Cigar: La Flor Dominicana Salomon
Vitola: 7 x 64 Salomon
Wrapper: Sun-Grown Nicaraguan
Pre-light Appearance and such:
To start with, this is the La Flor Dominicana Salomon. This cigar was created and released by Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana in December of 2008. From what I read, they have had a second shipment this past month of March. They come in at a whopping 7 inches with 64 ring gauge at its’ thickest point. This, my friends, is one towering and almost intimidating stogie! I must say though, it is an absolutely beautiful work of art, from head to foot. This cigar tapers at both ends, and as usual has a closed head with a gorgeous cap, while there is a slightly open and semi-capped nippled foot. The wrapper is a beautiful dark brown, almost coffee bean color. It has some veins, but they are very small and add to the visual aesthetics of the cigar. The wrapper, according to Cigar Aficionado, is a sun-grown Nicaraguan leaf. It has a very nice oily sheen to it that, god help me, makes my mouth water. Ha! The aroma of the foot presents me with a little bit of earth and as well as a little bit of coffee. The smell at the head is the same. The construction of this thing seems absolutely perfect. Considering the fact that this particular line by La Flor is limited to, I believe, 300 boxes, I would expect nothing less than perfection. There are no soft or hard spot anywhere on the stick, and seems to be at perfect humidity to smoke.
For this cigar, I went with a basic double-guillotine cutter I received at an Oliva event a few months back. The draw is a little tight, but once the burn opens up the nippled foot, there should be a very nice draw with just a hint of resistance. The taste I get from the unlit cigar is a bit of leather, which I did not smell it prior to cutting, and another little bit of coffee; both very promising flavors. It has been a little while since I smoked a Salomon, and after Jerry’s review of the Padilla Habano Burberry Perfecto, I was reminded to be careful when lighting the foot. Thanks Jerry!
First Third: (time: 65 minutes)
After lighting the foot of the La Flor Dominicana Salomon, I am hit right away with a burst of black pepper. It wasn’t a bad burst, but it certainly woke me up a little. From that I assumed the cigar would eventually end up being a very full-bodied smoke. Right from the start, though, the burn was very even and the ash was a medium to dark gray tone. Once the burn passed the majority of the nippled foot, the draw opened up and the cigar started to produce a lot of medium to thick smoke with a lot of blue resting smoke. As I continued through the first third, the ash started to lighten up a bit to a medium gray tone, and the burn got wavy here and there but corrected itself within a couple of minutes after straying. The ash was a very strong one, holding till right at the end of the first third and into the second. Again, perfect construction on this cigar is continuing to show with the excellent burn and extremely strong ash. Shortly after that initial burst of black pepper, the spice of the tobacco began to quickly diminish, though not ever fully disappeared. The flavor after the spice kick is a lot of very rich and earthy tobacco with a hint of sweetness. I was surprised by the richness of the earth flavor; it was to regular earthiness as dark chocolate is to milk chocolate. And although I don’t like dark chocolate, the richness and fullness of the earthiness was great, and the slightly sweet tobacco note really helped balance the hint of spice still present. As I smoked through the first third, the body of the cigar was well within the medium range but not quite up to full, though it was definitely very full flavored. If it is true that they smoke only the first third of a cigar over at C.A, then I definitely agree with their recent 95 rating of this stick. So far, so good!
Second Third: (time: 75 minutes)
As I continued into the second third, the draw of the cigar was still perfect. The ash dropped onto my laptop, and was still a medium gray tone. The burn through this third was near perfect, with only a few times when a little waviness would appear then disappear just a quickly. The amount of smoke was still the same, and began to give me a little bit of a leather and cocoa finish. Into this third, the rich earth flavor began to fade a little bit and I started to get a lot of heavy, yet smooth, leather. That leather presented itself with accompanying notes of cocoa and coffee; both subtle and well balanced. With the main flavor becoming leather followed by a fluctuating rich earthiness, the subtle spice, cocoa, and coffee notes made this a very delicious and balanced cigar. The body in the first third began to really pick up some steam in the second third and was headed very fast towards becoming full-bodied.
Final Third: (time: 85 minutes)
As I got into the final third of the La Flor Dominicana Salomon, the burn was still very very good and, until I finished the cigar, required not a single touch-up. The ash was still very strong, but after the first big drop, I started to occasionally ash the cigar so it didn’t drop all over my laptop. Even until the last draw, this cigar produced tons of smoke, and never let up. I guess that will happen though; when you have a shit-ton of tobacco bound in there. The draw also continued to be optimal to the very end. The flavor in this third was still predominantly the leather followed by the rich earthiness, which died down a lot from the second third. As I got closer and closer to finishing this beast, the subtle spice began to pick up more and more, but was never harsh or bitter. The cigar also never burned hot, ash or no ash. The cocoa and coffee notes were still present and very welcome. The finish into this third was a very thick yet subtle meaty flavor, as if I just took a bite of filet mignon, which was very pleasant and welcome. The body continued to climb right up until the end of this cigar: ending up completely full.
After about three and a half of milking this monster of a cigar, I think that Litto Gomez has yet another winner on his hands. Although I really enjoyed this full-flavored, full-bodied smoke, I would not give it a 95 rating, but it is close. I would definitely have to, and love to, smoke a few more to make that conclusion. This was one of the most full-flavored cigars I have had in a long time. With notes of leather, rich earth, coffee, cocoa, spice, and meat (haha!), this is one fantastic cigar. It is definitely a must try if you ever come across them. This is also one of the very few cigars that think has a price over $12 that actually fits what you get. The only thing is that you had better eat something and be ready for a long ass smoking time. I imagine if you rushed through this cigar, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as you should. Something like this needs to be savored. Overall, this cigar passed with flying colors! A+
Like it: Yes, very much.
Smoke it again: I have one left! I would also pick more up if I find them again and if I have the money.
Recommend it: Definitely, if you can find them and can afford them: do it. It is well worth it at least once.