Every winter since the one that brought 2015 to a close and carried over into 2016, La Flor Dominicana has released a limited edition that celebrates the end of the football season, and in particular, the Super Bowl. First and foremost, it should be stated that there is no licensed connection between the cigar and the game, but how the cigar comes out does have an important correlation to the event.

Specifically, the cigar, called the La Flor Dominican Special Football Edition, is released to retailers in the state where the Super Bowl is being played that year. That meant that the first installment went to retailers in Arizona as that year’s game, Super Bowl XLIX, was played at was then known as the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Note: The following shows the various La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition vitolas. Some of these cigars may have been released after this post was originally published. The list was last updated on Aug. 9, 2022.

*Not pictured.

90 Overall Score

I thought I had my mind more or less made up about the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 after two cigars, as they were quite consistent both to each other and to how the cigars started and progressed. However, the third one added a bit of creaminess and earth that really drove the cigar to a new level of complexity and enjoyment. While I was pretty happy with what the first two had to offer, the third sample had me thinking that I might want to grab a couple more in hopes of replicating that one sample’s experience, even if it meant lighting up my last sample of a cigar that I still feel is too pretty to burn.

 

The most recent release, the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022, was made available to retailers in California since Super Bowl LVI was played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. It marks the second time that California retailers have received the cigar, with the first being the 2016 edition, as Super Bowl 50 was played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The 2022 installment is also the second time that La Flor Dominicana has selected a 5 1/2 x 63 vitola for the release; that size was also used for the 2021 installment.

As for the blend, it uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper with shade-grown Connecticut tobacco used for the football design as well as the other accent striping. Underneath that is a Dominican-grown binder and filler. In addition to being the same size as the 2021 edition, it is also the same blend, though the tobacco comes from different crop years.

The 2022 edition is limited to 900 boxes of 10 cigars, with individual cigars having an MSRP of $17, though California’s cigar taxes means the price is quite a bit higher than that, closer to $25-$28 per cigar by halfwheel estimates.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano) and U.S.A. (Connecticut Shade)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 63
  • Vitola: Belicoso Gordo
  • MSRP: $17 (Box of 10, $170)
  • Release Date: January 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: 900 Boxes of 10 Cigars (9,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Every once in a while I get assigned a cigar to review that I dub as simply too beautiful to smoke, and the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 certainly falls into that category. The design of the football and supporting accents make this a real visual treat, and while I know what I must do, there is still a part of me that feels remorseful about taking fire to such a beautiful creation. Beyond the design, this figurado looks to be well rolled, is firm when squeezed, and reveals just a bit of an oiliness to the wrapper. The veins are fairly small and the designs more or less cover the seam lines, though the design is really what captures the attention. The first aroma I pick up from the foot is chilled Irish butter, yet I don’t think that tells the story of what is all offered. There’s a bit of biscuit behind that, along with peanut shells, and a wood workshop with boards and sawdust. Before I take my first cold draw, I find that much like with a salomon vitola I reviewed recently, there’s a bit of a balance issue here, though I don’t foresee it being as much of a challenge. Airflow is good while the flavors are tame, offering a bit more of that biscuit flavor and very subdued flavors that approach a caramel or toffee candy bar, while the wrapper tingles the lips, quite intensely on some samples.

The lip tingle from the wrapper continues as I light up the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 and it’s a natural bridge to the mixed pepper and dry woodiness that starts off the cigar. One sample has a slightly sour flavor but there’s enough woodiness and black pepper to minimize the effect. There’s a good amount of smoke in the early puffs, which shouldn’t be a big surprise given the 63 ring gauge of the foot, but it still manages to catch my attention. In the first sample, the burn line struggles to get into the football section, though burns just fine on the other side of the cigar. The second cigar doesn’t have that problem and the third is somewhere in the middle as the burn line becomes a bit more angled. The flavor stays on the dry side but isn’t hitting a point where my mouth feels overly dehydrated, and while there’s not a lot of transitions in the cigar thus far, the profile is by-and-large enjoyable and stands out as being a bit lighter than I tend to think of from La Flor Dominicana as there’s not an earthiness grounding the cigar. The first third closes out with an increase in black pepper both on the palate and through the nose, a change that seems to come about right as the first clump of ash needs to be tapped off. Flavor is medium-plus, body is medium-plus, and strength is shy of medium. Other than the one hiccup with the burn line getting through the football design, combustion and construction are both very good.

