Review: Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4
The Litto Gomez Small Batch series is one of the more overlooked cigars on the market. While the cigar itself receives plenty of attention, by the time the fourth edition of the series was ready to be released, it seems that many had forgotten just how special of a product this was back when Litto first released Small Batch No. 1 in 2006.
While Pete Johnson’s La Vérité is probably the most famous single farm vintage, Litto Gomez began his quest for the more wine-like process back in the late 1990s. As La Flor told Patrick Mize back in June:
We began experimenting with growing our own wrapper in the early 2000′s, namely Sumatra seed Dominican. The problem back then, and today to a lesser extent, was that the success rate on our wrappers was minimal, only allowing for ‘small batches’ to come out of the farm every year. The LG small batch series truly is as the name suggests, a very small batch of a very special tobacco, the most special tobacco we grow.
When that review was published back in June, chatter of Small Batch No. 4 was already in full swing. A few months ago, I summed up the history of the news regarding SB4 in one place, it reads:
Back before the IPCPR trade show in July, I broke the news on the next Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4. Word was La Flor Dominicana head Litto Gomez had been working on a prototype named “L22″ that featured Pelo de Oro and was to be the next version of the popular Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch series. Sources indicated that the release was scheduled to be at the end of 2011. Shortly thereafter La Flor Dominicana contacted me saying that the info on Small Batch No. 4 was incorrect and that it wasn’t likely to be until the beginning of 2012.
In Las Vegas, the official (and now a bit more public) word from La Flor was once again, Small Batch No. 4 was to ship in early 2012. There was no word on the wrapper, as well as some conflicting rumors on the time, which now indicated November.
On September 30, 2011, the first box of Small Batch No. 4 auctioned at W. Curtis Draper’s Little Puff for $2,700.00. There weren’t tons of surprises: 105 cigars from 2006 tobacco, all grown at La Flor’s farms in La Canela, Dominican Republic. (That was featured in the Weekly News for October 3, 2011.) Fast forward a few weeks and La Flor Dominicana officially confirmed that Small Batch No. 4, as well as Factory Press IV, was scheduled for a December release barring any delays. Shortly before Thanksgiving, Factory Press IV was released with the date for Small Batch No. 4 again pushed back until early 2012.
Early this morning, Buckhead Cigar indicated that they would be receiving Small Batch No. 4 and later Andrew Brennan, National Vice President of Sales, confirmed that it would in fact be a Dominican Pelo de Oro wrapper. Size is 7 x 52. It’s unclear at this point how many boxes of Small Batch No. 4 are shipping now versus next year, but as always, details as they come. — el niño diablo.
(Picture via Jerry Cruz of Stogie Review.)
Shortly thereafter came the following press release:
December 7, 2011 (Coral Gables, FL) — La Flor Dominicana will introduce the fourth in a series of “Small Batch” Litto Gomez Diez cigars. This limited production item is sold only to selected “Appointed Merchants” These cigars are very special, made with tobaccos that are the cream of the crop. The tobaccos in these cigars are hand selected by Litto Gomez and are considered the “best of the best”. Initial release of fifty boxes will be in December with future shipments expected in January, 2012. Total production will be about 250 boxes.
- Name: Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4
- Size: 52 X 7 inches Packaging: Cedar Cases of one hundred and five cigars
- Body: Full
- Blend: 100% Dominican Puro
- Wrapper: Dominican Pelo de Oro, grown on our farm in La Canela
- Binder and Filler: 100% Dominican, grown on our farm in La Canela Vintage: 2006
Here’s a picture of all four Litto Gomez Small Batch releases:
In order of appearance (top to bottom):
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 1 (2006) — 7 x 52 — 21,000 Total Cigars — $16.00
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 2 (2007) — 6 1/2 x 54 — 30,000 Total Cigars — $16.00
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 3 (2010) — 6 3/4 x 52 — 30,000+ Total Cigars — $17.00
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 (2011) — 7 x 52 — 26,250 Total Cigars — $18.00
What makes Small Batch No. 4 particularly unique is the Dominican Pelo de Oro. Previously, Pelo de Oro has been regulated mainly to special Pepín releases, although recently making appearances on the AVO 85th Anniversary and Zino Platinum Z-Class. In order to produce the darkness for a wrapper that is noted for its golden hue (Pelo de Oro translates into golden hair) Litto chose to ferment the tobaccos a bit longer than most would expect.
