Review: La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedo
During the IPCPR show in 2011, La Flor Dominicana showed off a unique humidor, with a unique blend. The Casa del Tobaco was a scale model humidor of a tobacco curing barn that typically holds tobacco after it has been harvested. Inside were a total of 24 Airbender Maduros measuring 6 1/2 x 54, each featuring the same blend as the Airbender, but with a Brazilian Habano wrapper. This was the first time that Airbender Maduro blend was used.
Fast forward to 2012 and La Flor Dominicana announced it would be releasing the Airbender Maduro blend in a Torpedo vitola as a limited release only for TAA stores.
From their website, the TAA describes themselves as follows:
Our Mission Statement:
To provide an open forum of ideas, strategies, and problem solving between retail tobacconist and vendors to the trade.
Our Organization’s Objectives:
TAA exists to achieve three primary objectives:
- To establish a forum where members can exchange information and share solutions to mutual problems.
- To be represented by experienced tobacconists who promote professionalism in the industry through training and exercising fiscal responsibility. The representatives are full-line tobacco retailers who wholeheartedly comply with applicable state and local laws, are well established in the industry and the community.
- To function as a buying group that takes advantage of industry close outs and passes huge savings to members, and exclusively provides high-quality cigars and pipes manufactured by TAA associate members and under TAA-owned trademarks.
TAA retail members can buy directly from associate members (manufacturers and suppliers) at special offered prices. The support and cooperation of all members is what makes TAA so valuable. Taking advantage of networking opportunities benefits all members. Sharing knowledge and experience is mutually satisfying, and buying from associate members strengthens purchasing lines. All members are encouraged to attend the annual convention, which is not only educational but enjoyable.
The La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedo is a limited release cigar and are being sold in boxes of 20 for $200.00 a box, or $10.00 each.
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedo
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Brazilian Habano
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Torpedo
- MSRP: $10.00 (Boxes of 20, $200.00)
- Release Date: June 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 800 Boxes of 20 Cigars (16,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The LFD TAA creation is extremely striking to look at with a dark brown and black wrapper that looks like it was dipped in oil. Interestingly, although there is an abundance of oil, the Brazilian wrapper is still quite rough to the touch. It has the perfect amount of give when squeezed and the smells strongly of manure, barnyard, hay and leather.
The first third of the La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedo starts off instantly with notes of dark, slightly bitter chocolate, leather and earth. There’s also a wonderful amount of spice on the tongue that quickly fades to the background after about 10 puffs. I am getting just a bit of black pepper on the retrohale, but not in the mouth or on the lips. The draw is wonderful and the burn is excellent after it took a little to get the wrapper lit. Strength starts out as a solid medium, and while it is not going anywhere fast, it is steadily getting stronger.
Coming into the second third of the Litto Gomez creation and the profile is pretty much the same for the most part. The same basic flavors in the same amounts: espresso, leather, earth and slightly bitter chocolate. There is a bit of general sweetness that comes and goes, but it is just not that strong at this point in the cigar for me to really nail down a specific flavor. As expected the strength has increased to a stronger medium, but not that quickly at all and I would be surprised if it crossed the line to full. Burn and draw remain excellent, and the smoke production is enormous.
The final third of the TAA cigar shows a few changes in profile, flavors and strength. First, the profile gets quite a bit creamier and richer, which combines very well with the espresso and chocolate notes from the first two thirds that are still dominant. Second, the overall strength of the cigar continues to rise and ends the right under the full mark. There are a few more flavors that have come to the forefront as well, most notably oak and an interesting note that reminded me strongly of red wine. Construction remains excellent until the end of the smoke, and it did not even get close to getting harsh.
- The pre-draw profile was dominated by one of the strongest flavors of dark chocolate I can remember, on par with the Coronado Maduro Redux I reviewed.
- As mentioned above, the wrapper on this cigar is extremely thick and took about 15 puffs to really get going.
- Although the Airbender Maduro was also released in the O.Y.A. Maduro Sampler, which stands for on your ass, there are rumors that version used a different wrapper than the Brazilian Habano used on the Casa de Tobaco and TAA releases.
- The overall profile is extremely rich and very heavy, what I would call dense, and progressively gets creamier as the cigar burns to the end of the smoke.
- La Flor originally told us 800 boxes were likely to be released, they aren’t positive that’s the exact number, so around 800.
- Smoke production was almost at Liga Privada levels.
- Although not all of the releases for the TAA are known at this time, there has been at least one other confirmed cigar: the Tatuaje TAA 2012, which will feature the same blend as the 2011 TAA release, in a smaller vitola, and should be available after the IPCPR show in August.
- It’s interesting to note that the strength was less overwhelming than most of Litto’s blends, a very welcome change. Honestly, the blend worked very well because of that.
- If you would like to purchase some of the La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedoes, they are sold only at TAA stores. You can find a list of TAA members on their website here.
- The final smoking time for both samples was right at one hour and 45 minutes.
The Bottom Line: While I enjoyed the dark, heavy and slightly sweet profile of the La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedo, the lack of complexity in the blend really took my enthusiasm down a notch. Having said that, overall construction was wonderful for the most part, there was quite a bit of smoke production, and unlike most of Litto’s sticks, the strength was not overwhelming at all, and actually worked in harmony with the blend. The profile is right down my ally, but honestly, I would rather pay more and get one of the Small Batch No. 4 or the new Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro.
Final Score: 83