With ample time still available for you to make your St. Patrick’s Day cigar plans, this week I bring to you what I believe is my first ever review of a candela cigar, the La Flor Dominicana Double Claro.
Green cigars have been with us for a long time, but the chances of seeing one in your local shop is only slightly better than your chances of getting hit with an overdose of gamma radiation. Or at least that was the case until recently, when a number of boutique cigar manufacturers decided to try their hand at taming the mean green, starting what might be a candela revival. The ones that have been hitting the market in the last year or two haven’t been the mild “American Market Selection” smokes of a bygone era, they’re more like the full-bodied cigars that are enjoying a lasting popularity. And the indications are, the Double Claro is a continuation on that theme.
Rather than breaking down the details on the latest candela on the market, I’ll let La Flor Dominicana’s marketing department to handle the introductions. Here’s the press release they sent out in January:
Coral Gables, FL January 2012 – La Flor Dominicana will introduce its first ever Candela cigar.
The Double Claro is a medium bodied candela with an Ecuadorian wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Dominican filler from our farm in La Canela. The original release will be in 25 count boxes available in three sizes (robusto, corona, chuchill). This item will be regular production.
No. 50 – Size: 50 x 5 Suggested retail per box: $171.50 Suggested retail per cigar: $6.86
No. 42 – Size: 42 x 5 1/2 Suggested retail per box: $169.00 Suggested retail per cigar: $6.76
No. 48 – Size: 48 x 6 7/8 Suggested retail per box: $181.50 Suggested retail per cigar: $7.26
La Flor Dominicana is a vertically integrated premium cigar company, where we proudly control the process from the seed to the final grading, inspecting and packing process. Our tobaccos are grown at our farm in La Canella, Dominican Republic. Our factory is located in Tamboril.
And with that out of the way, it’s time to find out if the Double Claro is a cigar that’ll make people green with envy, or green for another reason.
Size: 5 1/2 x 42
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $6.76
I can’t be the first person to have thought of the Incredible Hulk when looking at the La Flor Dominicana Double Claro. The shade of green combined with the veins both on and just below the wrapper almost insist on the comparison. Though that probably works a little better with the larger sizes. Regardless, it’s a sharp looking cigar that’s hard to miss if it’s in your humidor. Surrounded by all those varying shades of brown, it might as well be neon green.
Aside from the unusual wrapper color, nothing else about the cigars I smoked seemed out of the ordinary. They had fine veins, and no obvious imperfections. To the touch the cigars were consistent, but felt a little on the soft side. The wrapper had an herbal hay aroma, and the cold draw produced a vegetal molasses flavor.
The Double Claro burned fairly well, drew perfectly, producing lengthy ashes, and a good volume of smoke. However, each cigar I lit for this review experienced minor issues with unevenness and most required an occasional relight. Not a perfect performance, but nothing so serious that it would cause any real irritation.
The Double Claro’s flavor profile did evolve as it progressed, but it didn’t strike me as a cigar that needed to be broken down into thirds. As to be expected, there was an herbal/vegetal thread that tied it all together. It started off prominently, and with good amount of sweetness, but as the ashes dropped, it lost some of that sweetness and faded more and more into the finish. Pepper also appeared early, but it grew steadily instead of receding. Along the way I picked up some enjoyable cedar and graham notes. By the end, the flavor profile was dominated by a pronounced savory pepper and cedar.
Even with local taxes tacked on, the Double Claro should be accessible to even smokers on a budget. The green you get seems reasonable for the green you give.
The La Flor Dominicana Double Claro is a surprising smoke in several ways. As I mentioned in the introduction, it’s not the mild cigar with either the overly sweet or vegetal profile that I generally expect from candela. It’s got some hulk-like power to it, with plenty of body and even some complexity. But most importantly, it’s a good cigar in it’s own right, even outside the green arena. It’s enough to make you rethink candela as a viable smoking option. I won’t say that I’m planning on running back and buying a box, but if the occasion calls for candela, it’s on the short list of cigars I’d buy. (And that’s a very short list.) If you’re interested in going green, I’d recommend starting here. And if you’ve never had a candela cigar you liked, try this before writing them off completely. Just try not to make it angry.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.
25 thoughts on “La Flor Dominicana Double Claro No. 42”
I still don’t know if i can bring myself to smoke a green cigar… But if its got flavor and body, i might actually grab one of these for the bar on st. paddy’s day.
great review!! i already got some green sticks for st patty day, but these looks better! lol ill have to hunt these down and get a 5er!! thanks!!
