Last year, somewhat out of nowhere, La Flor Dominicana announced that it was ready to ship the latest version of the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch, a cigar named for the company’s founder, Litto Gomez.
While there hasn’t really been an exact pattern for release, Small Batch Nos. 4, 5 and 6 all showed up late in the calendar during odd-numbered years. The only issue was there wasn’t release in 2017, meaning that this is the first time the company has shipped the cigar since 2015.
Furthermore, La Flor Dominicana has dropped the naming scheme for this cigar, choosing to simply call it Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch for reasons related to FDA regulations.
For what it’s worth, this is the eighth release for the series, though it likely would have been Small Batch No. 7. Two versions of the No. 4 are what resulted in the difference between the number of cigars in the series and the number included in the name.
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 1 (7 x 52) — 2006 — 200 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (21,000 Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 2 (6 1/2 x 54) – 2007 — 285 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 3 (6 3/4 x 52) — 2010 — 285 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (30,000+ Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 (7 x 52) — November 2011 — 250 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (26,250 Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 4 Oscuro (7 x 52) — June 29, 2012 — 100 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (10,500 Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 5 (6 3/4 x 52) — December 2013 — 238 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch No. 6 (6 3/4 x 52) — December 2015 — 250 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (26,250 Total Cigars)
- Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch (2019) (6 1/2 x 52) — December 2019 — 250 Cabinets of 105 Cigars (26,250 Total Cigars)
Most of the rest of the cigar remains the same as its predecessors. As you can see above, the sizes and blends aren’t identical from release to release, but the concept is to create a cigar out of tobaccos entirely from a single harvest at the company’s farms in the Dominican Republic.
Tony Gomez once explained the process as this:
You are correct about the LG being a vintage cigar. If you notice the boxes always contain a year. From 2006 to 2011 so far. Each year of LGs comes from one year of harvest and all the tobacco is grown on our farm. We do this because our wrapper crop is still very small and it would be nearly impossible to reblend the tobaccos and create the same cigar every year. Every year the LG will be slightly different but the concept will remain true. One Vintage year of Pure Dominican tobacco grown on our farm. This is very unlike out other lines – ligero, air bender, Coronado, etc, which are reblended every year using a mixture of tobaccos from different years to create the same flavor. There is much more tobacco available to us for these lines making the consistency possible.
The 2019 cigar is made with tobacco from the 2012 harvest of its La Canela farms. Also of note, the wrapper is pelo de oro—which has been used in the No. 4 and No. 6 releases. Pelo de oro, literally golden hair, is a tobacco that is infamous because it was banned in Cuba due to its propensity to develop mold. Since then, others have grown it in various countries around the world.
Pricing is $23.20 per cigar and it is offered in crates of 105 cigars, meaning the box price is a hefty $2,436.
- Cigar Reviewed: Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch (2019)
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Pelo de Oro)
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $23.20 (Box of 105, $2,436)
- Release Date: Dec. 9, 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 105 Cigars (26,250 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I haven’t reviewed a cigar that looks like this in quite some time. It’s a classic Litto Gomez Small Batch: dark, oily with a wrapper that is far from uniform in color and veins that are nearly black. Aroma from the wrapper is only a bit stronger than a medium, producing notes of barnyard and leather. I suspect the crate is not only more intense but also smells quite a bit different. Because the cigars aren’t shipped in cellophane, they’ve certainly lost a bit of their aromas in the six weeks we’ve had them in a humidor. The foot has more flavors—leather, cranberry, oatmeal cookie and an aroma that reminds me of the smell of Starburst—and it’s a bit stronger, around medium-full. Right in the middle of those is the cold draw: a medium-plus mixture of cocoa, granola and some more of that oatmeal cookie flavor.
The first third of the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch starts very toasty with some earthiness, charcoal, leather and a sweetness that reminds me of POM Wonderful. Based off of the pre-light notes, I’m not particularly surprised when the first third settles into a core of dark chocolate, earthiness and oatmeal cookie. There’s some leather and a bit of black pepper behind that. Retrohales are nutty with a sweetness that reminds me of a classic red wine reduction and brown butter sauce. It’s never as if I’m drinking the sauce, but it’s very reminiscent of the aromas I get when I’m making the reduction. The finish has peanuts, some paprika and saltiness, the latter of which is only on the outer and bottom parts of my tongue. An inch or so in and I realize that the back of the throat has a fairly stinging white pepper. Flavor, body and strength are all—predictably—full. Construction is great. One cigar had some minor foot damage and the first inch of the cigar kind of looks like a flower blooming, but it stays even and I don’t need to make a correction.
