For the past five years, La Flor Dominicana has provided a cigar as a part of the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Exclusive Series. This year the 2016 installment was the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 (the “48” refers to the 48th edition of the TAA’s annual convention). To support that release, the La Flor Dominicana conducted a series of “TAA Celebration Events” at select TAA retailers. At those events, a second TAA cigar called the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro was made available. This cigar would be more limited in that it was only available at those TAA retailers who conducted these events. Recently, I had an opportunity to smoke the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro. While the “regular” TAA 48 cigar was an excellent offering, I found the maduro offering to be an even better cigar.
The TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro replaces the San Andres Mexican wrapper with a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. The “48” in the cigar name refers to the 48th edition of the TAA’s annual convention – which is where La Flor Dominicana unveiled its TAA offerings.
In terms of the TAA as an organization, it is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. As per their web-site, the TAA is defined as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
Exclusive cigars for the TAA are nothing new, but over the past few years the number of offerings offered per year has grown quite large. 2016 included ten new limited offerings, six on-going exclusive offerings, and the event-only La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro. This brings the total cigars for 2016 available to TAA members to seventeen.
This year, the following new cigars have been released for the 2016 TAA Exclusive Series (displayed from left to right in the photo that follows):
- Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Robusto
- CLE Azabache
- Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil 2016
- Padron 1926 Serie No. 48 Natural
- Padron 1926 Serie No. 48 Maduro
- La Palina Bill’s Blend
- Tatuaje TAA 2016
- My Father El Centurion H.2K.CT Box Pressed Torpedo
- Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive by Drew Estate
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 48
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro (Event Only)
In addition to the offerings introduced in 2016, the six blends used as on-going releases exclusive for TAA retailers are:
- Ashton VSG Robusto Especial
- Drew Estate Acid Big Bang
- Padron 1964 Toro TAA Exclusive Natural
- Padron 1964 Toro TAA Exclusive Maduro
- Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Robusto Grande
- Nat Sherman Panamericana
As mentioned, La Flor Dominicana has a five year history in the TAA Exclusive Series. These releases include the following:
- 2012 La Flor Dominicana TAA 2012 Air Bender Maduro Torpedo
- 2013 La Flor Dominicana Double Press Maduro (TAA Edition)
- 2014 La Flor Dominicana 2014 TAA Exclusive – The 707
- 2015 La Flor Dominicana TAA 47
- 2016 La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 and La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro (Event Only)
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 and see what that cigar brings to the table.
As we mentioned, the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper as opposed to the “natural” San Andres wrapper.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Flor S.A.)
Like the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 , the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro is available in the same 6 x 54 box-pressed size. The cigars are packaged in 10 count boxes.
The 6 x 54 box-pressed size was actually selected by members of the TAA.At the 2016 TAA Convention held in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, TAA retailers got to select from three contenders what the size of the TAA 48 would be. The candidate sizes included a Robusto (5 1/4 x 50), a Gordo (6 1/4 x 60), and a box-pressed Toro (6 x 54). The box-pressed Toro was the winner and became the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48. This also also was used for the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper to the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro has an dark coffee bean color. There was a light coat of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper also had a smooth surface with very thin visible veins. Most of the wrapper seams were also quite thin. Like the TAA 48, this is more of a sharper box-press.
The banding of the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro is identical to the “regular” La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 cigar. It features two bands. The primary band has a black background with gold font. On that background it has the classic LFD gold script logo. The band has what I term classic “LFD gold adornment” for trim. On the left and right side of the script logo, there is both a gold leaf and a gold medallion.
There is a secondary band that rests just below the primary band. It is also black in color with gold font. At the center of the band is the Indian logo of the TAA. To the left is the text “48th”. To the right is the text “TAA”. The band is finished with more LFD-styled gold adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw of the cigar delivered notes of creamy chocolate, earth, and a slight cedar note. Overall I considered this to be a very good pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro and await what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro delivered notes of chocolate, earth, wood, cedar, and white pepper. There was a definite creamy texture to the flavors resulting in some smoothness, The chocolate and earth notes became primary while the wood and cedar notes moved to the background. I found the white pepper dissipated early on, but the retro-hale had some notes of black pepper and cedar.
During the first half I found the chocolate and earth notes alternated in intensity. There wasn’t a lot of sweetness to the chocolate, but it seemed to work with the flavors being delivered. The cedar and wood in the background along with the overall creamy texture remained a constant.
By the second half of the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro, the earth notes remained in the forefront with the chocolate notes starting to diminish. In fact toward the latter part of the second third, the chocolate notes fell further in the background trailing the cedar and wood notes. At the same time, there was a slight amount of black pepper that surfaced on tongue.
There was not much of a change during the final third except for a slight increase in the pepper spice. I also found some of the creaminess diminish a bit. As the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro came to a close, the resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
I found the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro to be a well-constructed cigar and this reflected nicely in the burn and draw. The TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. From time to time, there was a slight curvature on the actual burn line, but this was not a case where the cigar was in danger of tunneling or canoeing. This was also a cigar that didn’t require many touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a light gray color. Meanwhile the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro had excellent combustion – maintaining an ideal burn rate and burn temperature.
The draw was excellent as well. It was not too loose, nor was it too tight. This made the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I found the La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro to be a medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied smoke from start to finish. I didn’t find much variance in the strength and body during the smoking experience. This pretty much put the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro in the same wheelhouse as the “regular” TAA 48 cigar.
Both the strength and body of the TAA 48 Celebration Limited Edition Maduro balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
When I assessed the “regular” La Flor Dominicana TAA 48, I had some thoughts on TAA Exclusive Cigars and in particular what La Flor Dominicana has been doing. I think its appropriate to mention them again here:
…I want to give a few of general comments up front. First, seventeen blends in a given year remain way too many offerings in the TAA series. Second, I still think with this many cigars the TAA as an organization should invest in some marketing and promote through press releases. The better educated a consumer is, the better the cigar will do. Finally, I believe more creativity from the manufacturing end will help the series as a whole. That being said, five years into being a part of TAA releases, La Flor Dominicana has done a stellar job at doing creative things – whether it is the voting on the cigar or the event only offering.
As for the cigar, I liked what the maduro wrapper did for the TAA 48 blend. I had found the “regular” TAA 48 to be somewhat of a rougher, grittier cigar. I found TAA Celebration Limited Edition Maduro to be a smoother and more refined cigar – something that I wasn’t expecting from this maduro cigar. Both 2016 La Flor Dominicana TAA cigars are are excellent offerings, but I give the a slight edge to the maduro. Overall, this is a cigar that I would steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again – and a box worthy cigar.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: La Flor Dominicana TAA 48 Features a Vote and a Special Event Cigar
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer (Prior to August 8th)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
Brand Reference: La Flor Dominicana
Editor’s Note: We had incorrecty had this as a San Andres Maduro wrapper. We corrected this as it is Connecticut Broadleaf. Our apologies.