Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 50 “Robusto-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.90 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the new Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro.
I want to thank Yadi Gonzalez Vargas, of Flor de Gonzalez, for the samples.

BACKGROUND:
Release date August 2015
Factory: AgroIndustrial Nicaraguense de Tabacos S.A.
The 20th Anniversario blend pays homage to FDG’s original blend: Gold Series. The Gold Series was the first cigars produced by the owner and founder, Arnaldo Gonzalez.
This is a limited production run and only 1500 boxes of each size & wrapper were produced.
2014 was good to FDG with the release of 90 Miles R.A. Nicaraguan lancero and the new release of their “Spectral.”
The company had a big year in 2014 with the release of Spectral and the 90 Miles R.A. Nicaragua Lancero,

DESCRIPTION:
A very rustic looking stick. It has soft box press. Seams are tight. Lots of veins. A nice triple cap. With an oily, dark chocolate colored wrapper. It has a soft box press.
It has a double cigar band. The regular Gold Series band with a secondary band that says “20th Anniversary.” The gold on gold lettering makes it very hard to see. So if I can’t catch it in my photos, you will just have to trust me.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5.5 x 50 $9.60 MSRP $9.90
Toro 6.5 x 54 $10.40 MSRP
Torpedo 6.5 x 52 $11.00 MSRP
The Ecuadorian Connecticut is 30¢ less per stick.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I can smell dried fruit, sweetness, spice, and a touch of cinnamon.
From the clipped cap and foot, I can smell very strong spiciness and strong notes of dried fruit. There is also a lovely sweetness with floral notes apparent.
The cold draw presents flavors of coffee, raisins, sweetness, spice, chocolate, and malt

FIRST THIRD:
I took a photo of how I now light my cigars from the wrapper inwards. Instead of torching the base of the foot, I torch about an eighth of an inch around the wrapper over and over until it’s even. Then it allows the burn to move inward instead of outward. This has worked effectively on every cigar I’ve smoked; in terms of never having another run or little V burn that can run for it and destroy the burn of the cigar.

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The draw is tight. Cigar awl time. I must force the awl completely through the cigar in order to clear some plugs but now it the draw is beautiful.
Smoke billows around my puny head.

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The first flavors are spice, chocolate, coffee, sweetness, dried fruit, earthy tobacco notes, and malts.
Strength is medium body.

I’m ready for the malts: Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, and Crystal/Caramel Malt. (See Malt Chart).
So far, this is a very enjoyable cigar. I was given the samples almost two months ago.
Raisin is looming large now.

Creaminess makes a big surge and drags along with it cocoa and coffee. A touch of caramel appears now.

The char line has needed several touch ups. Yadi sent me a sampler box they sell with, I believe, 6 cigars. Each one different so I didn’t have the chance to smoke one prior to the review. Since implementing my new method of lighting a cigar, I’ve come to the conclusion that either a cigar is rolled correctly or it’s not. I’ve been lucky with this new method because it does two things…it guarantees a perfect burn (Unless the cigar was not rolled by focused rollers), and the flavor profile hits a home run immediately…something that rarely happened with the old method.

I’ve been unable to keep the char line perfect with the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro.
I’ve decided to put the cigar down and let it cool off a bit. This usually stops an aggressive out of whack burn line. I’m being pretty harsh on the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversary Maduro because it needs lots of touch ups. But it is what it is.

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That’s why that sometimes it is good to have several cigars for review. How else does one know if the char line issue is common to the blend or just an aberration?

Back to the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro flavors.
We have hit Sweet Spot 1.0. Fortunately, the touch ups have been minor. If you have to make big corrections to the foot, you are torching too much wrapper and it totally changes the profile of the cigar’s flavors. And not for the better.
OK. I’ve allowed the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversary Maduro to cool and the char line is spot on. Other than that, the construction has been top shelf.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 20 minutes.
Strength is now a strong medium/full body.
The lineup of flavors has changed somewhat: Spice, creaminess, coffee, raisins, malts, cocoa, caramel, vanilla bean, and very earthy notes of tobacco.

