This weekend marks the end of the college basketball season, the start of baseball season and almost nothing important in regards to football, or at least the American rendition of the sport. However, earlier this year, football—as is oftentimes the case—was the sport for American audiences. In football, there are many traditions, many important games, many memorable moments—none more so than the Super Bowl.
Cigars and the Super Bowl find their way to mingle. Ron Jaworski, a former player and prominent analyst, hosts an annual charity fundraiser center around cigars with many of the more prominent manufacturers attending each year mingling amongst football stars and other guests. Ray Lewis, the legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker, has added a party of his own. And La Flor Dominicana has started making cigars to coincide with the event for the last three years.
They are called the La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition, a limited release that is sold only to retailers in the state where the Super Bowl is being hosted. Notably, a football is etched onto the cigars using contrasting types of tobacco.
This year’s Super Bowl was held in Houston, and as such retailers in Texas were able to sell the La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017, a 6 1/2 x 52/60 figurado. It uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper, Ecuadorian Connecticut accents and Dominican binder and fillers underneath.
Production was limited to 1,500 boxes of 10 cigars with the cigars priced at $15 per cigar.
- La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition (5 3/4 x 60) — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars
- La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2016 (5 5/8 x 54) — n/a
- La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017 (6 1/2 x 52/60) — 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017
- Country of Origin: Dominican Reublic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano & Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52/60
- Vitola: Figurado
- MSRP: $15 (Boxes of 10, $150)
- Release Date: January 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3[ref]As noted below, only two were scored.[/ref]
Football pattern or not, this is one interesting looking cigar. It’s got a torpedo cap, which has three different shades of tobacco in the top inch of the cigar. Then there’s the aforementioned football pattern and below that is the foot, which features two different types of tobacco and is cut at a bizarre angle. The foot smells like a mixture of barbecue and chocolate ice cream with some hickory, paprika and a barrel-aged stout characteristic.. The cold draw is quite similar with the hickory and chocolate ice cream flavors prominent along with some additional generic woodiness and jalapeño flavors. I will say, the appropriate place to cut the cigar is right at the piece of tobacco below the lighter cap.
It’s pretty rare that I find myself opting for a triple flame lighter for a review, but after lighting one of the Football Edition 2017s with my normal single flame option, I decide it’s in my best interest. Flavor-wise, it begins with rich flavors of creaminess and cedar. They are both medium, but detailed and easily drowning out whatever other flavors could be there. One sample shows a bit of lemon, along with some oak—though that’s not present on the other two cigars. The woodsy profile remains the signature flavor of the La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017, and it’s now joined by some Life cereal, powdered nutmeg, minerals and some other powdered nuts. Towards the latter half, I get some muted bread flavors, almost like eating some bread right out of the oven before its had time to set and when your mouth is being burnt. There’s also some dried bitter cranberries. Flavor is full and smooth, body is full, but strength is only medium. Smoke production is copies and the ash is firm, though I make a touch-up on one cigar.
The profile has turned extremely woody in the midway point. It reminds me of some barrel flavors I get from Havana Club 7, the Cuban rum, though at times it’s just a generic wood flavor. There’s some added minerals and some faint hints of cheese, almost like getting Cheetos all over your face. It’s a deep cheese flavor, though it only registers as a milder note in the grand scheme of the flavor arrangement. The finish is a generic dry tobacco flavor, something for which I wish I had a better descriptor. Smoke production is absolutely ludicrous, though the cigar is burning extremely slowly and I need to make a touch-up to keep it going.
There’s some chocolate chip cookie now even with the toasty and woody components, which have decreased. Some espresso crema is added along with a separate creaminess and caramel. Through the nose, the La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017 provides some fruity flavor, sometimes grapefruit, other times Twizzler candy, though they are hardly consistent. I am unfortunately having to smoke a bit faster in fear of the La Flor going out. What’s a bit misleading is that there’s still a lot of smoke pouring out of the cigar, a bit reduced compared to earlier parts, but I still am battling to keep the cigar lit. Strength ends medium-full, a bit stronger than it was throughout the first two thirds.
- My favorite tobacco and football stories has to do with when the U.S. outlawed cigarette advertising on television. The law, which was passed in 1969, didn’t go into effect until Jan. 2, 1971 because the cigarette companies and television networks didn’t want to lose the ability to advertise during the Jan. 1 bowl games. In true form, the last cigarette ad ran at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 1, 1971.
- While this certainly is not the cigar that will make or break La Flor Dominicana from a business perspective, I think the company would be served by releasing these a bit earlier. It’s Final Four time and almost time for spring games. I think releasing these cigars in December, the start of bowl season and right before the NFL playoffs would be a much better approach than waiting until January as I feel a bit dumb writing 1,000 words about a cigar with a football on it in late March.
- I am an Eagles fan, so the chances of me getting to smoke this as a victory cigar in February is rather minute.
- This cigar is incredibly awkward to light because of the angle and the size of the foot. It’s more oval in shape than circle, which only adds to the issue. I would highly recommend using a wide triple or quad form lighter to help get a more even burn without spending four minutes trying to light the thing.
- On the same note, the first few puffs take a while to get the smoke up through the top of the cigar.
- As for where to cut it, I went a bit below my normal approach and cut right at the band of tobacco on the head of the cigar. For context, there’s the torpedo cap and the main wrapper, right in between that is a thin strip of tobacco in another color, a good sign that that’s where your cutter’s blades should go.
- I cut the first sample where I would have normally cut it and it produced a cigar that suffered from a very tight draw and a few more touch-ups. An editorial decision was made to not include this score given this seemed to be user error.
- That being said, I think La Flor Dominicana should do a better job about where to cut cigars like this. A small note in each box telling consumers they should cut on the strip of tobacco, likely lower than where most experienced cigar smokers would normally start, would go a long way.
- Each of the wrappers unravel a bit at the start, one was damaged during transport. I don’t think it had any effect on my enjoyment of the cigar.
- La Flor Dominicana is rather unique in that all of its rollers—and bunchers—are men. Traditionally, men bunch cigars and women roll cigars, with the idea being that women are more delicate and detail oriented, leading to less broken wrappers and a prettier final appearance. Admittedly, that’s not how most factories operate today, but the all male approach from a factory as large as La Flor is extremely unique.
- On that same note, it’s interesting that the all male team at La Flor Dominicana puts out more art cigars than any other company, by a huge margin.
- For those wondering, La Flor Dominicana employs women throughout its operation, just not in the rolling room, which interestingly enough, is a former dance hall.
- La Flor Dominicana uses nails for many of its smaller releases. It’s a pain in the ass if you aren’t a retailer who just throws the lid away. For consumers who buy boxes, it means that not only is the box much more challenging and dangerous to open, putting the lid back on is even more challenging. I don’t know how much a clasp and a hinge would cost in the grand scheme of things, but as someone who has racked up quite a few boxes of La Flors that use nails, I’d pay the extra $5 for a more conventional way of opening and closing the box.
- This is a full-on Liga Privada level of smoke out of the foot. At various points during smoking the cigar, I would look five feet in front of me and wonder if something on my patio other than a cigar was burning.
- La Flor Dominicana advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Smoking time was three and a half hours on average.
- Site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars carries the La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017.
While this is not the highest scoring La Flor Dominicana we will review this year, I think it’s a success. The La Flor Dominicana Football Special Edition 2017 is a cigar that most people can smoke—not too strong, not too boring and a bit unique. Oftentimes the art cigars can be rather monotonous, or even worse—this is not that. It still is form over function, but it teeters the edge just enough where it’s an enjoyable cigar to do more than just look at.