Up for review this week we have a Brazilian puro, the Dona Flor, in a robusto size (5×52). The Dona Flor is offered in mata fina and Connecticut shade, this example was the mata fina. I received this cigar at the same time as the Alonso Menendez reviewed back in November, so it’s been in the humidor around five months. It came as a gift from Paul Arneson, who it appears is no longer blogging since the last review was posted.
The double cap reaches down past the shoulder on the head making it all but impossible to make a bad cut. Similar to the Alonso Menendez the general feel of the cigar is softer than most robustos, with a few spots that are almost spongy. The draw on the Dona Flor was also very easy, causing it to produce thick volumes of smoke. It started with a musty, earthiness that reminded me of the flavor I could never place with the Alonso Menendez, but not quite as sweet. As taste is so subjective, I don’t really expect that to mean much to anybody else but that’s how it struck me.
The rustic wrapper had a few rough spots and didn’t appear too oily but wasn’t dry to the touch. The cigar burned cool even when smoked fast, which I found myself doing a couple of times trying to place the unique flavor of the Brazilian tobacco. The many visible veins, and rough wrapper didn’t have any effect on the cigar, not a single touch-up was necessary. The ash was a light gray in color and rather firm, easily capable of reaching close to two inches.
There wasn’t much change in flavor through the first half, just lots and lots of thick smoke. The cigar didn’t produce much standing smoke while sitting in the ashtray but really produced when smoked. Both of the two types of cigars I’ve smoked from Cigars of Brazil have had the same loose feel and very easy draw, and both burn fairly rapidly. Both the Alonso Menendez and the Dona Flor are smooth cigars, with the Dona Flor having a little fuller body. The Alonso Menendez was a little sweeter and I found the Dona Flor to have a little more spice, though not near as spicy as a Don Pepin blend.
The cigar turned bitter shortly after the half way mark, and continued to get stronger as I smoked. Overall the cigar was enjoyable with a fantastic burn and a very unique flavor that I’ve found in the Brazilian puros I’ve been lucky enough to smoke. After smoking a couple of these I’ve come to find it as a musty, mushroom-like flavor, that now that I type it doesn’t sound very appealing but it was enjoyable. I don’t think I would smoke these everyday, and don’t think I’ll be seeking out any more soon but I certainly wouldn’t turn one down.