La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez 2012 Cigar Review

October 9, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 
Litto Gomez Diez cigar (click image to go to manufacturer's site)

Litto Gomez Diez cigar (click image to go to LFD site)

I have a little bit of history with this brand as I named the 2012 Chisel as my top cigar of 2012 and, frankly, that’s the best cigar I have ever smoked. It’s so good that if I had to only smoke one cigar for the rest of my life I would quickly choose that one and have no qualms about it. Well… nah, no qualms.

Also, I’ve been reviewing a lot of lanceros lately and liking most of them. Since this cigar is a lancero and made from the same blend as my favorite cigar I have high hopes for this cigar.

There really isn’t anything like the smell of a Litto Gomez Diez cigar; it smells of spice and a barnyard. The construction looks good, there are some stretch marks around the foot though. It is a very oily cigar and there is one of those darling little pigtails on the cap. And now I’m going to cut that off.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 39
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $178.95/Box of 20 | $8.80/Single

Bizarro Flame!

It wants to be good but I have my doubts. The draw is very tight and that is wreaking havoc on the flavor profile, at least in the beginning. What flavors are able to get through include dark fruit and some fleeting spice. Basically, my impression of this cigar is that the flavors are there but they are hidden by the bad draw. The previous (two) LGD ’12 lanceros I smoked had the same problem.

A bit further into the first third the draw does open up a bit but it will probably be a problem throughout; I hope not but that was the case with the previous two. As long as you concentrate on bringing in enough of the smoke you will get pretty strong flavors including the aforementioned dark fruit and spice (but they’re much, much better now that the draw has opened up a bit) and there’s also barnyard and cedar.

Meandering is nice when it’s a warm, sunny day and you are walking through a park but it isn’t very nice with a cigar. I really want to like this cigar and there are some very good moments at the end of the first third and the beginning of the second third but then it just kind of wonders off again shortly after the halfway point has been reached. Earth, spice and those dark fruit flavors are kicking around and they are pretty good but are not as good as they should be. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that all the ingredients for a great cigar are present except for a good draw, which significantly hurts the performance of this cigar.

This cigar has all of the flavors that I like in a cigar but they just don’t get the opportunity to shine. My problem, which is not getting solved in the final third, is that the draw is making the performance inconsistent. Pretty much the same flavors going from the second third into the final third.

Medium-full bodied with a poor draw and good burn; the La Flor Dominicana Litto Gomez Diez 2012 lancero’s major problem is a poor draw. This problem undercut what should have been a wonderful group of flavors and made them pretty blah. This happened with the three cigars that I smoked and I would be surprised if this problem were isolated to the three cigars that I smoked.

87 points

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Cigar Review

September 20, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I’ve reviewed a few lanceros lately so I figured that I might as well do another. But before I get on with the review I would like to say a little about trying different vitolas. So, here it goes. Try different vitolas and you might be surprised in a good way. The more you know.

Rustic looking darkish brown wrapper with some oils on it. I do have to note that none of these (this is my fifth) have looked very good. Actually, each one of these I’ve smoked looks like it has gone through the ringer a few times. Veiny, bumpy, feels a bit soft and a couple of these cigars, including the one that I am set to smoke shortly, has had a crack at the foot. And there’s a pigtail on the cap.

One last thing: I have reviewed a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 before and I loved it, making it one of my Top 10 Cigars of 2012. Wow, I should start thinking about my Top 10 for 2013 soon….

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970

Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 (click picture to go to Joya’s site)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habana Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $110.99/Box of 20 | $31.99/Pack of 5

Walking Dead Spinoff Conflagration!

The draw is loose and, even though I like my draw to be a bit on the loose side, this is much too loose. It takes too much effort for me to get the smoke going but, when it finally reaches my taste buds, it’s pretty good. Very much like the other vitolas but with more of a moistness to the flavors. Spice, a cross between oak and cedar and leather make up the flavor profile at this point. It’s an aggressive flavor profile but, probably because of the extra effort I have to go through to get the smoke to come through, the flavors don’t stick around for very long.

I like the flavors, especially the powerful spice (with an edge of oak) but it’s just not as strong as it normally is in the other vitolas. The only conclusion I can draw is that since this is a lancero it’s having an affect on how much power is actually able to come through. In and of itself, less power is not a bad thing but, unfortunately, it’s also affecting how good the flavors are.

With the final third comes a better draw and a return to the spicy, dry earth flavor profile that I’ve come to expect from the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970. It’s a good ending.

Medium-full bodied with a loose draw but a good burn; the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 starts out unspectacularly but finishes well. And I’m not just saying that I didn’t like the first two thirds because I was expecting one thing and got something else. The draw was just too loose and that significantly affected my enjoyment of this cigar and this happened with each one I tried.

87 points

My Father Cigar Review

September 10, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Another lancero! Recently, I have reviewed the Cain F and La Flor Dominicana Air Bender lanceros and absolutely loved both of them. So, I said to myself “Self, if those lanceros were so good might other lanceros be similarly delicious?” To which I answered “I dunno… maybe. Let’s try some to find out.”

So here we are trying out another lancero, this is of the My Father Cigar Co. variety; the My Father No. 4 to be exact. It comes fully equipped with a pig tail, a medium brown wrapper with tons of oil on it, there’s some veinage going on, and the cigar feels a bit spongy to the touch. It has a bright barnyard kind of smell to it and, since I do like a lot of cigars that come out of this factory (e.g. the My Father Limited Edition 2011), I have pretty high expectations for this cigar. For this review I have smoked two of these cigars.

Don Pepin and Jaime Garcia of My Father Cigars are rolling cigars

Picture: My Father Cigars (click image to check out there website)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $216.00/Box of 23 | $48.00/5 Pack

Supersoaker Torch!