And the particulars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Dominican Pelo de Oro (La Canela 2006)
- Binder: Dominican (La Canela 2006)
- Filler: Dominican (La Canela 2006)
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Churchill
- MSRP: $18.75 (Cabinets of 105, $1,968.75)
- Date Released: November 2011
- Number of Cigars Released: 250 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (26,250 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The Small Batch No. 4 is the same size as the original Small Batch, a slightly beefier Churchill. As you see above, this looks like any other Small Batch, definitely not along the lines of my perception of Pelo de Oro. The wrapper is rather dry and a bit gritty to the touch, but it still shines to the eye. Appearance isn’t what you’d hope for a $19 cigar, but it’s still quite good overall. There’s just a few uneven roll lines, but construction concerns from Tabacalera La Flor are not really anything worth spending much time losing sleep over, they really just don’t happen. Aroma from the Small Batch No. 4 is rather light, earthy cocoa, some cedar, bit of leather, unfortunately I never got a chance to try these straight out of the cabinet, as I imagine it is rather different. The foot of the Litto Gomez made stick gives off some graham cracker, cereal, touch of berries and some cocoa with a rather familiar Dominican pepper on the back of the nose. Cold draw is very smooth: earth, leathers, coffee, graham cracker and then some harsh black pepper on the back of the throat; medium-full and great construction-wise.
The First Third starts dry and toasty with a deep cedar taking over the palate of my mouth followed by a defining roasted characteristics. By minute three, the Small Batch No. 4 has successfully put my mouth on fire and an array of very full peppers are all over the tongue as earth and cedar try to escape from underneath. Ten minutes in and the smoke production is picking up as the Litto Gomez Diez settles into its full and smooth characteristics with defining flavors of sweet cocoa, leather and pepper. A bit of fruits, molasses and oak are there at other points to lesser extents. All and all, it’s everything you’d expect form a Small Batch.
Into the Second Third and the sweetness breaks from the chocolate, which is now turned more dark cocoa, and the cedar seems to have brought itself up front to the top of the profile. The SB4 is still incredibly peppery with both black and red pepper all over the tongue and mouth. It’s the classic Litto Gomez contrast and it’s also what makes the Small Batch one of the few LFD lines that i really enjoy. Smoke production has now settled in at above average. It’s not on the Liga Privada chimney levels, but it’s putting off a good deal of toasty smoke with a near perfect draw.
The Final Third adds leather into a really noticeable place with the sweet cocoa note remerging. There’s a bit of an herbal flavor and a bit more raw earth. With two inches left, I get some distinct creaminess from the spare retrohales I dare taking, which was a bit of a shocking note all things considered. At an inch left the Small Batch No. 4 is still smoking fine, although three minutes later and the cigar is dying, not just flavor-wise, but oddly just sort of goes out.
- This Pelo de Oro is ridiculously dark. I’m shocked at how uniform these look compared to the rest of the Small Batch, even after some serious aging. Here’s a picture of some Pelo de Oro at My Father Cigars S.A. (top hands are Pepín, bottom Jonathan Drew, if you were wondering):
- According to LFD, it’s likely going to be February before all 250 cabinets have shipped.
- Strength was full. Body was full. Flavor was full. The all sort of have their ups and downs throughout, but it’s full across the board.
- The side of the bands do say Small Batch No. 4, otherwise there would be ZERO way to tell the difference between these and the originals.
- I think this cigar would have easily made into a lot of people’s Top Lists had they actually smoked. Unfortunately, it was released in rather small quantities the week of Thanksgiving and isn’t that big of a release to begin with given La Flor doesn’t split cabinets between stores. The prices also doesn’t help.
- Final Smoking Time was 2 hours and 15 minutes each time.
- If you’d like to purchase Small Batch No. 4, a few of our site sponsors still have them in stock. Tobacco Locker can be reached at 1.800.474.4795, Jeff at Tobacco Grove still has some in stock (763.484.6688), Federal Cigar (1.877.424.4270) should have Small Batch No. 4 by the time you read this and Casa de Montecristo carries the Litto Gomez Diez line, you can call them at 708.352.6668. Because of the limited quantity, some of them may not have them in at the time you call, but if you tell them halfwheel sent you, I’m sure they will take care of you.
The Bottom Line: I wasn’t really sure what to expect about Small Batch No. 4, other than that it should be good. It lived up to that, but then again, that’s not surprising. I still think I like Small Batch No. 2 better, but at some point after a gigantic meal, I probably need to do a flight of Small Batches, and then take a large nap. For Litto fans, Small Batch No. 4 has to be generally a great release, although I could see if some call it a bit light. It’s one of the smoothest cigars that he has come out with in recent memory and it seems like it was released at just the right time. If it’s anything like the rest of the Small Batch series with a few years in the humidor, it might turn into something golden. Still, the price is hard to swallow, but if you need that cigar for a big celebration, Small Batch No. 4 is just as good a fit as any of its older siblings.
Final Score: 90