In July, D’Crossier announced the newest line of cigars to come out of the Costa Rica-based Pure Aroma Cigars S.A. factory. The D’Crossier L’Forte, which translates to strong in French, is an annual limited edition release that uses Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos wrapped in a Costa Rican wrapper. Only 6,000 cigars were produced of each vitola, and are sold in individually numbered boxes of 12.
There are four different vitolas in the D’Crossier L’Forte line:
- D’Crossier L’Forte Robusto (4 7/8 x 50) — $18 (Boxes of 12, $216) — 500 Boxes of 12 (6,000 Total Cigars)
- D’Crossier L’Forte Bullet (5 1/8 x 58) — $22 (Boxes of 12, $264) — 500 Boxes of 12 (6,000 Total Cigars)
- D’Crossier L’Forte Trabuco (5 1/8 x 60) — $22.50 (Boxes of 12, $270) — 500 Boxes of 12 (6,000 Total Cigars)
- D’Crossier L’Forte Genio (4 7/8 x 55) — $21.30 (Boxes of 12, $255.60) — 500 Boxes of 12 (6,000 Total Cigars)
The boxes that the D’Crossier L’Forte come packed in are unique, in that they are made entirely of Cedrela Odorata, a varietal of Spanish cedar, from Brazil. Isaias Santana Diaz of D’Crossier told halfwheel that the cedar was aged in the forest in a natural process before being covered in 18 layers of lacquered.
- Cigar Reviewed: D’Crossier L’Forte Bullet
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Factory: Pure Aroma Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Costa Rica
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 58
- Vitola: Torpedo
- MSRP: $22 (Boxes of 12, $264)
- Release Date: Oct. 10, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 12 (6,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The D’Crossier L’Forte Bullet is visually interesting, almost NUb-like with a torpedo cap and covered in a rustic dark espresso brown wrapper that sports quite a few obvious veins. The wrapper is parchment-like to the touch and the cigar has a bit of give when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is earth, leather, sweet fruit, oak and maple, while the cold draw brings spices, sweet oak and generic fruit along with a touch of pepper.
The L’Forte starts off with flavors of creamy oak, earth, nuts and hay. There is some light but distinct licorice sweetness on the finish and a noticeable spice on the tongue, at least at first. A significant amount of black pepper invades the retrohale for a time, but seems to be dissipating as the first third comes to a close. Construction-wise, the burn is far ideal, but also far from problematic, while the draw is excellent. Smoke production is well above average, and the overall strength hits a point just below medium by the end of the first third.
An interesting smokey barbecue note invades the profile of the D’Crossier L’Forte during the second third, which combines well with the black pepper on the retrohale that is still present, albeit much reduced from the high of the first third. Other notes of gritty earth, leather, peanuts and barnyard flit in and out as well. The sweetness on the finish has morphed into more of a vanilla note, but is still not all that overt and the spice on the tongue disappears completely by the halfway point. The burn has evened up nicely and the draw remains excellent. The strength has increased noticeably hitting a solid medium by the end of the second third.
The creamy oak note becomes the dominant note in the final third of the L’Forte Bullet, along with other flavors of leather, dark chocolate, bitter espresso, nuts and hay. The sweetness that has been present in the first two thirds is much reduced by this point, and does not seem to be making a comeback. While there is still some black pepper on the retrohale, it is also reduced, but the overall strength increases slightly to a point just above the medium mark. Both the burn and the draw continue to be excellent until about an inch and a half before the end of the cigar, when the nub gets too hot and bitter for me to continue, forcing me to put it down.
- For those of you who may not know much about the D’Corssier brand, Patrick Lagreid had an excellent writeup about its history last year in his review on the Diplomacy Series Limited Edition 2008 Robusto.
- After being rolled, the L’Forte are aged for one year before being released.
- I was really not overly impressed with this specific vitola in this blend, a short, thick torpedo. Each of my samples became very hot with about two inches remaining, and the cigar just felt awkward in my mouth.
- Patrick also mentioned the fact that Diaz of D’Crossier Cigars told him he uses the Cedrela Odorata varietal of Spanish Cedar for his boxes, which he said “possesses some great aromatic properties with the best chemistry to pair with tobacco,” something I agree with. This was one of the most aromatic boxes I can remember opening in quite a while.
- I appreciate the fact that all of D’Crossier’s robustos are a classic 4 7/8 x 50 instead of the more popular 5 x 50.
- Along with that, I find it interesting that all of the cigars for this release are either 4 7/8 or 5 1/8 inches long.
- The boxes for this release a downright gorgeous, but almost impossible to touch without getting fingerprints on them. Extremely nice packaging.
- This blend in this size gets bitter fast if you puff on it too hard, you really have to baby it or you will be punished.
- The ash is quite flaky, and really does not hold on for long.
- The cigars for this review were provided by D’Crossier Cigars.
- The average final smoking time for all three samples was just over one hour and 10 minutes.
Flavor-wise, the D'Crossier L'Forte Bullet was quite good, with a dominant creamy oak note interspersed with an interesting smoky barbecue note and some slight sweetness. However, the size of this specific vitola really held back my enjoyment, with awkward combination of large ring gauge and torpedo cap along with the fact that each of the samples became quite hot with about two inches left to smoke. While not as complex as the Golden Blend 10 Years, the profile is interesting enough that I will definitely be giving some of the other vitolas a try.