|La Flor Dominicana Cheroot|
Over the past month, I have reviewed two cigars that I’ve now referred to as “ice pick” styles. The first was the powerhouse “El Perrito War of Flavors” by La Gloria Cubana. The second was covered in my previous assessment – a retail exclusive by My Father Cigars to Empire Cigars in Raleigh called “El Picador”. Another cigar that is a retail exclusive to Empire Cigars is also in the “ice pick” shape – and this one is made by Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana. In fact, this cigar has actually been nicknamed the “ice pick”. This cigar is known as the La Flor Dominicana Cheroot. After sampling the Cheroot, I was convinced I had a cigar that has to rank toward the top of the list when it comes to nicotine strength.
First up a little background on the name Cheroot. A cheroot is a thin cigar that has the “ice pick” shape and is clipped on both ends. This is the case of the the La Flor Dominicana Cheroot. When you first glance at the Cheroot and the My Father El Picador, you might think they are identical, but when you look closer you will see some differences. The Cheroot has the chisel cut at the cap, has a much more toothy wrapper, and is much stronger in strength.
|My Father El Picador|
It’s time to take a closer look at the La Flor Dominicana Cheroot and see what this brings for the table:
The composition of this blend is not known. According to Empire’s Cigars’ web-site: “Although the exact components of the cigar are kept secret by Litto Gomez, it is rumored to be made of 100% ligero tobacco.”
This cigar is available in a single vitola -a “cheroot” (ice pick) sized 5 x 38.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Despite the fact the chisel-shaped cap was pre-cut, I opted to put a another cut into it – utilizing a straight cut. This allowed me to get a little more draw from the cigar as the chisel was pretty narrow. The prelight draw was pretty generic – just some notes of wood. It was now on to light the Cheroot and enjoy the smoke.
|The Pre-Cut Chisel-like cap of the La Flor Dominicana Cheroot|
This cigar was advertised as a powerful smoke. The question would be whether or not this would deliver some powerful flavor notes. The initial draws continued the notes of wood, but after a minute or two, I was treated to a serious pepper blast. This pepper was more of the black pepper variety. As the pepper blast commenced, I did detect some sweetness in the background – and I’d classify this as hazelnut.
The hazelnut notes last for about the first 10 to 15 percent of the smoke, and then the wood notes push out the sweetness. The pepper notes remain and these are the dominant note of this smoke. Around the midway point, the pepper kicked it up big time. This is where you really start to feel the power of this cigar. Pepper is pretty much the story for the remainder of the cigar experience. I got a soft cool nub with still plenty of spice at the end.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Cheroot was excellent. The cigar burned sharp with no touch-ups and it burned at a good temperature and good rate. The draw was a little difficult. I think a lot of this had to do with the chisel-like cap. Even though I clipped a little off, this was still a small area to draw this cigar from.
Strength and Body
The Cheroot lives up to its reputation as a strong cigar. As I mentioned, if to rank a cigar when it comes to nicotine strength, this cigar would be right at the top. In fact, I can argue that this is one of the strongest cigars I ever had. This cigar definitely eclipses the El Perrito in the strength category – and the El Perrito is a strong cigar. You will really feel the strength after you finish this cigar. Not only is this full strength, but this is also full body. Yes the pepper notes might be the predominant ones, but they are very pronounced.
There is one school of argument that says a cigar should be more flavorful than strong. The way I look at this cigar is that it is going to provide a peppery smoke with a lot of kick. There is nothing wrong this – its always a matter of personal preference. While I would have preferred more flavor complexity, the hazelnut sweetness early up front surprised me. I do like a powerhouse smoke from time to time, so I would definitely go for this again. I would still be cautious to make sure someone can handle this level of strength in a cigar before giving it to them.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Disclaimer: The cigar for this assessment was purchased from Empire Cigars in Raleigh, NC