In 1993, Litto Gomez was working as a jewelry maker when he was robbed of $400,000 of jewelry at a store called Pekin’s that he owned in Miami’s North Beach. The violent experience changed his outlook on life, and four months later, he started working at a cigar company called Los Libertadores, which means “The Liberators.”
Los Libertadores started small, with an initial production of 150,000 cigars, but quickly ramped up the numbers, in fact, they produced three million cigars in 1996.
(photo by Smoker X)
From a Cigar Aficionado article:
Los Libertadores, a cigarmaker in the Dominican Republic, offered Gomez a position as the manager of its manufacturing factory in 1994, and he accepted. He had enjoyed smoking cigars in the past, and although he had no history in tobacco, he had always had a great deal of respect for the industry. He saw in this venture a means of finding a new beginning, a new life. Gomez and Lorenzo (his wife) entered into a partnership with Los Libertadores in early 1994 with the intent of producing high-quality cigars. But the couple soon learned that their partners were more interested in entering the high-volume market of cheaper cigars rather than the premium market that they had envisioned. A serious rift developed that proved irreconcilable.
The Los Libertadores brand did not last long, just about two years. In June of 1996 after a dispute with the business partner noted above, Gomez left to create La Flor Dominicana. Although Lorenzo and Gomez actually owned the Los Libertadores brand by then, they decided to start again with a new brand, and the era of La Flor Dominicana began. In the beginning, they started with five rollers in 1994, turning out about 3,000 cigars a week, or 150,000 a year. In 1997, La Flor Dominicana had 43 rollers, producing about 60,000 cigars a week or more than three million a year. When the LFD brand was started, the original Los Libertadores blend and vitolas became the LFD Premium Line.
(photo by Smoker X)
I had heard of the Los Libertadores cigars, but had never actually seen one until recently. They are exceedingly difficult to find despite the fact they they were produced in fairly large numbers and a variety of vitolas, in fact, about 750,000 cigars were produced under the Los Libertadores name, and I feel lucky to have smoked what I did. I have never actually seen a review of one of these in all the years I have been smoking. The cigars for this review and the photos of the box were traded to me by an unnamed source who we will call Smoker X in my little tribute to Speed Racer.
- Cigar Reviewed: Los Libertadores Robusto
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Robusto
- Est. Price: N/A
- Date Released: 1994
- Number of Cigars Released: 150,000 Cigars
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
The cigar itself has a very light brown wrapper, what I would call creamy brown. It is obviously well constructed, although the cap is a bit messy and is quite firm when squeezed. The wrapper has a great scent of aged tobacco, spice and chocolate. The cold draw has notes of oak barrels and sweet tobacco. The first third started out with a bit of spice up front, but very quickly died down to a background note, after about 8 puffs or so. The dominant flavor was a great creamy oak note that seemed very sweet to me.
The second third added a very nice vanilla flavor to the mix, and the spice that was present in the beginning of the first third picked up a bit, until it was a noticeable part of the concoction. There was still a wonderful creamy oak flavor as well, and at the end of the second third, I started picking up just a bit of sweet chocolate as well.
The last third is where this cigar made it’s mark, all of the flavors seemed to combine together into a smorgasbord of flavor that was absolutely wonderful. Creamy oak, just the right amount of spice, a hint of vanilla, aged tobacco and chocolate, just and excellent ending, and really did not want it to end.
- The smoke coming off of this cigar was quite a bit more peppery then what was present in the stick. This made for a wonderful contrast between the two, the flavors of the actual cigar on one hand, and the smell of the smoke on the other.
- When people talk about aging cigars, the usual suspects always come up—Cubans, OpusX, etc.—but La Flor Dominicana is not mentioned as much, at least in my experience. If this is what you can get from an aged LFD, then I am buying a few boxes to put in a deep slumber.
- The burn and draw were both good, nothing out of the ordinary at all.
- The final smoke time was one hour and 45 minutes.
To say I was surprised at this cigar is an understatement. Knowing that it was one of Litto Gomez's blends, I was expecting a more robust smoke. Instead, what I got was an extremely complex and obviously aged cigar. This is right up with there with some of the best medium cigars I have ever had. Is it better than the E.P. Carrillo Inaugural 2009? Most definitely. Is it better than the AVO 22? Marginally. Is it better than the Cohiba Gran Reserva? No, but it is close, and that is saying quite a bit.