|La Flor Dominicana Chapter One|
One of the showcase new releases at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show was the launch of a new limited edition cigar by La Flor Dominicana called Chapter One. This is a project that was spearheaded by La Flor Dominicana owner Litto Gomez’s son Antonio Gomez. Antonio, who started out working as a sales representative for the company has been playing an increased role on the marketing and production aspects of the company. For the Chapter One, Antonio opted to use his the company’s trademark chisel shape, but this time in a box-press format – a first for La Flor Dominicana. I recently had an opportunity to some this recent released cigar. 2012 proved to be a solid year for La Flor Dominicana and it appears 2013 looks to be starting off just as strong.
The chisel format is wedge-shaped cap on the end of a cigar that resembles the blade of a chisel tool. It was trademarked by La Flor Dominicana – and is believed to be the first cigar shape ever to receive a trademark. La Flor Dominicana has used this shape on lines such as the Air Bender, Double Ligero, and Oro Natural. While Litto Gomez was behind this original concept, he was gave his son Antonio credit for the use of the chisel format on this project. According to Litto Gomez, “He made it fatter, and he flattened it.”
Let’s break down the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Chapter One uses the same the wrapper as on the Air Bender Maduro, but takes its tobacco from a higher priming. This results in a wrapper with a darker appearance and one that will have additional strength and body. The filler comes from Litto Gomez’s La Canela farm.
Wrapper: Brazilian Oscuro
Binder: Conneticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican (La Canela)
The Chapter One has only been released in a single vitola – a 6 1/2 x 58 box-press with the chisel format. The cigars will be packaged in a book-shaped box. Specific production numbers of the Chapter One have not been disclosed.
The Chapter One has a dark chocolate color wrapper. There is still some darker marbling that can be seen on the wrapper surface. The wrapper itself has a slight amount of oil to it. There are some visible wrapper seams, but in terms of veins it is nearly void of any significant visible ones. The cigar is a well-packed box-press. I wouldn’t categorize the box-press as being a sharp box-press like on Factory Press IV. The cap is the trademark chisel-shaped cap we discussed in the introduction.
The banding consists of the classic LFD gold script logo, but with an all-black background. It also has the standard LFD gold adornment for trim. There is a gold medallion and leaf on the left and right side of the band. Just below the LFD logo is the text “CHAPTER ONE” in white font surrounded by black and gold adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my experience with the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One, I made a thin straight cut into the chisel cap. I have heard of some folks pinching the chisel cap, but I decided to be consistent since I use the straight cut for most cigar smoking experiences I assess. The dry draw notes did not yield too much in the way of spice, but did yield flavors of leather and coffee. Overall I considered the pre-light draw experience of the Chapter One to be positive. At this point, I was ready to light the footer of my cigar and see what the smoking experience would have in-store.
The start to the Chapter One provided primary notes of leather and mocha. In the background there were some notes of grass and red pepper. The pepper notes slowly increased in the first ten percent of the smoking experience, while the leather notes diminished. Around the ten percent mark the mocha and pepper were the primary notes. There were also notes of grass and nut in the background. Meanwhile the retro-hale was producing an interesting herbal spice.
As the second third began, I noticed the mocha notes diminish. The pepper notes remained in the forefront. There was also an interesting herbal component that was very much present in the flavor profile. Meanwhile the nut, grass, and mocha notes were in the background countering the pepper and herbs nicely.
As Chapter One entered the final third, the pepper notes increased. The cigar took on more of a classic red pepper spice. The nut notes were a close secondary note. The end of the Chapter One was spicy, but not harsh. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the La Flor Dominican Chapter One was good, but not perfect. It did require touch-ups to keep the burn line straight. While the touch-ups did the trick, I did find the Chapter One needed more touch-ups than I would have preferred. The resulting ash started out white, but got more salt and pepper colored as the smoking experience progressed. There was no major flaking, but there were a few points where the ash did flower. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One|
From a draw standpoint, I felt the box-press chisel shape performed extremely well. I always lean toward a parejo or traditional box-press for having the best draws, but the chisel of the Chapter One scored very well – making it an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
The original press release stated “this is the fullest bodied Chisel to date!”. Given that I was expecting a very bold flavored cigar. Sometimes when I real stuff like they I also get a preconceived notion that it will also have very powerful strength as well. In terms of strength and body, this isn’t what I got with the Chapter One, however I wouldn’t say this had a negative on the cigar experience in my book.
The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One starts out medium strength. It does increase gradually in the first half and by the midway point, it does make it into the medium to full strength range. There is an increase in strength in the second half, but it never makes it to full strength. The body to the Chapter One actually starts out on the mellow side – medium-bodied. It does quickly progress to medium to full-bodied. It does gradually increase in body, but it doesn’t make it to full-bodied until the end. Throughout the smoking experience, the balance between strength and body was close, but I gave an overall edge to body.
To me, I’d still look at the Oro Natural and Double Ligero chisel as having an edge with body.
This was a very enjoyable smoke by La Flor Dominicana. If you have read many of my assessments, you know I always prefer a straight parejo or traditional box-press over any sort of figuardo. While I’ve always had positive experiences with the chisel format, it hasn’t particularly been my vitola of choice. However the Chapter One’s chisel format works well with this blend. There is something about getting the flavors out of the compressed web-shaped cap area that seems to click. The flavors are excellent – and there is a decent amount of complexity with this cigar. I’d easily recommend this to an experienced cigar enthusiast – especially a La Flor Dominicana fan. I still think while its not the most powerful cigar in the LFD portfolio, it wouldn’t be a choice I’d recommend to a novice. As for myself, this is a nice cigar to keep around in the humidor – and one I’d smoke again.