The Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue is a line introduced by Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group (VRCG) in 2019. This company has been around for several years and has connections to the famed Rockefeller family. In early 2017, Vintage Rockefeller Cigar Group was acquired by Kevin Schweitzer, who at the time was a Wall Street trader who had been a cigar enthusiast for 25 years. At that time, Schweitzer became the company’s sole owner and President and set his sights on taking the company to the next level. One thing that separates VRCG from many other small companies is that company produces cigars in both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. For the first couple of years at the helm, Schweitzer focused on his Nicaraguan lines. 2019 saw Schweitzer turn his attention to the Dominican Republic with the release of the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue. Today we take a look at the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue in the Pigtail Finished Toro size.
For the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue, Schweitzer teamed up with Victor De la Cruz at his Tabacalera L&V S.R.L factory. This is a small factory in the Dominican Republic, but one that has built up an excellent reputation in recent years. This is the same factory that was producing both the Nomad Classic and Nomad Connecticut Fuerte for Fred Rewey’s Nomad Cigar Company portfolio.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The blend of the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Sumatra binder, and both Dominican and HVA (Havana Vuelta Abajo) in the filler.
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Dominican Piloto, Seco HVA
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera L&V S.R.L
The Pigtail Finished Toro and Short Pyramid were the first two sizes introduced with the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue line. The Box Pressed Churchill was introduced earlier this year. All three sizes are packaged in 20-count boxes.
Box Pressed Churchill: 7 x 48
Short Pyramid 5 x 50
Pigtail Finished Toro: 6 x 52
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro. The cigar had a medium roast coffee bean color wrapper. There was a significant amount of mottling on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper itself also had some oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper seams were not very prominent. While there were some visible wrapper veins, this was a cigar that had a smooth surface. As the name indicated, the cigar is finished with a thick pig-tail on the cap.
The band to the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue has a mostly blue (as expected) color scheme. Sitting on the center of the band is a large gold “R” flanked by a gold lion on each side of it. Above the logo is the text “ROCK-A-FELLER” in a curved gold font. Below the logo is the text “CIGARS” in a small gold font. A thick gold frame surrounds the center logo area. The band also has thick gold trim on the upper and lower portions. The left and right side of the band have the text “HECHO A MANO” in gold font surrounded by some gold embellishments. The lower part of the band has a small gold shield with the letter “VRG” etched on it. To the left and right of the shield is a Dominican flag.
As opposed to pulling the cap off of the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro, a straight cut was used to remove both the cap and the pig-tail simultaneously. Once removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered notes of coffee, sweet natural tobacco and some hints of cedar and floral notes. I judged this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to light up the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro commenced with notes of cedar, coffee, natural tobacco, and earth. During the early stages, citrus notes entered the equation. This continued until just past the midway point where the coffee notes took a slight edge over the natural tobacco, cedar, earth, and citrus notes. There was a layer of red pepper prominent on the retro-hale. Toward the end of the first third, some of the red pepper could be detected on the tongue.
During the second third, the citrus and red pepper notes increased. The citrus increased at a more rapid base and displaced the coffee notes as the primary note. Concurrently the flavor profile was rounded out by the coffee, cedar, earth, natural tobacco, and red pepper notes. The red pepper notes continued to increase throughout the second third.
Just before the start of the final third, the citrus joined the red pepper as the primary note. There were still touches of coffee, cedar, earth and natural tobacco present right until the smoking experience came to a close. At the end of the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro was a nub that was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro has a slightly jagged burn line, the cigar didn’t have much trouble maintaining a straight burn path. The number of touch-ups needed was not excessive. Meanwhile, the resulting ash had a silver-gray color with some darker spots mixed it. This was an ash that was skewed toward the firmer side, but had some occasional flaking. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro scored nicely when it came to the draw. The cigar had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. In the end, this was still a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
Overall the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro was a medium strength, medium-bodied cigar. Along the way, there was a slight increase in the intensity levels of both attributes, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to progress this cigar into medium to full territory. This was a good thing because the flavors delivered definitely worked best in the medium range of the spectrum.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
I had been quite impressed with what Kevin Schweitzer was doing on the Nicaraguan side of his portfolio, so I was quite curious what he would do on the Dominican side of the portfolio. The end result is that he hasn’t missed a beat. The Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro produced a high-quality smoke and it did well on the most important category – flavor. Normally I’m not a fan of citrus in the flavor profile because it can get astringent. No such problems with the Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue Pigtail Finished Toro. This is a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast any time of the day. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and pick up multiples to keep in the humidor.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Citrus, Cedar, Red Pepper, Earth, Natural Tobacco
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Value: Buy Multiples
News: Vintage Rock-A-Feller Dominican Blue to Debut at 2019 IPCPR
Source: Vintage Rock-A-Feller Cigar Group
Brand Reference: Rock-A-Feller
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop