Flor Dominicana Event at CigarCigars in Frazer, PA

LFD EventMonday evening I stopped by my local CigarCigars shop which is only about two miles from home.  This shop usually has early events, typically from noon to three on a weekday, making it hard for those of us with day jobs to attend. Steve does a fine job of running this shop, which is a free-standing former convenience store.  They were having a La Flor Dominicana event and were staying open later than usual for the Eagles NFL game. I picked up a handful of LFDs, which I typically enjoy. I opted for some cigars I hadn’t smoked yet, a few of the 6″ x 64 LFD Ligero L- Granú, and some of the 4½” x 60 LDF L-GranuDouble Ligero DL660. Since free samples is a thing of the past, I did receive one of LFDs event only toros with the $10 I paid to attend the event, which also took $10 off my purchase. It worked out to be a good deal.  Kyle, the local LFD rep was there and gave an excellent video presentation in the lounge,  which is a Montecristo lounge and is quite comfortable. The video, and Kyle’s talk along with it, told the story of how cigars are made, and the care and dedication that goes into them. I’m a little jaded, of course, but it’s always fun seeing others who haven’t had the privileges I’ve enjoyed learning about all the work and time that goes into these tubes of tobacco we love so much. I’ll admit to being critical of some of the stores in the CigarCigars chain, which has 10 or 12 stores in the area, with six within about 10 miles of home, but the Frazer store ain’t bad, I just wish they’d have more evening events!

 

LaFlorDominicana_Ligero_L- GranuWhile there I smoked one of the L- Granús, and I smoked another one tonight. This is a big cigar, as I mentioned, it’s 6″ x  64 and comes in a huge box of 100 cigars. While I don’t see dropping $800 on a box, these are a tasty smoke with a lot of strength. I thought the larger ring gauge would temper the blend, but on both occasions I had to put the cigar down with an inch and a half to go (a reasonable time to put a cigar down, but I tend to go a little farther) because it was LaFlorDominicana_DoubleLigero_DL660starting to get to me!  Not a lot of cigars do that to me anymore.  The draw was fairly open, but the smoke production could have been better. Still, a tasty treat that smoked for a good two hours on both occasions.  Last night I smoked the 4½x 60 Double Ligero DL660 (shouldnt it be a 460?), which was also a heavy smoke, although it didn’t get to me like the L-Granu. Perhaps the shorter format was a little more nicotine friendly, despite it being the heavier Double Ligero blend.  It can’t be a bad week when it starts off smoking La Flor Dominicanas, I’ve been a fan of these for twenty years, they are almost always a special occasion.

 

That’s enough for now, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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Fourth of July Cigars, a La Flor Dominicana and a Caldwell

Monday was the Independence Day Holiday, and my wife and my 29th wedding anniversary. I know, Independence Day, getting married….it’s a bit ironic, but we figured at least we’d always have the day off, and Montecristo_No2there would always be something somewhere to do. over the last 15 or so years I have made a point to smoke a Havana cigar as a form of  celebration and of civil disobedience. I like to think the founding fathers would be pleased if they stopped rolling in their graves long enough to notice. Sometimes this works out great, other times it’s a disaster, and this time was somewhere in the middle. I’ve smoked some fantastic Montecristo No.2s over the last 20 years, and I’ve smoked some sucky ones. This one fell in the middle somewhere, as it was just a good cigar. I had been given this cigar last year, and I don’t know what the vintage was, so maybe I should have left it in the humidor for another four or five years. Most of the problem was with the draw, the flavor was good, although milder than I recall. It had the classic “twang” and a hint of citrus I expect from a Montecristo I could have dug a little further and found a Havana or two with sufficient age, but I was lazy, and the classic Monte 2 called out to me. After a great dinner out with my bride, I enjoyed the heck out of a Padron Anniversary Exclusivo Maduro that is the quintessential dessert cigar!

 

LaFlorDominincana_AirbenderMaduro_ChiselLater in the week I was moving humidors around and spied a La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro Chisel. I assumed it was the maduro because I think by this point I know the difference, and the natural Air Bender is quite a bit lighter. This is a 6½” x 54 cigar with their patented (or is it trademarked, I’m not certain) Chisel shape, like a torpedo, but with a flattened head, not unlike a pipe mouthpiece. I’ve had success squeezing these to open them, but this time I tried a V-cut across the head. It looked pretty cool, but wasn’t giving me the draw I wanted, so I ended up lopping an eighth of an inch off to open it up a little. While the Air Bender isn’t quite as full-bodied as the Double Ligero line, it’s still a reasonable strong cigar, with rich flavor and a bit of a kick. La Flor Dominicana makes some awesome cigars, and this is one of them. They are almost always satisfying. the Air Bender uses a binder and fillers grown on their own farms in the Dominican Republic, and a very pretty, dark Habano wrapper. These are a treat every time I light one up.

 

Caldwell_TheKingisDead_DiamondGirlFriday I wrapped up another week with a cigar I had some trepidation about.  Las year I caught up with Robert Caldwell at a local shop and bought a handful of his cigars to try. I’ve enjoyed his Blind Man’s Bluff line, but I had so much trouble with the Long Live the King cigars that I was worried I’d have similar problems with The King is Dead. the Long Live the Kings I smoked had such construction problems that they just pissed me off, both because I hate it when a pricey cigar doesn’t work right, and I hate wasting my valuable smoking time fighting with a cigar. It’s just not relaxing for me to have a cigar that doesn’t work right. So I decided to try this the Caldwell King is Dead Diamond Girl, a 6 ½” x 42 pigtail cigar. The blend information provided on the website is exceptional, it’s listed as: Capa (that’s the wrapper): Negrito Dominicano – 2008, Banda (that would be the binder, sometimes called “capote”): Corojo Dominicano – 2006, Tripa (filler…think tripe, yuck): Corojo Ligero Dominicano 30% – 2006, Tripa: Negrito Viso Dominicano 20% – 2008 and Tripa: HVA 20/20 50% – 2010. I think Steve Saka is the only cigar maker who is more specific in his blend information. This cigar smoked great, with some wood and cocoa flavors and solidly medium bodied to me. I’m glad I finally smoked this one.

 

That’s it for now. As you can see, I still seem to be grabbing shaped cigars here and there, not sure what that’s all Hemingway Classic SGabout, but I like torpedos and perfectos.  Sunday I stopped by Holt’s in Center City Philadelphia and enjoyed a Fuente Hemingway Classic Sungrown, another pefecto. It was a fantastic cigar, and while I was there  I had the pleasure of meeting and smoking with former Phillies player and broadcaster Gary Matthews, who I saw play countless times in my youth. He was a super nice guy, and apparently a regular visitor to the store. I would have figured him for just a regular patron if he hadn’t been wearing his huge World Series ring, with was hard to miss. I guess I should have gotten a picture with him, but he was such a “regular guy” it didn’t occur to me. Anyway, until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

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