|La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro|
At the 2011 IPCPR trade show, one of the highlights from La Flor Dominicana was the upcoming release of its new maduro version of its popular Air Bender cigar. While much of the buzz was around the innovative packaging of this cigar, I think ultimately people were genuinely interested in what the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro would bring to the table. The cigar was released after the trade show, and I recently had an opportunity to sample this cigar. In the end, the Air Bender Maduro was not a bad cigar, but did fall short of some of the high expectations I had for this blend.
The packaging of the Air Bender Maduro was a major highlight. La Flor Dominicana is selling the Air Bender Maduros to retailers in a humidor that is modeled after a Dominican tobacco curing barn. The unit is officially called “Casa de Tabaco”. “Casa de Tabaco” ships with 24 LFD Air Bender Maduro cigars. It contains a tray that can be used to store a humidification device, and a second tray to store a lighter and cutter. Many retailers are selling the individual cigars and the humidor separately.
|La Flor Dominicana “Casa de Tabaco” – packaging for LFD Air Bender Maduro|
Ultimately, this is going to come down to how well the cigars smoke. Let’s break down the LFD Air Bender Maduro and see what it brings to the table.
The blend for the La Flor Dominicana Air Bender Maduro is the same blend as the original core La Flor Dominicana Air Bender, but features a Brazilian maduro wrapper.
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
At the time of this writing, the LFD Air Bender Maduro is only available in a single vitola. It is in a 6.5 x 54 Toro Grande. While this is speculation by me, this cigar is probably the perfect candidate for future vitolas to be released in the future.
The LFD Air Bender Maduro has a coffee colored wrapper. I noticed there was some black marbling in the wrapper, and the marbling effect reminded me of the Litto Gomez Small Batch No. 3. The wrapper itself has visible veins and is tooth
The band is similar to the core LFD Air Bender band. It features “LFD” in gold scripted font on a black background. That logo sits on a rust colored background. There is gold and black adorning around the top and bottom. Below the LFD logo says “La Flor Dominicana” in white script. Below the white script, it says “Air Bender” in gold font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my LFD Air Bender Maduro, I placed a straight cut into the cap and commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided me with flavors of coffee and cedar. It wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but it was satisfying. At this point, it was time to light my LFD Air Bender Maduro and see what it would bring to the table.
The flavor profile to the LFD Air Bender Maduro starts out with some of the coffee notes that were present on the pre-light draw. These coffee notes were in play from start to finish. Around ten percent into the cigar experience, earth notes emerged and complemented the coffee notes. As the Air Bender Maduro reached the end of the first third, there were also notes of light pepper on the after draw.
The flavor profile of coffee, earth, and after draw spice was present for the majority of the smoking experience. This was not a cigar that was going to provide a lot in terms of flavor transitions. As the Air Bender Maduro reached the last stages of the smoke, the spice became present on the full draw. The spice took on a form of a baker’s spice. While it wasn’t the smoothest finish, it was not a harsh finish either. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and warm in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn was good, but not great. The LFD Air Bender Maduro did require several touch-ups to keep it burning straight. While for the most part the cigar did not burn hot (although it was a little warm at the end), it did burn slow. I’m wondering if the slow burn contributed to the rougher finish. The draw was outstanding – no issues as far as that went.
Strength and Body
Before I smoked, the LFD Air Bender Maduro, I had heard this cigar was on the fuller end in terms of strength and body. My experience with the Air Bender Maduro did not reflect this. For the most part, I felt this cigar didn’t deliver a heavy nicotine punch and I assessed it as medium in strength. While the flavor notes did have some depth, they were not as robust as I had expected. Overall, this didn’t make it into the medium to full-bodied range and I assessed it as medium-bodied. There was good balance between the strength and body as neither component overshadowed the other.
I had high expectations for this cigar, but this cigar fell short. It is a classic case as what I considered a good cigar and not a great one. I would have preferred more complexity as well as a better burn and finish. I will disclose this assessment was based on a single smoke, and I certainly will revisit this cigar again to see if it improves in some of the scoring areas. Right now, I can definitely this as a fit for experienced cigar enthusiasts. As for myself, I’ll smoke some more and see if it does improve. From an intangibles standpoint, I’ll still go “Nice to Have”. This might be a good fit for an assessment update down the road.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigar for this assessment was purchased from Havana Phil’s in Greensboro, NC.