Thursday, August 5, 2010

La Flor Dominicana Air Bender

5x50 "Matatan"

This standard robusto features a beautiful, very oily, milk chocolate colored wrapper. The band has an attractive, not overly complex, middle-eastern-invoking design, with a sort of "Greek Key" around the edge, and crossed scimitars on either side of the typical LFD logo.

The pack is very firm, with only a very few miniscule softer spots, on an otherwise rock hard stick. The seams are visible, but very tight, which I guess means a thicker wrapper leaf. The filler is bunched in a very attractive, uniform pattern, that reminds me of an accordion. The body gives off a smell of cedar and spice. The foot however, offers a very unique combination of raisins and toast, which I really hope are apparent in some way in the smoke.

Prelight draw brings a fruitiness, as well as a pretty heavy spice and pepper across the palette. Slight burn on the front of the tongue. There is also a dry oak flavor right on the draw.

Lit at 1:08pm.

Draw is fairly firm, right off the bat. Smoke production is light, but acceptable. There is a strong oak flavor, and a significant amount of pepper and heat on the palette. Had a little difficulty lighting, but that is mostly due to the fact that I am using a natural flame, and it is fairly windy out. Smoke is chewy and dark gray in color. Retrohale through the nose gives a little bit of cinnamon that was not noticeable otherwise.

Despite a crooked start, it has corrected itself to a perfect, razor sharp burn line by an inch in. Ash holds firm at over an inch and a half. Halfway through the first third the pepper and heat has all but disappeared. There is a fantastic leather flavor, as well as rich oak, which has only become more apparent as it burns. Strength is a medium at most, but the flavors are off the chart. Rarely have I smoked a cigar that is as rich on the palette. Going great so far.

Checking in at the halfway point, and the flavors haven't changed a whole lot. Still heavy on leather and oak, with a really rich finish. Lasts almost the entire time between draws. Ash is tight, and a beautiful, bright white, with even black rings about the thickness of a dime all the way around.

At the start of the first third, it is obvious that the filler is getting warm, as a creamy nut flavor and texture take over, with the wood and leather falling back to just be the dominating flavors on the finish, which is still a pretty lengthy one. Burn is getting a little wavy, requiring a few touch ups. Still drawing fine, still cool and smooth though. Strength has also ramped up a fair amount in the last third. Getting a little bit of that nicotine shakiness. Getting a little too hot to hold. Smoke is still not that hot. Put a clip in it to keep smoking at 2:52pm. Cannot believe how long this smoke is lasting. In addition to the creamy nut flavor there is an interesting toast flavor similar to the aroma the foot was giving off before lighting.

Finally ended at 3:00pm, for a total burn time just shy of two hours, which for a 5x50 blew me away. No problems during the entire smoke, and great flavors all around. Highly recommended. Can't wait to try some of the other vitolas. Will Definitely be grabbing a box.

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