La Flor Dominicana Colorado Oscuro No. 3

Size:  5 x 50
Wrapper:
  Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder:
  Dominican Sumatra
Filler:
  Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

About:
The La Flor Dominicana Colorado Oscuro is a limited production cigar that is only expected to be released twice a year in small quantities.  The blend will be released in four sizes, and available in cabinets of 50.  In addition to the No. 3 that I am reviewing, the Colorado Oscuro is also available in the 4-1/4 x 48 No. 2, the 5-1/4 x 54 No. 4, and the 5-3/4 x 60 No. 5.  Thanks to Doug in Modesto, CA for gifting me this cigar to feature on today’s episode.

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THE REVIEW:

Pre-light:
The cigar’s wrapper was a deep brown in color, and very smooth to the touch.  There were several bumpy areas on the wrapper, and that combined with the unevenly-shaped head gave the cigar a slightly haphazard appearance.  There was some damage to the wrapper at the foot of the cigar, but this could be due to being packed and shipped in a cabinet, or it could have been damaged in the subsequent handling and transportation to me.

AROMA:  The prelight aroma had straight tobacco flavors, pipe tobacco elements, and some aromatic floral notes.  At the foot, there was a caramelized sugar like sweetness that was very forward.

TASTE:  There were some very intense dried fruit flavors – mainly apricots and raisins, with a touch of sweetness on the wrapper.

1/3:
There was a slight sweetness to the wrapper, and right at the beginning there was a bitterness in the back of my palate and in the nose that I seem to find in several of the La Flor Dominicana lines.  There was a slight green woodiness at the top of my palate, with a meaty core to the profile.  A light touch of spice was present, and even more pronounced in the retrohale.  The cigar had a medium flavor and strength at this point, and the ash was very firm and nearly white in color.  The draw was acceptable.

2/3:
The slight spiciness in the overall profile subsided but was still present, and it was a bit intensified in the retrohale.  The sweetness was still there, and became a bit more noticeable as the meaty character of the first third mellowed out a bit.  This shift created an absence of balance to me, with the sweetness not having a substantial and effective counterbalance to the profile.

3/3:
In the final third, the sweetness subsided a bit though it was still there.  The core became centered around more of a leathery character, with a distinct cinnamon note.  Unfortunately, these flavors did not develop to the point where they could stand up to the sweetness.  Rather, they stayed muted and in the background.  The cigar remained medium in strength and body through the end of the cigar.  I smoked the cigar down to about the last inch before some bitterness made me decide to put it down.

Overall:
Overall, this cigar started off decently but quickly suffered from a lack of balance and clear direction of the flavor profile.  The sweetness, though normally a good component in a well-rounded profile, did not have a proper counterpoint in this cigar, and that proved to be a major strike against it.   It is my hope that future La Flor Dominicana releases will have a bit more balance and some distinctive character to set them apart from the numerous other lines that are currently produced.

Recaps from previous episodes:

General Feedback about Episode 28

New this episode:
Hey Calfornia – DEFEAT PROPOSITION 29!!!
www.defeatprop29.com

Some news that may have an impact on the future of this show – I am not sure if it is going to be positive or negative news (for me) at this point, but I will keep you posted.  Thanks for your support and understanding.

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Juan López Selección No. 1

Size:  5-5/8 x 46
Vitola:
  Corona Gorda
Age:
  ABR 01

Wrapper:  Cuba
Binder:
  Cuba
Filler:
  Cuba

About:
The Juan López Selección No. 1 is a classic Corona Gorda that was released in the 1990s, and is still in current production.  The Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars states the Selección No. 1 is similar in taste to the Selección No. 2, a robusto, but is a touch stronger and has a more pronounced straight tobacco taste.  A minimum of 3 years of age is recommended.  Since this sample was from my cab with a production date of April 2001, I easily meet that recommendation.

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THE REVIEW:

Pre-light:
The wrapper of this cigar was very light, with a few spots of darker mottling near the foot.  The cigar was also very light in weight, and had a somewhat rustic quality in its appearance.  The cigar appeared to be well-bunched and constructed, though there were a few slight bumps in under the wrapper.  There was one small vein running the length of the cigar, but it was no big deal – it was almost not worth mentioning.  There were no other issues to speak of.

AROMA:  The prelight aroma had some floral notes with some almost perfume-like qualities.  There were also straight tobacco flavors – it was very pleasant.

TASTE:  There were dried fruit flavors in the prelight taste – particularly raisins and apricots.  There was also a subtle sweetness on the wrapper.

1/3:
The cigar started off with some very delicate light toast flavors, along with some butterscotch.  There was a slight touch of grassiness in the finish, and the retrohale was very mild and unassuming with some very light hay notes.  The draw was excellent, and the ash was firm and a medium-dark gray.

2/3:
The light toast flavors became a little deeper – a little more robust and almost like the toast was slightly more done, and the butterscotch flavor started to remind me more of straight caramelized sugar.  The flavors at this point were quite deep and complex, and I found myself really taking my time to enjoy the cigar at this point.  The retrohale became more pronounced and exhibited a green, mossy character.

3/3:
In the final third, the flavors of he second third continued, with the balance changing.  The toast and caramelized sugar flavors fell to the background a bit as the grassy and mossy characters became a little more dominant.  The cigar still remained well-balanced overall, and at the end of the final third, a creamy and musky character emerged as the cigar ended.

Overall:
Overall, this Juan López Selección No. 1 was a light and pleasant cigar, with the sweetness really making this a well-balanced cigar with an evolving profile that still managed to remain “thematic” for lack of a better term.  While these typically are a little more “in your face” when they are youthful, 11 years of age has really turned them into a deep and complex cigar that would be a pleasure to smoke any time of the day.  I only wish that I had more than about a third of the cab left.


Recaps from previous episodes:

- Feedback and a question

New this episode:
- Rocky Patel on Stossel
- The passing of Rolando Reyes and Manny Ferrero

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{ 1 comment }

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