Last year at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, La Flor Dominicana showed off the 1994, a line that incorporates a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over Dominican binder and fillers to commemorate Litto and Ines Lorenzo-Gomez’s 20 years in the cigar business.
Patrick Lagreid did a phenomenal job detailing the Gomez’s history in his review of the 1994 Mambo:
In 1993, Litto Gomez owned a jewelry store in Miami’s North Beach neighborhood called Pekin’s. As the store was getting ready to close for the day, two men came into the shop and proceeded to gag and bind the hands of Gomez and his jeweler and make off with some $400,000 in jewelry. The pair were never caught, and while Gomez rarely speaks of that day, when he does it is with gratitude as it was what turned him to the cigar business.
It was that life-changing moment that inspired Gomez to enter the cigar business, and in 1994, he and his wife Ines, along with some investors, launched a Dominican-made line of cigars called Los Libertadores. It was a quick growth for the brand, making 150,000 cigars in 1994 before ramping up to nearly three million in 1996. But the business partners didn’t share Gomez’s vision for creating high-quality cigars for the premium cigar market, instead wanting a focus on higher volume. The Los Libertadores project would soon be over, and Gomez would create the brand he is known for today.
In 1996, La Flor Dominicana was formally launched, using the Los Libertadores blend as the basis for the LFD Premium Line. In 1997, La Flor Dominicana began growing its own tobacco with the acquisition of the La Canela farm in the Dominican Republic. Since that time the company has produced a number of well-received lines under the La Flor Dominicana name, as well as the Coronado by La Flor and LG Litto Gomez Diez lines.
In addition to the four regular production vitolas of the La Flor Dominicana 1994, there is also a limited edition 6 x 54 vitola that is only available in an authentic looking beer stein. Appropriately named the La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein, the toro gordo features the same internal blend as the regular production sizes, but a maduro version of the Mexican San Andrés wrapper found on the normal cigar.
In addition production is limited, to a degree. There were 3,000 Beer Steins of 20 shipped to the U.S. as part of the initial shipment. There will be at least 2,000 more with the potential for as many as 7,000 more—or double the production.
- La Flor Dominicana 1994 Conga (5 x 52) — $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $150) — Regular Production
- La Flor Dominicana 1994 Aldaba (6 x 58) — $8.30 (Boxes of 20, $166) — Regular Production
- La Flor Dominicana 1994 Rumba (6 1/2 x 52) — $7.80 (Boxes of 20, $156) — Regular Production
- La Flor Dominicana 1994 Mambo (7 x 54) — $8.20 (Boxes of 20, $164) — Regular Production
- La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein (6 x 54) — $12.50 (Beer Steins of 20, $250) — 5,000 Beer Steins of 20 (100,000 Total Cigars)[ref]As noted above there could be up to an additional 100,000 cigars released.[/ref]
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
- Binder: Dominican Republic (La Canela)
- Filler: Dominican Republic (La Canela)
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Toro Gordo
- MSRP: $12.50 (Beer Stiens of 20, $250)
- Date Released: Jan. 8, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Beer Steins of 20 (100,000 Total Cigars)[ref]Ibid.[/ref]
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
Covered in a toothy espresso brown wrapper that has a reddish tint to it, the La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein has absolutely no oil at all. There is a bit of give when squeezed, and the binder and filler protrude just a tad from the foot. Aroma from the wrapper is distinct dark chocolate, oak, hay, leather and earth, while the cold draw brings flavors of oak, sweet raisons, cocoa and black pepper.
The La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein starts off with flavors of sweet oak, leather, almonds, earth and dark fruit. The profile is fairly creamy overall so far, and I taste a really nice caramel sweetness on the retrohale at certain points that combines quite well with the black pepper that is also present. The construction is excellent so far, with the draw being the standout in that regard, and smoke production is well above average. The strength is milder then I expected so far, and hits a point just below medium by the end of the first third.
The caramel sweetness from the first third seems to dissipate quickly starting around the start of the second third of the 1994 Beer Stein, while the black pepper on the retrohale increases noticeably. The dominant flavor remains a distinct oak note, but other flavors of gritty earth, leather, hay, barnyard and nuts flit in and out at certain points. The smoke production is still quite high, while both the burn and draw continue to impress. Strength-wise, the 1994 Beer Stein easily hits the medium mark by the halfway point of the cigar, but seems to stall out a bit there, although I doubt it will stay there for the duration of the cigar.
The final third of the La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein features the same basic flavors as the second third, but the dominant note switches from an oak flavor to more of a combination of hay and earth, with other flavors of creamy leather, almonds, dark cocoa and espresso present as well in varying amounts. The strength has definitely increased compared to the second third, but never makes it to the full mark, while the smoke production is strong until the end. Both the draw and burn remain excellent until I put the nub down with a little more than an inch left.
- I may be in the minority, but I really don’t consider 100,000 cigars to be a “limited edition.” Or 200,000.
- While this was a stout cigar, calling it full-strength—or even full-bodied, for that matter—is a bit of a stretch. Make no mistake, it is a strong blend, but it petered out halfway between medium and full, which I think some regular La Flor Dominicana smokers might be surprised at.
- Litto Gomez has been the subject of both a halfwheel portrait and part of the Halfwheel X series.
- I reviewed Litto Gomez’s first cigar—the Los Libertadores— back in 2010. I still have one somewhere, and really look forward to smoking it one day.
- The Beer Stein is very well made, “Made in China” sticker on the bottom notwithstanding, and holds the 20 celloed cigars inside perfectly.
- For those wondering, yes, that’s Litto Gomez’s signature hat at the top of it.
- My first taste of beer at age was at the official Oktoberfest celebration in Munich when I was 10-years-old and yes, I did drink it from a beer stein.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 50 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Steins, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Cigar Hustler, Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136), Emerson’s Cigars, Serious Cigars and STOGIES World Class Cigars all have them in stock.
I have enjoyed many of La Flor Dominicana's blends in the past, and there have been some that I have truly disliked. The La Flor Dominicana 1994 Beer Stein comes somewhere in the middle, featuring a nicely balanced profile that just did not have many transitions between thirds. In addition, the construction overall was excellent on all three samples, and the strength was milder than I expected. A very good release overall, but not in the upper echelon of LFD releases in my opinion.