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I’ve found only one cigar store that carries this blend and all are less than the MSRP: Famous Smoke. The FDG web site doesn’t sell their own wares. But other online stores do carry the rest of the FDG line. Too many to count. I assume they will soon carry this cigar; but as it is a limited run, maybe not. The boutique brand online stores might be their destination. But at this time, neither SBC or CF carry the brand.

I’ve been forced to make a large correction to the foot of the cigar. This will heavily reflect in my final rating.

HALFWAY POINT:
Flavors are no longer bold. They have been muted. No complexity. Nice balance. But a short finish.
At the moment, the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro tastes more like a $3 bundle cigar than a limited run high premium. The 90 Miles line was better.

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I still have the following three blends to review: FDG 20th Anniversario Natural, Spectral, and the 90 Miles R.A. Nicaragua Limited Edition Lancero.

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The Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro goes out.

I have to be honest here…I’m disappointed in this blend. I gave it a couple of months humidor time so there is no excuse about it being green. So I will bypass the Natural and move directly to the 90 Miles R.A. Nicaragua Limited Edition Lancero.

I’ve lost some of the flavors: Caramel, raisins, coffee, and the cocoa has diminished. I’m left with Creaminess, spice, malt, vanilla bean and earthy tobacco notes.
The spice has really surged. My tongue and lips burn.

BTW- I met with my neurologist yesterday and got the results of all those grueling tests. I’m not quite comfortable discussing those results yet. Soon. I’m quite upset.
I will post the results on my Go Fund Me web site sometime today.

Strength hits full body.

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The Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro is now a spice bomb. Too much of a good thing as it blots out some of the good flavors.
The lack of complexity is vexing. This should be FDG’s flagship blend with the celebration of its 20th anniversary. Instead, it has let me down.

LAST THIRD:
The Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro finds its redemption.
Flavors return in force. The spiciness has calmed down. But the foot still needs constant minor touch ups.

Here they are: Creaminess, spice, coffee, cocoa, malts, raisins, caramel, nuttiness, vanilla, and floral notes.
Very nice.

If the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro had maintained this flavor strength throughout, it would have been rated higher.
The cigar finds its complexity at last. Nice balance with a long finish.

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The last third is quite nice but not enough to make me forget the first two third’s problems.
The flavors become muted once again. Complexity is gone.

Holy cow. One moment, the flavors are wonderful and full of complexity and the next moment the flavor profile is nada.
I’m sorry, Yadi, I just cannot recommend this cigar. I hope this cigar was a fluke but as I only had one to review, I will never know. And I’m not going to spend $10 per stick to find out.
The cigar finishes harsh, hot, and bitter. Sigh.
Time to put it down.

RATING: 80

PRICE POINT:
One has to expect a higher price point on a limited run and a special blend.
But $10.00 is too much for what I’ve experienced. I believe that it fits more in the $6.00 range. This cigar is no different than all the Torano blends.

Maybe two months was not enough time. Maybe this is an old school blend needing 6 months of humidor time. Will never know. There are 195 blends that are better, and cheaper, in “The Katman’s Best 195 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$9.50+ Range.”

SUMMATION:
I was very patient with this cigar. I gave it two months rest. And I expected to be blown away. Just the opposite occurred.
Constant burn issues. The cigar went out on me twice. And the roller coaster ride of flavors.
I don’t get it.
This is, in no way, meets the standards of a $10 stick.
All I can say about the Flor de Gonzalez 20th Anniversario Maduro is that it didn’t get the necessary focus and attention to the blending process.

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3 replies

  1. I tried this lighting method yesterday. Freakin’ flawless burn through the whole thing!

    I’ve also been having problems with burn issues on the batch of Liga Privada No.9s, which I thought was just me. Nope. Lit one of them up just like the last and same burn issues. Shame on you, Drew!

  2. Halfwheel got 2 cigars to smoke for his review. I only got one. That’s how the dice roll if a manufacturer decides that one is all you need. I have no regrets about my review. I worked with that one cigar I had and if it chumped, well…All I can say is that a $10 cigar should have tasted a whole lot better than this one. Especially with a couple months on it.