Editor’s Note: Today we are starting a new review style that you will see every once in a while at Cigar Brief, that style is called the Review à trois. The idea behind it is that instead of the review being the sole opinions of one author it will be the combined opinions of all three authors. This will be slightly different in that you will be getting three different perspectives on the item that is being reviewed in the article. So sit back and enjoy our first “Review à Trois.”
Everyone’s eye is always drawn to the green cigar typically known as the claro or candela cigar. Call it a gimmick or cliche sales point, but it works, because many are drawn to its green siren’s call. This year saw the introduction of a handful of claro’s from Illusione and the newest entry, La Flor Dominicana. According to La Flor’s press release the Claro is supposed to be, ” a medium bodied candela with an Ecuadorian wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Dominican filler from their farm in La Canela.” Needless to say I was pretty excited to give this cigar a try and what follows is the experience of myself, Jason, and Paul from Cigar Brief.
Initial inspection revealed a firm cigar with a gorgeous smooth wrapper and no noticeable oils. Upon smelling the wrapper Paul and I noticed two things, the first was that the foot was most definitely barnyard and the second was that the wrapper itself gave off a very distinct sweetness. We both agreed that it reminded us of fresh autumn leaves as they begin to turn and fall, but dissension was on what type of leaf. I favored the maple leaf, as that is what I grew up around in Washington state, but Paul got much more of a sycamore sweetness. Either way you cut it there is definitely a difference in aroma from the foot to the wrapper. Cutting the cigar revealed a moderately firm draw to Jason and myself, and an acceptable one to Paul. I typically like some resistance, but this one had a bit more than I typically prefer.
The rest of the smoking experience was pretty straight forward. We noticed on the initial burning that there were two dominant aromas one of bitterness and one of sweetness. The sweetness and the bitterness however were a little bit hard to define, so a discussion emerged as to what type of sweetness and bitterness we were dealing with. After much discussion we narrowed down the sweetness to a nut sweetness. We knew it wasn’t rose petal, or even a woodsy sweet, and it certainly wasn’t quite sugary sweet, so the discussion turned to nuts. A few were discussed and many puffs of the cigar were drawn upon to confirm and the final conclusion we came to was that it was most definitely a macadamia sweetness tempered with a bitterness that was most reminiscent of a fresh cup of green tea. These notes stayed with the majority of the cigar with only a mild transition in the middle to a dry rose petal note and then a final transition into essentially nothingness. The finish wasn’t unpleasant, but it certainly wasn’t remarkable either.
Our final thoughts were that the LFD claro is what it is, a novelty cigar that draws the eye and intrigues the individual. Claro’s on a whole tend to be a bit underwhelming and this one certainly had more flavor than most. It was an interesting cigar and one that we all enjoyed trying. The biggest knock against it, is that it has a fairly unremarkable finish and couple that with its lineage of LFD being a strong and flavorful family it is hard to find this cigar in the upper echelon of their portfolio. This cigar, in our opinion, would be best suited for the fan of the medium to full bodied smoker who likes to stage his or her cigars throughout the day in tiers of strength gain. The LFD claro would be a nice cigar for the morning and would be an excellent starting point for the aficionado who enjoys building in strength throughout the day. So if you are a fan of novelty cigar and a medium body, or enjoy building your strength throughout the day, then the La Flor Dominicana Double Claro is a good cigar to consider and at the very least a fun cigar to try.
Size: traditional robusto and corona were sampled
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Wrapper
Binder: Nicaraguan binder
Price: $6-7.xx in AZ
Editor’s Note: All cigars were generously given by Fox Cigar Bar for this tasting.