I smoked my first candela last weekend (illusione 88). Also surprised by the flavor profile. I’ll be picking up a few more and also the lfd and viaje candelas/double claros to compare at my local B&M.
Refuse to smoke em on St. patty’s though.
Why? Too cool to smoke a green cigar on st. pat’s?
If you’re going to smoke a shitty green cigar at all, why not on a day dedicated to green shit? If i’m going to give a candela a chance, its definitely not gonna be on a beautiful spring sunday with a glass of scotch after a spaghetti or steak dinner with baseball on the radio/tv… It’s gonna be shitfaced at a bar with a green phillies jersey and mardi gras beads on, on a day sorounded by other green beer drinking, shirt wearing assholes.
because some people actually have tastes that differ from you. People who know cigars are willing to try something new and not be an ignorant cock.
Thank you for the review. I will have to pick a few up to try. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Illusione’s Candela cigars.
I’m confused…no box purchase but you’d probably buy it again when the occasion called for it. What occasion would call for a candela? Just to be different?
I tried the LFD Candela a few weeks ok and thought it was ok. This mini-Candela craze is nothing more than a novelty in my opinion.
Yeah, for variety or a change of pace, or for sometime when green is appropriate. St. Paddies Day, or any other green-themed event.
Dumb question but is candela wrapper an altogether different type of tobacco thanthose ubiquitous brown cigar wrappers we all know and love? Or is candela the same tobacco only with less aging and processing? Thanks.
Nope, same tobacco, different curing process. One that involves higher temperatures to more quickly dry the tobacco.
If I remember correctly, it’s the same ubuquitous leaf, but it’s gone through a ‘speed drying’ instead of the normal slow process of curing in a barn. This does something with the natural sugars in the leaf, locking it in so candellas are usually sweet(er).
Brian – Nice review. I felt the same way. Not your typical Candela with a different flavor profile. Nice smoke just not sure where it would fit in my typical rotation.
Anthony – Same leaf but the green color is achieved by a process which traps the chlorophyll content of the leaf prior to fermentation.
Yeah, heat is a key part of the process, and it actually takes less time than the cigars we’re to which we’re more accustomed.
doc8466 and TGT, cerainly glad to know the green is not achieved through gamma radiation exposure or spray paint. Thanks!
Just picked up one of these yesterday and am saving it for St. Paddy’s Day. The only other candela wrapped cigar that I’ve tried up to this point is the aforementioned Illusione 88, which I really enjoyed! I also picked up an Illusione candela wrapped hl to try along with this stick. Can’t wait! Thanks for the great review!
I just picked up a few of these. I thought the Illusione 88 candela was very good. It had a nice balance and utilized the candela flavors well, so I’m hoping the la flor dominicana double claro will too. I don’t see candelas becoming very popular, but I’m glad that cigar makers are blending new ones to fit modern tastes. I plan on smoking at least a couple candelas every month.
I agree with all the comments on the Illusione 88, it too is on my short list of candela cigars I’d actually smoke again.
Brian, not in a million years did I think the makers of the killer double ligeros would make a candela wrapped cigar. I actually like Camacho’s Candella a lot and I bet this is in a similar style. Damn, I’m up for it!
Nice review, bro… Well done.
– Tommy Z
Thanks. It’s a bit of a surprise to me too.
Good review, like to see people trying new things…
I had my first candela a couple years ago and am a real fan now. My favorite of the AF Gran Reservas are the candela, esp. good in churchill. Arturo Fuente candelas have a sort of salty/fishy taste that is totally unique and I just love them.
Damn, I love something else with that flavor profile, but I’ll now stop to remind myself that this is a family sight…
I did get around to trying the LFD Double Claro 42 and loved it! I also tried the Illusione hl Claro and found the wrapper to dominate the blend a bit too much. The grassy notes of the wrapper overwhelmed everything else in this particular stick. The 88 Claro on the other hand is perfect! Will definitely buy more of the LFD DC 42’s as well as the Claro-wrapped 99 from Illusione!
I did get around to trying the LFD Double Claro 42 and loved it! I also tried the Illusione hl Claro and found the wrapper to dominate the blend a bit too much. The grassy notes of the wrapper overwhelmed everything else in this particular stick. The 88 Claro on the other hand is perfect! Will definitely buy more of the LFD DC 42’s as well as the Claro-wrapped 88 from Illusione!
My Grandfather once told me that the Candela wrapper cigars were the most popular in this country at one time. I prefer a a Rosado or Criollo wrapper myself. However my Father quite frequently smoked Candelas back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I may try the LFD myself just for something different.
“Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!”