Last year, La Flor Dominicana began selling a cigar exclusively at Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) events around the county. Named the TAA Celebration, the blend was a 6 x 54 box-pressed toro gordo featuring a Connecticut broadleaf covering a Cameroon binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic.

In May, that same cigar—with the new name of La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo 49—began shipping to retail members of the TAA, though this time, the cigar was offered beyond events.

La Flor Dominicana released a new TAA Celebration cigar that will be available exclusively at events, though the company has declined to provide much information about that cigar beyond it has a natural wrapper.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo 49
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Cameroon
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $9.90 (Boxes of 25, $247.50)
  • Release Date: May 1, 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo 49 is slightly imposing visually, with a reddish espresso brown wrapper and an extreme box-press. There is a noticeable lack of oil and veins, and the cigar is silky smooth to the touch. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of dark chocolate, raisin sweetness, oak, manure, black pepper, while the flavors on the cold draw follow almost exactly, with aged oak and raisin sweetness leading the way, followed by cocoa nibs, espresso beans, hay and loads of black pepper.

Starting out the first third, the La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo is almost shockingly sweet with a dominant raisin note combined with oak and dark chocolate, followed by notes of hay, fresh ground coffee, leather and a touch of floral. There is some significant black pepper on the palate and finish as well as some noticeable spice on my tongue, neither of which seem to be decreasing anytime soon. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut, and while the burn is far from razor sharp, it is also far from needing correcting so far. Smoke production is massive off of the foot, and the strength is off like a rocket from virtually the first puff, easily hitting a point close to medium by the end of the first third.

Both the black pepper on the palate and the raisin sweetness on the retrohale continue to get stronger as the second third of the La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo begins, combining nicely with the dominant flavors that still include dark chocolate and creamy oak. Other notes of leather, hay, earth, cinnamon and dry tea leaves flit in and out, and there is still a noticeable amount of spice on my tongue carried over from the first third. The draw is still excellent and the burn has evened up a bit, while the smoke production remains at a very high level coming off of the foot. Strength-wise, the cigar easily hits the medium mark by the halfway point, and continues to increase.

The final third of the La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo is dominated by the same creamy oak and dark chocolate flavors that have been at the forefront for the entire cigar, as well as the same black pepper on the finish and palace as well as rich raisin sweetness on the retrohale. There are sill some lesser flavors of espresso beans, leather, earth, almonds and floral, but they are less distinct now, and don’t have near the same impact as before. The construction is still quite good overall, with an excellent burn, a slightly wavy burn and lots of smoke from the foot. As expected, the overall strength level ends quiet high, hitting the full mark just as I put the nub down with a bit more than an inch to go.

Final Notes

  • The 49 in the name of the La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo 49 as well as the Kristoff TAA Exclusive 49 is in reference to the fact that that TAA was founded in 1969, 49 years ago this year.
  • While the burn was quite good, it was never close to what I would call razor-sharp, and wavered quite a bit throughout the smoke. In addition, the smoke coming off of the foot was not only extremely copious, but also quite dense.
  • Quite a few cigars we review can be smoked at just about anytime of day, but this is not the cigar you want to smoke in the morning, due to the heavy pepper and strength. Trust me, this is a cigar to smoke after a heavy meal.
  • If the black pepper was as aggressive on the retrohale as it is on palate and finish, this cigar would be almost unsmokable.
  • Bell pepper is not a flavor I pick up often in cigars, and it was a bit disconcerting. Thankfully, it was not overwhelming at all, and was relegated exclusively to the second third.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • This cigar took a while to burn down, and as a result the final smoking time for all three samples averaged two hours and 24 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the La Flor Dominicana TAA Exclusivo 49 cigars, site sponsors Corona Cigar Co. and Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136) have them in stock.
87 Overall Score

If there is one thing that La Flor Dominicana does very well, it is strong cigars, and the TAA Exclusivo 49 is no exception. While the black pepper was almost overwhelming at points—the note is omnipresent on the palate ad finish, but thankfully much less aggressive on the retrohale—the strong raisin sweetness that balanced it nicely until the very end. In addition, while there were unique flavors every once in a while, the profile is fairly linear overall and it does get a bit boring during the last part of the final third. If you are looking for a strong blend with nice balance and decent flavors to smoke after a large meal, look no further.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.