Review: Flor de las Antillas DeSocio
Flor de las Antillas was released last year by My Father Cigars Inc., garnering many favorable reviews and placing 14th on our 2012 Consensus list. This year My Father has been expanding the line in the form of exclusive releases. The Flor de las Antillas DeSocio is the fourth of these releases and was made for the distributor Alliance Cigar.
In our news story about the cigar, Charlie wrote a little bit about the history behind the name:
Alliance Cigar’s Tom Sullivan first told halfwheel about the project earlier this year, but it wasn’t until the summer, the cigar finally arrived.
DeSocio is Sullivan’s maternal grandfather’s last name. His mother is the only living DeSocio family member so Sullivan decided to use his cigar business to keep the name alive.
“The stories I’d hear all the time from my aunt and uncle, particularly when I started in the cigar business, ‘oh, he’d be proud of you,’” said Sullivan. Sullivan’s grandfather, an Italian immigrant, was a cigar smoker.
This past week, the newest Flor de las Antillas exclusive was announced in the form of the M.A.M.-13. With the addition of five exclusive sizes, there are now nine total sizes that have been released under the Flor de las Antillas brand:
- Flor de las Antillas Robusto (5 x 50) — March 16, 2012 — Regular Production
- Flor de las Antillas Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52) — May 9, 2012 — Regular Production
- Flor de las Antillas Toro (6 x 52) — March 16, 2012 — Regular Production
- Flor de las Antillas Toro Gordo (6 1/2 x 56) — May 9, 2012 — Regular Production
- Flor de las Antillas Short Churchill (6 1/2 x 48) — June 13, 2013 — Holt’s Pepín Mania Sampler III Exclusive — 1,000 Samplers Containing One Cigar (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas Lancero (7 1/2 x 38) — June 8, 2013 — Up In Smoke Exclusive – 400 Boxes/Bundles of 20 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande (6 x 60) — June 26, 2013 — Binny’s Beverage Depot Exclusive — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas DeSocio (5 3/4 x 54) — July 12, 2013 — Alliance Cigar Exclusive — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas M.A.M.-13 (6 x 48) — October 1, 2013 — Southeastern Exclusive — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)*
*The M.A.M-13 is unreleased and not pictured.
The box of the DeSocio looks like this:
Now you know the background, so let’s get to the review.
- Cigar Reviewed: Flor de las Antillas DeSocio
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $8.60 (Box of 20, $172.00)
- Date Released: July 12, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
The DeSocio’s wrapper is interesting to look at. Without any significant veins to speak of, the ones that are barely there seem to be highlighted on the medium-brown wrapper, with the color getting lighter near them which gives the cigar an interesting marbled effect. Giving the cigar a few squeezes I don’t find any soft spots, and with almost flawless wrapper application and a triple cap finishing it off the cigar is quite impressive to look at. Bringing it to my nose I notice a light, fresh barnyard note though the singularity of it is slightly surprising given my previous experiences with this particular blend. The cold draw however brings what I expected in the form of distinct notes of pepper, milk chocolate, cinnamon and leather.
With the start of the first third, the Flor de las Antillas profile as I remember it is in full play. Notes of pepper mixed with some spices, leather, cinnamon and cedar all intermingle to create an enjoyable, easy to smoke profile. The draw is a little looser than I prefer, though I would still say it is well within the ideal range for most people. The burn is only the slightest bit wavy, though quite even and I haven’t had to touch it up at all. Dense, light gray ash holds on without the slightest hint of wanting to fall off, though despite that I ash the cigar around the one inch mark anyway. A little ways in the pepper has died down slightly, though most of the rest of the flavors remain the same.
The second third starts out much the same. Waning pepper, light leather and stronger cinnamon and cedar notes make up the profile. Construction of the cigar continues to prove to be excellent with the burn continuing evenly. Smoke production is quite significant, with the cigar continuing to billow smoke long after I set it down after a draw. Around the halfway mark I noticed the flavors haven’t quite flat lined, however they have definitely died down to ghostly versions of their previous selves.
The final third begins with a sudden resurgence of flavor. Dry cocoa, cinnamon, leather and a more generic wood rather than cedar note have moved to the front. An overall sweetness has also developed, making up a profile I could happily enjoy to the end. Unfortunately for me, the final inch of the cigar sees the flavors unravel again, much as before. Even with smoking slow and even the cigar develops a little bit of a bitter overtone towards the end as well, prompting me to go ahead and put the cigar down after another couple of draws.
- Out of the four samples that I smoked, three were very consistent with the above description. The fourth was significantly different – an overall very bitter and unpleasant smoke. As consistent as the other three were, I’m fairly confident that it was a fluke and not a fair representation of the cigar as a whole.
- Our editor Charlie Minato tweeted a few months ago that he was setting the over/under for Flor de las Antillas vitolas by the end of the year. Given we are at nine and there are three months left, the over is probably the better bet.
- Yesterday, one of our commenters pointed out just how common limited releases from My Father are becoming, it’s hard to argue against that, particularly given how the Flor de las Antillas line has expanded.
- This was the fifth exclusive release in only a couple of months from My Father in the Flor de las Antillas brand.
- The DeSocio is a little different from the other four exclusives however, since Alliance Cigars is a distributor and not a retailer.
- Given the initial success of the Flor de las Antillas line, it’s not surprising that My Father is happy to make these exclusive sizes of the blend. The Flor de las Antillas was Cigar Aficionado’s number one cigar of 2012 and it ranked 14th on our Consensus 2012 list.
- This isn’t the first cigar that Alliance Cigars has used the DeSocio name on. The first was an exclusive from Alec Bradley, the Tempus DeSocio.
- Site sponsor Superior Cigar has these in stock and you can buy them here.
- Cigars for this review were provided by Alliance Cigar Co.
- Final smoking time averaged around an hour and 45 minutes.
The Bottom Line: The Flor de las Antillas line hasn’t been one that I’ve smoked a lot of, not because it isn’t a good cigar, but it just isn’t a cigar that catches my interest and holds it. The DeSocio isn’t much different from the rest brand. It has an enjoyable profile, though the flavors wax and wane multiple times throughout the cigar and doesn’t necessarily develop much. As I said however, the flavors that the DeSocio does produce are quite enjoyable and the construction of the cigar is as high a quality as we’ve come to expect from My Father Cigars. While it might not be a legendary cigar in my book, it’s definitely a cigar worth putting on your radar to try out for yourself.
Final Score: 85
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