Imagine a bunch of people with bags of pepper get shrunk to the size of amoebas, a la The Magic School Bus, and they simultaneously dump all that pepper onto your tongue and in your nostrils and you have a pretty good idea of what will great you if you light one of these cigars up. I love it. That pepper avalanche is a wonderfully unique sensation that evolves from a hard, overwhelming spiciness starting anew with each puff that momentarily gets tamed by oak, sourdough and some mild citrus notes until the next puff commences.

The second third is not much different but I believe that due to my gradual acclimatisation to the pepper it seems to have moderated. Which is a good thing because it does give the other flavors a chance to shine. What is really coming through during the second third is just how bright and vibrant the flavors can be with this cigar. It’s not perfect but what is?

With the final third you get a lot of the pepper still with some more of the oak. The texture of the cigar at this point is doughy and there is an undeniable dryness to it as well.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the My Father lancero is a very interesting cigar and if you are a fan of cigars that pack a lot of pepper flavor then you owe it to yourself to try it. There’s some complexity here as well, which helps smooth the rough peppery edges by adding some balance. Never sweet, this cigar is pretty dry but this enables these flavors to shine through very well.

93 points

Cain F Cigar Review

August 26, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

In a way, this review of the Cain F lancero is pretty much a followup of a review I published a while ago of the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender lancero. The LFD Air Bender lancero was, without a doubt, one of the best cigars I have ever smoked; tons of flavor and strength.

The Cain F lancero looks and feels perfect. These cigars come in tubes and is one of the special offerings from Oliva’s Studio Tobac, which is basically their version of the cigar equivalent to Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. There’s a bit of oil on the wrapper, the wrapper feels smooth and this cigar has a bit of give to it, which I appreciate because cigars that are packed too tightly tend to have a tighter draw.

So, is it better than the LFD Air Bender? Will it become one of my favorite cigars? Let’s find out.

Click the picture for some more info on the Cain F Lancero

Click the picture for some more info on the Cain F lancero

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $42.95/Box of 10 | $6.48/Single

The Red-Headed League Flame!

Spice and sweetness are the main flavors at the beginning. These flavors aren’t overly aggressive, actually, they are quite mature and refined. Even though this cigar is full bodied right now it probably wouldn’t overpower most cigar smokers. There are also light and bright barnyard flavors going on. Hay and grass add a subtle dimension to the flavor profile that I appreciate.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this flavor profile is how unique it is. It definitely has some strength to it but there’s also a lot of elegance as well. If this cigar were a person he would be able to knife a bad guy in an alley and then, ten minutes later, play a high stakes poker game whilst drinking a martini.

Vanilla – Is that right? Yes – enters the mix during the middle third. The spice and sweetness are still present without any diminution of force but the vanilla does provide a nice accent to the overall flavor profile.

Oak makes a brief cameo during the final third and I have to say that I am really enjoying this cigar. I have liked the Cain F series in the past but this one is by far my favorite of the series.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Cain F lancero is an excellent cigar with a great deal of refinement. Do I like it more than the LFD Air Bender? No, I like the Air Bender a bit more but I have a distinct feeling that the Cain F lancero would have a broader appeal as it is less full bodied than the Air Bender, which is very strong. For another look at this cigar head on over to Halfwheel.

94 points

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Cigar Review

July 29, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

This is a bit of a departure for me as this is the Air Bender Villano, which is a lancero measuring in at 7.5″ x 38. Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with this size but, probably for a multitude of reasons, I don’t usually smoke this vitola. Is that a mistake?

Maybe.

The reason why I picked up one of these is because I wanted to compare it to the similarly sized Cain F lancero.

As I noted earlier, this is a long, thin cigar and I think that fits well with its name: Villano. I think it was in Nip/Tuck where they talked about babies not getting parts in commercials because they had thin, villainous lips and, if this cigar were a baby, it wouldn’t be getting commercial roles either. But this isn’t a baby and, unlike a baby, smells like spicy tobacco with a hint of barnyard thrown in for good measure (do babies have a “barnyard” smell to them?). It does feel a bit soft in places, with a slight amount of oils and veins on the wrapper. There’s also a pigtail.

I have done two reviews of Air Benders before with my review of the Chisel, which I really liked, and another of the corona gorda, which I thought was alright. (Read both as you’ll get to see how different vitolas can lead to much different levels of enjoyment.)

Photo: La Flor Dominicana website

Photo: La Flor Dominicana website

Cigar Stats
Vitola: lancero
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $169.00/Box of 20 | $42.00/5 Pack

How Star Wars Ep 1 Should Have Been Flame!

It starts out as aggressively as a bull elephant in musth with a combination of spice, leather, dark fruit in the background and it all goes perfectly together. From the first puff this is a very strong cigar and I can already tell that it wouldn’t go great for people who are either new to cigars or who do not like full bodied cigars. And this isn’t the online retailer “this cigar will blow steam out your ears if you smoke it!” kind of full bodied either; it’s legitimately full bodied.

Usually, things do calm down as the cigar progresses and, in a fashion, it does here as well but not a whole lot, which I like. In addition to what was there in the first third there is oak. So, in order of most prominent to least prominent flavors: spice, leather, oak, dark fruit and it’s still full bodied.

The final third sees a change in the spice: it’s drier. The dark fruitiness has lost some of its zip and is now more of a run of the mill kind of sweetness. Overall, though, this is still an excellent cigar.

Full bodied with a good draw and burn; the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Villano is a must try for cigar smokers who do not dislike full bodied cigars. Even if you don’t normally smoke stronger cigars I think you should try at least one of these as it does have an amazing amount of flavor. So far, this is the best Air Bender I have smoked.

95 points

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