Review: Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande
First debuting in March of 2012 in unbanded bundles at Federal Cigar’s 91st anniversary party, the Flor de las Antillas from My Father is a Nicaraguan puro blend which uses a Sun Grown wrapper and now is available in eight different vitolas. The name Flor de Las Antillas was chosen to honor the country of Cuba, which is sometimes known as the flower of the Antilles. It refers to the Antilles Islands, which are part of the West Indies located in the Caribbean Sea, and also include Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Since the original four vitolas, there have now been four different additions to the Flor de las Antillas line, with an exclusive for Alliance Cigar, the DeSocio, being the latest. We covered the news of the Binny’s Beverage Depot exclusive Toro Grande release in a post back in June:
Binny’s Beverage Depot is the third company to date to get an exclusive Flor de las Antillas from My Father. The Illinois-based chain of alcohol stores, most of which feature walk-in-humidors, has received 500 boxes of the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande, a 6 x 60. This is the third exclusive release of the Flor de las Antillas this month, following Dallas-based Up In Smoke’s Lancero and the Short Churchill that went to Holt’s as part of the retailer’s Pepin Mania III sampler.
Pricing is set at $9.70 per cigar or $194.00 per box of 20. The 6 x 60 is the largest ring gauge version of the Flor de las Antillas to date. Binny’s received the cigars yesterday and has begun shipping to its retail locations. A representative for the company said the cigars would be sold through the company’s online store.
The three exclusive sizes bring the line’s current portfolio to seven sizes. Others have claimed they are working with My Father on other sizes, but the company has refused to comment on other specific projects. The line debuted last year with just four sizes, the Toro was named Cigar Aficionado’s top cigar of the year in January.
There are now eight different vitolas of the Flor de las Antillas that have been released so far. They are:
- Flor de las Antillas Robusto (5 x 50) — March 16, 2012
- Flor de las Antillas Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52) — May 9, 2012
- Flor de las Antillas Toro (6 x 52) — March 16, 2012
- Flor de las Antillas Toro Gordo (6 1/2 x 56) — May 9, 2012
- Flor de las Antillas Short Churchill (6 1/2 x 48) — Holt’s Pepín Mania Sampler III Exclusive — 1,000 Samplers Containing One Cigar (1,000 Total Cigars) — June 13, 2013
- Flor de las Antillas Lancero (7 1/2 x 38) — Up In Smoke Exclusive – 400 Boxes/Bundles of 20 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars) — June 8, 2013
- Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande (6 x 60) — Binny’s Beverage Depot Exclusive – 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — June 26, 2013
- Flor de las Antillas DeSocio (5 3/4 x 54) — Alliance Cigar Exclusive — July 12, 2013
But enough about that, lets get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Toro Grande
- MSRP: $9.70 (Boxes of 20, $194.00)
- Date Released: June 26, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The Binny’s version of the Flor de las Antillas is a huge cigar with a noticeable soft box-press and a triple cap. The wrapper is a great mocha brown, smooth to the touch with a few veins visible. It is noticeably soft when squeezed and the aroma off of the wrapper is a combination of strong hay, leather, manure and sweet oak.
The first third of the My Father starts out with a huge blast of sweet cinnamon and bread, almost reminding me of a Cinnabon. The flavor lasts for the first three puffs and then starts to recede quickly replaced by notes of oak, leather, dark chocolate, hay and coffee notes. The sweetness sticks around throughout the first third—but at a much reduced strength—never coming close to the amount in the first few puffs. There’s a slight amount of white pepper on the retrohale. Smoke production is enormous, white and billowy, the draw is a bit open, but the burn is excellent so far. Strength sits under the medium mark by the end of the first third.
The sweetness has changed a bit by the start of the second third of the Flor de Las Antillas Toro Grande, becoming more of a lingering nutmeg note. Other flavors of dark chocolate, coffee beans, leather and oak ebb in and out as well with no one flavor taking dominance. The white pepper on the retrohale has also been reduced quite a bit. There is still a tremendous amount of smoke, and the cigar has great ash construction, while the strength has barely moved to solid medium.
The final third of the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande sees the sweetness and white pepper from the first two thirds all but disappear, but the rest of the flavors in the profile continue pretty much the same: leather, coffee, chocolate, hay and oak. The almost overwhelming smoke production has remained consistent, as has the wonderful burn and draw. Strength ticks up to slightly higher than medium by the end of the cigar.
- Yes, there is a Toro Gordo (6 1/2 x 56) and a Toro Grande (6 x 60).
- While I am not usually a fan of the 60 ring gauge cigars in general, I have always opined that there are some blends that work very well in that size, and surprisingly to me, this seems to be one of them.
- I find it very interesting that My Father has been releasing the Flor de las Antillas blend to specific retailers for specific projects. When we asked a representative of My Father cigars about it at the IPCPR show, we were told that there were no more projects in the works that they knew of, but that nothing could be ruled out for the future.
- The Short Churchill is the only vitola in the line that is not box-pressed.
- As mentioned above, two of the four vitolas the Flor de las Antillas were first sold in unbanded bundles at an event held at Federal Cigar in March of 2012. In fact, according to their website, they still have some of the prerelease Toro Gordos (6 1/2 x 56) in stock.
- If you smoke this vitola, do not cut too much off the cap or I assure you, the draw will be too loose. I learned my lesson after the first sample I smoked, and on second sample cut just the tiniest amount, which turned out to be perfect.
- It seems that the four companies that have gotten exclusives from My Father have all been told they can have more than their original 400/500 box allotment if they would like.
- The band on the Flor de las Antillas line is extremely intricate, especially for such a competitively priced cigar.
- Cuba is the largest of the Antilles islands. In fact, according to Wikipedia, “Geographically, the Antilles are generally considered part of North America or Central America. Culturally speaking, the Antillean countries of Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico are included in Latin America.”
- The construction was excellent for the entire cigar on both samples, as you can see by this photo of the ash.
- As I am sure most reading this review know, the Flor de las Antillas Toro was Cigar Aficionado’s top cigar of 2012, although I gave it a slightly lower score. It also finished 14th on the Consensus Top 25.
- I have to admit, the soft box press on this vitola is a great choice for such a large ring gauge.
- The Flor de las Antillas Lancero has a great story, being produced in honor of Louis Edward Schmitt who died of head and neck cancer earlier this year. You can read about the details in Charlie’s review here.
- Another of the exclusive sizes, the DeSocio for Alliance Cigar, was named after the owner’s maternal grandfather’s last name.
- The smoke production for this vitola is copious, although the whole line tends to produce quite a bit of smoke in general.
- Samples for this review were sent by Binny’s.
- The final smoking time for both samples smoked averaged just under two hours.
- If you would like to purchase the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grandes, the only place you can buy them is at Binny’s Beverage Depot.
The Bottom Line: There are many things to like about the Flor de las Antillas line: the price point is excellent, there are a huge number of different vitolas available, and the construction on every one I have smoked has been top notch. In terms of flavors and complexity, the Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande is easily the best vitola of the line for me, as it features quite a bit more sweetness—especially in the first third—wonderful construction and a slightly richer profile. Having said that, the problem is that even at its best, it is still a fairly predictable smoke, with fairly predictable flavors, the first three puffs notwithstanding. Is it worth the money and effort to purchase and try? Without a doubt. In fact, I would venture a guess that if you have smoked some of the other vtiolas in the line and liked them, you will be as surprised as I was about how the blend performs in a 6 x 60 size.
Final Score: 87