While there’s definitely a shift in the flavors, I think the profile of the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch stays pretty much the same: a mixture of semi-sweet flavors and rich earthiness. Upfront there’s a generic woodiness, some smoked barbecue flavors, espresso and dark chocolate, notably less sweet than the first third. Retrohales have a very distinct walnut flavor along with some of the red wine reduction notes that I picked up in the first third. What catches me completely off guard is the finish, now creamier with a bit of a Sprite, neither of which I would have seen coming. There’s still quite a bit of irritation in my throat, but I don’t think there’s any more pepper than there was from the first third, probably just some lingering notes. Flavor, body and strength all remain full and I can start to feel some of the heaviness building, though I’m not feeling light-headed. Construction remains great for the most part, one sample needs some help staying lit but the other two are both burning great.
Two of the cigars seem to be heading towards a world without earthiness. That espresso flavor from earlier gets stronger and seems to add some black tea-like qualities that drown out the earthiness. But then—after about three-quarters of an inch of mounting a takeover—the flavors disappear and the cigar ends up in a relatively pedestrian place. It’s not bad, but it ends up with the earthiness dominating some oak and an indeterminate sweetness. Most of the cigars I smoke usually end up as either a culmination of the earlier parts or some sort of toasty and earthy combination by the last inch and a half, so it’s not much of a surprise. The flavors themselves are still vibrant, but it’s certainly the least interesting part of the Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch. Retrohales are much milder and through the earthiness I can pick up some of the oatmeal cookie flavors, but by-in-large, it’s a lot of earthiness. I think all three intensity segments are a bit more toned down than the first two thirds, but everything is still full.
- Sometimes a cigar doesn’t smoke like what it looks like. That’s not the case here, it looks like a full-bodied and full strength cigar and it absolutely is.
- This is one blend I absolutely do not want to see in a lancero or really anything smaller than 50 ring gauge. I just don’t think the profile will be able to get to that fullness that makes it special.
- I find it interesting that La Flor Dominicana is known for big and/or strong cigars and yet, Litto Gomez—the company’s co-founder—smokes Cameroon Cabinet No. 3 as his personal cigar, a small and not very strong cigar. His son, Tony Gomez, is currently working on a pet project of an Andalusian Bull in a petite lancero that smokes nothing like the original.
- For what I was told were FDA reasons, La Flor Dominicana has dropped the numbering for releases like Small Batch and Factory Press. I’m not really sure what the point is when the company is doing releases like this with specific years on them. Like many other companies, La Flor Dominicana released a lot of new cigars right before the Aug. 8, 2016 deadline so it could have new releases in the future, why it didn’t release 15 new versions of Small Batch is beyond me.
- I suppose the original Small Batch is grandfathered because of how old it is, but that still wouldn’t explain why La Flor can’t write “Small Batch No. 8” or add a secondary band.
- My main reason why I’d like the numbering to stay is to help people identify which cigar is which. There’s no way that anyone could reasonably tell the difference between this release (6 1/2 x 52) and Small Batch No. 2 (6 1/2 x 54) without some variation of the packaging. Fortunately, the new release has a small “10” written on the inside of the band, something that was made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the regular Litto Gomez Diez line. The Small Batch No. 2 does not feature the 10.
- While the naming scheme might be something that is an FDA-related change, the issue of having virtually no way of telling the cigars apart is not new. The Small Batch No. 1. No. 4 and No. 4 Oscuro are the same size with the same bands. As the collections shot above shows, the wrappers are different but I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart unless I had all three and our picture as a reference guide. Furthermore, if you end up with a slightly different-looking wrapper on any of them you are likely out of luck.
- I’ve also found it a bit odd when living people have cigars named after themselves. It would be weird to me to have people referring about a cigar or really any object with my name on it, or at least I think that seems weird.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was two hours and 30 minutes on average.
While La Flor Dominicana makes milder cigars, I think this cigar represents why a good chunk of La Flor customers are La Flor Dominicana fans. It looks like a strong cigar, it tastes like a strong cigar and it’s got some of the distinct sweet touches that La Flor Dominicana is really the master of. While I have a bit of hesitation in terms of wanting some variety, if I had to pick only one line from La Flor Dominicana to smoke for the rest of my life, it would probably be the Small Batch Series. As our scores over the years indicate, these are very good cigars and the most recent version is no different.