As the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 gets into its second third, there’s a bit of rearranging of the flavors, as the peanut shell note moves into a more prominent role, a change that pairs quite well with the consistent pepper that has a distinctiveness to it. It’s hard to pin down just what makes that pepper unique, as it does taste familiar from what any number of other cigars might offer, yet it’s simply not as heavy on the palate or as bright on the senses. Rather, it’s the combination of where it sits on those scales that seem to make it a winning sensation. This goes for retrohales as well, which are bright and nose-tingling, yet not so bright or heavy as to make them hard to enjoy. The third sample has a distinct creaminess building in the second third, something that when it gets to enough quantity has me immediately wishing it had been present in the other two samples as this new combination is quite good. There’s a building woodiness and peanut flavor as the second third comes to a close, both of which give the cigar a renewed vibrance on the palate. The flavor varies between medium and medium-full in this section, while the body stays closer to medium-plus and strength just barely hits medium.

While I’ve thought the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 has had a good amount of peanut shell flavor thus far, the final third sees that transition more into peanut butter, but specifically the drier flavor of peanut butter and crackers that are one of my weaknesses in a convenience store. Black pepper is still a pretty significant factor and, as the final third gets underway it is now a bit smokier, particularly on retrohales. There are some moments in the final third right around where the burn line would be passing through the band that the cigar gets quite good, developing a richer and deeper flavor than it has offered to this point, including picking up its first touches of earthiness. Interestingly, this development occurs in the one sample that has the most trouble staying lit, leading me to wonder if there’s some correlation between the flavor and whatever humidity level is present in this one sample. A bit of creaminess and a slightly oily peanut flavor rejoin the flavor to give it even more complexity, though it feels like the balance is starting to teeter. It’s not long after this point that the final puffs pick up some sharper black pepper and a bit of a woody bite, closing out the cigar with a less than ideal flavor than befits what it has offered to this point. Flavor finishes close to full, body is medium-plus, and strength is a hair over medium, at least while smoking the cigar. Construction remains very good, though one sample struggled with combustion in this section, but smoke production was plentiful and the burn line stayed even throughout.

Final Notes

  • Thick ring gauge cigars are not my favorite vitolas, though the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 didn’t seem quite as big as its dimensions would indicate. There is tapering from the foot to the head, and once the balance issue resolves itself after about half an inch, it smokes very much like a standard size belicoso or toro.
  • I’m still perplexed as to what would have caused the burn line to run into that issue with burning through the football design on the first cigar. Part of me thinks it may have been the adhesive used to attach the design to the cigar, but the more I think about it the less I like that hypothesis.
  • I’m no fan of cigar taxes, and it’s sad to see what happens to the price of this or any cigar in a high-tax state such as California.
  • I know La Flor Dominicana has used 10-count boxes for a lot of its special releases, which I really like on the whole, but also like in light of my comment about taxes.
  • I didn’t get any appreciable nicotine strength from the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022, at least while smoking it. There were some moments post-cigar where I thought I felt a bit of nicotine, but this certainly isn’t up to the levels of LFD’s stronger, ligero-forward blends.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 25 minutes on average.
90 Overall Score

I thought I had my mind more or less made up about the La Flor Dominicana Special Football Edition 2022 after two cigars, as they were quite consistent both to each other and to how the cigars started and progressed. However, the third one added a bit of creaminess and earth that really drove the cigar to a new level of complexity and enjoyment. While I was pretty happy with what the first two had to offer, the third sample had me thinking that I might want to grab a couple more in hopes of replicating that one sample’s experience, even if it meant lighting up my last sample of a cigar that I still feel is too pretty to burn.

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Patrick Lagreid

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.