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The era of single store and small batch release cigars isn’t quite dead as new projects continue to arrive on shelves, including a new cigar made by La Flor Dominicana for Elite Cigar Cafe in Addison, Texas.

The appropriately named La Flor Dominicana Elite Torpedo is a 6 x 54 figurado with an oscuro wrapper over a Dominican binder and fillers. The cigar got its release at a Jan. 25, 2018 event at the store that featured Tony Gomez.

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Just 50 boxes of 10 cigars were produced, a total run of 500 cigars. Each box is priced at $100, while single cigars are $10 each.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana Elite Torpedo
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
  • Wrapper: Oscuro
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • MSRP: $10 (Boxes of 10, $100)
  • Release Date: Jan. 25, 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: 50 Boxes of 10 Cigars (500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

If all you want is a dark, oily wrapper, stop reading and go buy the La Flor Dominicana Elite Torpedo right now. Its sheen glosses up a fairly even color with a bit of mottling to the lighter side of the spectrum, with small, drained veins and no tooth. The roll is clean though has a few small bumps coming from underneath the wrapper, and the heads of the cigars are clean if not always perfectly straight. From the foot, I’m offered aromas of salami and assorted cured meats as well as peanuts and just a bit of pepper. There’s some sweetness in there, yet I can’t figure out exactly to what I’d equate it, possibly plain bubble gum, possibly table sugar. Even with the tapered head the cold draw on the first sample is a touch loose but not concerning, offering more of the salami and cured meat flavors—none of the peanut or pepper—but an intertwining note that has me thinking of balsamic thanks to a mix of sweetness and tanginess. A more conservative decapitation on the second and third cigars reveals a slightly firmer draw.

The La Flor Dominicana Elite Torpedo opens up with decent smoke production and an easy draw that delivers a somewhat dry and toasty profile in the first puffs that gets some backing from black pepper. There’s a bit of wax and chalk in the texture of the smoke, a combination I can’t say I’m fond of as it goes right for the tip of the tongue, but it’s manageable. There’s some decent pepper through the nose in the first inch that provides a subtle exclamation point to the flavors without throwing things out of balance. The first clump of ash falls during a puff at about an inch in length, and with its departure the cigar picks up a bit more flavor intensity. There’s more pepper through the nose and on the palate, and the profile isn’t quite as dry as it started. Regardless of the air flow the cigar burns well with decent smoke production.

I get some suggestions at chocolate in the transition from first to second third, though it’s not enough to warrant being called dominant, as it is behind some fresh woods and a bit of dry earth that has the most prominent role in the finish. After picking up some lushness from the chocolate, the cigar dries back out while keeping the wood and earth but shifting how they hit the tongue. Past the midpoint, there’s a reintroduction of the chocolate—sometimes thick and chewy like a brownie, other times more like cocoa powder—and the smoke gets a bit fuller and thicker in the mouth. It is definitely the preferred profile that the blend has offered, with the complementary pepper found in the retrohale an enjoyable touch. The closing puffs are the second third are noticeably stronger through the nose both by way of pepper and dry wood. The draw and burn both remain excellent, though the former is still just a touch loose in the first sample.

Heat is the biggest change I get at the start of the final third, as the smoke is suddenly much warmer yet trying to deliver the same core flavors it has offered thus far. A slower puffing rate helps to mitigate the heat a bit but not entirely, and with the chocolate largely gone, the flavor returns to being quite dry with chalk lingering on the finish. There is a bit of cocoa powder that lingers, yet it’s so minor and blends into the other flavors that it’s easy to overlook unless full attention and a clean palate are being given to the profile. There’s sharp heat and a touch of char that comes along when the burn line has just over an inch to go, which is mitigated with more measured puffs and allows the cigar to still be enjoyed down to a short stump of tobacco.

Final Notes

  • I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I’d love for LFD to add a secondary band indicating what these special release cigars are. However, in the era of FDA, I wonder if that might hinder such projects from coming out since they’d be labeled even more distinctly.
  • That said, it’s a good reminder to have some blank bands on hand to remind you of what this is in case you just bought some singles.
  • Editor’s Note: And I’ll say it again, some basic clasps on these boxes would be far better than the practice of using nails which were legitimately dangerous once the box is opened. — CM.
  • I’ll save the griping about the size; at least it’s a figurado instead of the standard toro.
  • I generally find La Flor Dominicana cigars to be some of the slower burning ones on the market, though I didn’t find the Elite Torpedo to be much slower than I would have expected. It’s not a cigar to rush through, but it never feels long or labored.
  • While La Flor Dominicana is known for producing strong cigars, this is much more medium in nicotine strength, with no lingering effects after any of the samples.
  • Other than a bit of variance in the draw and the way the chocolate presented, each of the three samples was remarkably consistent in strength, flavor, body, and technical performance.
  • Speaking of technical performance, each of the three samples burned about as well as I could ask for. Other than ash that was prone to detach without warning at times, it was near flawless.
  • A release of just 500 cigars is so small it’s even hard to fathom in some regards.
  • The cigars for this review were provided by La Flor Dominicana.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 55 minutes on average.
  • The only place to purchase the La Flor Dominicana Elite Torpedo is Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136) in Addison, Texas.
86 Overall Score

While I don’t have much bad to say about the La Flor Dominicana Elite Torpedo, I wish I had more encouraging things to pass along. It’s a good cigar, decently balanced, somewhat linear in terms of flavor, but capable of hitting some high points when the chocolate sweetness is present in the profile. This is the kind of cigar you pick up out of either curiosity, general interest or support of the seller and/or retailer, smoke it, enjoy it, but likely not feel compelled to pick up more. I’d gladly smoke this again, but I can’t say I’d rush out any by some without really wanting the logoed box. A decent cigar, but one short of the high points that La Flor Dominicana produces in several of its other lines.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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