Cigar Review: La Flor Dominicana TAA 2013 Double Press Maduro

Cigar Review:  La Flor Dominicana TAA 2013 Double Press Maduro

Size: 6” x 52

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Medium-to-Full

Price: $8.00

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Grade: 8.4

Last year, as part of the Tobacconist Association of America’s limited store release’s La Flor Dominicana released a revised version of their opular air bender cloaked in an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.  We reviewed it here.

This year’s exclusive TAA release revamps the LFD double press format, but the blend features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Attendees of the annual TAA conference were treated to special pre-release samples, and thanks to the power of the internet, social media networks were buzzing with anticipation for this cigar. Naturally, we had to find out what all the fuss was about.

But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!

Appearance (1.7): There is no denying the fact that this is an attractive cigar…. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is of an even hue and has a great oily sheen. On a side note, I found it interesting that the front (if you will) of the cigar is as flat as a board, yet the backside of the cigar was slightly curved due to how it sits in the box.

To the nose the only note I was able to clearly detect was cocoa, but there was a faint hint of cream and vanilla.

Burn (1.7): The draw on this cigar was open, but not so fluid that you get the impression of smoking air. Personally, I prefer just a slight bit more resistance.  But again, personal preference.

The Double Press Maduro showed well with an even burn and a dark, grey ash which easily passed the inch test. Even as I smoked it down and the ash showed some ridging, it still held up.  The one downside was  that the LFD burned quickly, possibly due to how open the draw was.

Flavor (2.5): From the first puff, this Double Press Maduro was not at all what I have come to expect from La Flor, but I found it refreshing. Instead of being blasted with pepper, I found that some spice hit my palate in the back of the draw instead of the front.  A nice change up from the typical La Flor.  Another thing that struck me as odd was this seemingly sour taste I got the first few minutes I was smoking….  I don’t know if there was something on the wrapper itself, but I did smoke this on a clean palate and only drank water, and it was a hard taste to get past.

While the first third is best described as “earthy” with light pepper on the back of the draw, the second third mellows out a bit more and presented itself with a creaminess I was not expecting. Directly at the midpoint, the cocoa I got during a pre-light inspection manifested for a few moments, but dissipated as the cigar suddenly ramped up in overall body.

The final third was by far the best part of this LFD in my opinion: After not having been privy to discernable flavors within the overall profile, I was greeted with what tasted like unrefined cacao, and I liked it and the hint of bitterness it brought.   While that bit of cacao left nearly as quickly as it came, the Double Press Maduro finished very creamy, at a medium body, and devoid of any spice.

Overall (2.5): While I appreciate a cigar with a pleasant ending, it is bothersome to me as a frequent smoker that it can take a cigar that long to reach its peak. It’s my philosophy that cigars should gradually build up to greatness and then slowly settle down as the experience winds to a close.

This TAA release has great construction evident in its look, draw, and burn, but flavor-wise it lacked variety. I definitely enjoyed that this cigar was not as spice-driven as many La Flor releases, but in the end I felt like this stick was just lacking something that would have made it memorable.   If you’re a fan of La Flor, it’s definitely worth checking out just to experience the unique format and change-up from the typical LFD profile.

Total: 8.4