Late last year, La Flor Dominicana announced that it would be adding a cigar called El Carajón to its portfolio.
The news got somewhat lost in the midst of a lot of product announcements from the company, as well as the saga of when the much-anticipated 1994 Beer Steins would ship. That being said, El Carajón is one of a handful of shorter cigars that have debuted this winter season, something that isn’t entirely unique, but definitely a bit more prevalent in 2015.
It measures 4 x 34 and uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over Dominican binders and fillers. The El Carajón is priced at $2.50 per cigar and sold in boxes of 100, which feature two sliding lids.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana El Carajón
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 34
- Vitola: Petite
- MSRP: $2.50 (Boxes of 100, $250)
- Date Released: Dec. 3, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 5
I’ve long taken issue with the fact that La Flor Domincana, thanks to its relatively limited amount of band designs, has a portfolio that is extremely challenging to tell apart. Fortunately, the El Carajón and similarly-sized Carajos feature different bands, making the activity much easier. As for the Ecuadorian wrapper, it has a decent wet mud color to it with fairly consistent color, something that isn’t always the case with the smaller sizes. There’s not a ton of aroma once the cigars are out of the box, but the foot provides a fair bit of sweet floral, hickory and a touch of paprika. The cold draw has the right amount of sweetness, some barbecue sauce, pepper and nuttiness.
There’s damp and roasted woods from the start with nuttiness, lots of black pepper all around the tongue and popcorn on the finish. Smoke production of the El Carajón is good from the start and the draw remains where it was at the start of the cigar, which is good. As the first inch burns down, there’s hickory, some white pepper, a bit of meatiness and some salty shelled peanuts. With the first half dozen puffs, it’s clear the struggle of the El Carajón is going to be keeping the cigar burning without it getting to hot.
Toastiness, cedar, hints of mushroom and a bit of floral emerge at the midpoint of the cigar. The salty peanut cute has turned much more into a sweeter, more vibrant, walnut. Despite the massive shifts in flavor, the El Carajón remains otherwise quite the same: great smoke production, somewhat warm in temperature, medium plus in body, medium in strength and an even burn.
The sweeter nuttiness continues into the final third, although the floral flavors disappear. Despite the warmer smoke, the harshness is playing less of a role as things burn down. Returning is the woodsy mix that started the cigar, which pairs okay with the much sweeter profile. Construction remains the same even past the one-inch mark, although eventually I have to slow down dramatically to prevent the La Flor from getting to hot.
- I always get a bit concerned about referring to something using a foreign-based article with a “the” in front of it.
- The packaging for the release is great, although I’m not sure it would work for normal-sized releases. This seems like something that works for the small or large.
- This is not the least expensive cigar reviewed on halfwheel—not even close.
- I really do like the packaging for the El Carajón.
- This was a medium strength cigar with a bit more body, not a normal characteristic for LFD.
- Final smoking time was about 40 minutes on average.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by La Flor Dominicana.
There is a lot to like about the El Carajón, the price, the packaging and even the flavor, but there’s one big concern that I have particularly before anyone anoints this as “a perfect smoke for winter.” It got hot, even when it wasn’t pushed a lot, the small ring gauge cigar turned red at one end and harsh in the mouth. Remedying it was not difficult, but avoiding it is going to require a lot of practice. It’s a particularly big problem given that many will turn to these given their ability to be smoked quickly in colder weather, a scenario that sounds less than ideal to me.