While opening up my redux humidor is a fairly routine process, every once in a while it seems like a cigar appears that I didn’t know what in there. Case in point, an original La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Festival from 2013.
The event was the creation of Serious Cigars in Houston, Texas and its former owner, Ron Lesseraux. The store had developed a bit of a relationship with La Flor Dominicana, as in 2011 it received the Coronado by La Flor Lancero, which was the result of a request that Lesseraux had made to Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana.
Jump ahead two years and Lesseraux once again made a request of Gomez to create something for the festival. There’s not much to the backstory beyond that, other than that Gomez had control over the blend and what size the cigar would be released in, with just 50 boxes of 10 cigars produced.
Here’s what I said about the original La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Festival when I reviewed it in May 2013:
Much like the LFD Mystery Cigar, I didn’t have an idea about what this would taste like when I lit it up, other than that it came from Litto Gomez and bore the La Flor Dominicana name. Had I been at the Texas Cigar Festival and tried one of these, I would have given serious consideration to picking up a box. Between their limited nature, a very good flavor profile and an incredibly reasonable price, it would almost be a no-brainer, assuming the budget hadn’t already been blown by that point. If you’re a La Flor Dominicana fan or like this flavor profile, I’d suggest scooping some of these up before they’re gone for good.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Festival (2013)
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
- Binder: Undisclosed (Sumatra)
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $8.95 (Box of 10 $79.95)
- Release Date: April 20, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 50 Boxes of 10 Cigars (500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
Seeing as how it’s been more than six years since I smoked this cigar, I can’t say I have much of a recollection of what it looked like, other than the familiar LFD band that graced the cigar. The wrapper is still quite dark and appears to have developed a bit of crystallization of its sugars, as I see little glimmers when I pull it out of the humidor. There are some prominent veins visible which give the leaf a more rustic look, and while the seams are visible the leaf is quite even in color. The cigar still has a slight press to it, ever so slightly out of round even though it’s not readily apparent from the foot. It’s also a bit softer than I would have expected, though given the press it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Aroma off the wrapper is fairly neutral and woody, not quite a full cedar but it certainly seems to have picked up some of the aromas of the humidor. The foot unpacks some of that wood note a bit while adding a very light amount of cherry sweetness. After clipping the cap of the cigar, which appears to be more a twist of tobacco than a traditional flat, circular piece of tobacco, I’m greeted with an open draw and a dry, neutral flavor that reminds me of animal crackers.
Not sure what to expect from this six-year-old cigar, the first puffs of the La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Festival greet me with a profile that is on the dry side thanks to more of the same woods I found before lighting it, while also delivering white pepper, particularly on retrohales. I’m not exactly sure why, but I find myself smoking this cigar slower than I normally would, which is saying something for someone not known to rush through a cigar. It’s almost as if I want to treat this like a glass of wine needing to open up a bit, even though I don’t think it is the case. As the burn line approaches the one-inch mark, there’s a bit more earthiness beginning to develop and the outright dryness from the profile is softening a bit, though my tongue still feels like it could benefit from some water. Other than some flaky ash, there’s not much to take issue with in the first half, as the draw is just a bit open, smoke production is on par with other cigars, and the burn line is generally even.
It’s just ahead of the midway point when the profile makes a change that begins incorporating some complex sweetness to the profile. In one puff it has me thinking of a strawberry compote, though its intensity is very restrained. As I try and delve into that I begin to get more of a baking chocolate note, again restrained, but there are points where the combination reminds me of certain fruit-filled See’s chocolates. This new profile doesn’t translate to the retrohale, which is still full and pepper-forward, making for an interesting but enjoyable combination. The core of the flavor still has some dry earth, woods and pepper, but when the sweetness manages to find space to shine through the result is quite good, almost something like I’d expect to taste from a craft cocktail. The sweetness is definitely constrained to the middle third, as the final third of the LFD Texas Cigar Festival returns to a much fuller, earth-forward profile with rockiness starting to enter the profile. Retrohales shed much of the big pepper sensation but are still fairly full and tingling on the nostrils, enjoyable on occasion but too full for frequent indulgence. It’s a bit rougher of a finish than I would like, but with slower puffs it’s still enjoyable down to a fairly small nub of unburnt tobacco, wrapping up at just under two and a half hours of smoking time and leaving a fairly sizable nicotine punch in its wake.
Given that my memories of the La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Festival when smoked in 2013 are pretty much non-existent, it's hard to draw a direct comparison to it after over six years resting in a humidor, but what I can say is that the cigar still packs plenty of flavor, pepper and strength, and time seems to have opened up the profile just a bit more. The subtle sweetness in the second third is by far the highlight of the profile, as there are a few puffs that push the profile into rare territory, while the first third provides a familiar build-up and the final third brings out a more robust and almost youthful profile. By now I'd have to assume that most of these have been smoked or are sitting deep in a handful of humidors, but it shows that good cigars can and do hold up well with time, and are still capable of providing a thoroughly enjoyable experience.