In March 2012, My Father Cigars debuted four vitolas in a new full production line composed of all Nicaraguan tobacco named Flor de las Antillas at Portsmith, N.H.-based Federal Cigar’s 91st Anniversary party. The new brand was billed as a medium strength blend, and was the first My Father line to be completely box-pressed.
Since then, seven more vitolas have been added, as well as the number one spot in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 for 2012.
Last month, we reported that a different version of the Flor de las Antillas line would debut almost exactly three years later, again at Federal Cigar, although this time in commemoration of the store’s 94th Anniversary. The Flor de las Antillas Maduro retains the Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filler and binder, but replaces the Nicaraguan sun-grown wrapper on the regular line with an unspecified “maduro” leaf. The new blend debuted in only one vitola—a 4 1/2 x 50 robusto—and only 100 boxes of 10 were produced, with each cigar retailing for $7.50.
Interestingly, My Father Cigars sales representative Jeremy Soares indicated it might be a while before this blend was available in any other quantities, writing on Facebook, “You won’t see these again for almost 18 months after this.”
There are now 11 releases in the Flor de las Antillas line:
- 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 Lancero (7 1/2 x 38) — Up In Smoke Exclusive – June 8, 2013 — 400 Boxes/Bundles of 20 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas Short Churchill (6 1/2 x 48) — Holt’s Pepín Mania Sampler III Exclusive — June 13, 2013 — 1,000 Samplers Containing One Cigar (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas Toro Grande (6 x 60) — Binny’s Beverage Depot Exclusive – June 26, 2013 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas DeSocio (5 3/4 x 54) — Alliance Cigar Exclusive — July 12, 2013 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antilas MAM-13 (6 x 48) — Southeastern Exclusive — Oct. 1, 2013 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas Benelux (5 1/2 x 58) — Belgium, Luxembourg & Netherlands Exclusive — Sept. 5, 2014 — 300 Boxes of 20 Cigars (6,000 Total Cigars)
- Flor de las Antillas Maduro Petit Robusto (4 1/2 x 50) — Federal Exclusive — March 13, 2015 — 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Flor de las Antillas Maduro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $7.50 (Boxes of 10, $75)
- Date Released: March 13, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 10 (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The box-press of the Flor de las Antillas Maduro robusto makes the cigar look significantly thinner than 4 1/2 x 50, and the dark espresso brown wrapper combines nicely with both the main band and the metallic maroon foot ribbon. The cigar is quite spongy when squeezed, and the cover leaf is velvety smooth to the touch. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong dark cocoa, oak and manure, while the cold draw brings flavors of wood, manure, earth and a very distinct dense raisin sweetness.
The Flor de las Antillas Maduro starts off with creamy oak, bitter espresso, baker’s chocolate, almonds and earth, along with just a touch of spice on my tongue. The raisin sweetness from the cold draw starts off strong on the finish and only continues to get stronger as the first third burns down. Smoke production is way above average off of the foot, and there is some nice black pepper on the retrohale as well. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a v-cut, and the burn is very close to razor sharp so far. While I am getting some strength from the blend, it still does not hit the medium mark before the end of the first third.
The raisin sweetness in the profile of the Flor de las Antillas Maduro only increases in the second third, hitting its high point just before the halfway mark. Other flavors are easily discernible, including dark cocoa, almonds, black coffee, floral, gritty earth and oak, and the profile is a bit less creamy overall than in the first third. The black pepper on the retrohale has increased a bit but is still far from overwhelming, and the spice on my tongue that was present at the beginning of the cigar is long gone. Smoke production remains high, and both the burn and the draw continue to impress. The overall strength passes the medium mark right after the halfway point in the cigar and seems to stall there, not wanting to go much higher any time soon.
The final third features quite a few of the same notes as the two thirds proceeding it, including oak, leather, earth, dark chocolate, espresso and cinnamon, which combine nicely with the raisin sweetness that is still going strong, albeit not nearly as strong as it was in the second third. The creaminess in the blend has all but disappeared by this point, and the smoke production seems to be reduced as well yet is still well within normal limits. Strength-wise, the Flor de las Antillas Maduro changes very little from the second third, staying in the solid medium range, never threatening to go higher. The construction remains excellent on both the burn and the draw fronts, although the burn starts to waver a bit right before I put the nub down with a bit less than an inch left.
- Despite our best efforts, we were unable to find out the specifics on what wrapper was used in this blend, beyond being told it was a “maduro.”
- There was a cigar made for Good Karma Cigar in 2013 that was said to be a Flor de las Antillas blend with a San Andrés wrapper. The retailer marketed the cigar as that without issue, but after we reported on it My Father began vehemently denying that that was what the blend was.
- Although this prerelease in the maduro blend features the same main band and foot band as the regular blend, the 4 1/2 x 50 vitola is not one that exists in the line. The closest is the robusto at 5 x 50.
- Having said that, there is a significant difference between the colors of the wrapper, so only someone in a place with no light would mistake one for the other.
- I absolutely love the box-press on this size, as it made it seem significantly smaller than a 50 ring gauge cigar to me.
- Along with the Flor de las Antillas Maduro, Federal Cigar also debuted another exclusive cigar at its 94th Anniversary event, the Quesada España Churchill.
- 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.”
- I did have some noticeable issues with the draw being a bit tight on two of the three samples I smoked, although it was not bad enough to impact the flavors in any major way in either case. For what it is worth, this review — and the photographs that accompany it — details the sample with no issues in that regard.
- I am really not sure what possible reason why it would take 18 months to release these cigars again, although Soares seems to have taken down his Facebook comment indicating that would happen.
- The average smoking time for all three samples was one hour and 15 minutes.
- The samples smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Flor de las Antillas Maduro, Federal Cigar still has a few boxes in stock here.
I have never been very overly impressed with most of the regular version of the Flor de las Antillas, but I have to say, changing up the wrapper made a noticeable difference in the profile of the blend in a very positive way. With the change, there is now more sweetness, more complexity, and most importantly, more enjoyment to be had in the blend, although noticeably less creaminess than the regular line. The middle third was easily the most complex on all of my samples and although the flavors in the profile recede from there, they are still quite enjoyable. Having said all of that, I did have some problems with the draw on two of the samples being a bit tight, although neither the flavors nor the burn seemed to suffer all that much from it. In the end, a very easy cigar to recommend in this vitola, and one that I look forward to trying in other sizes if they are ever released.