La Flor Dominicana Chapter One | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian Ligero Oscuro
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican (La Canela)
Size: 6.5 X 58 “Chisel Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.00
39 DAYS AND COUNTING TO FEBRUARY 10, 2016 AND THE BIG GOODBYE!

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LFD-Chapter-1

Today we take a look at the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One.
Thanks to Jonathan Carney at LFD for the samples. They have sponsored me for a couple of years. The blend is so limited that it doesn’t show up on the LFD web site.
I realize that this was a limited production cigar in 2013 and finding one may not be easy. I did a bit of research and found them for sale at Thompson Cigar and Holt’s Cigars.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
10,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars
Release Date: August 9, 2013

From Halfwheel.com:
“I spoke with Litto Gomez in November 2010 and he said that he pinches the Chisel when he smokes it. He also said that if you cut the cap, it completely changes the flavor.”

Didn’t know that.

From the Cigar Aficionado web site (June 28, 2013):
“Gomez told Cigar Aficionado the project was the brainchild of his son Tony. “He made it fatter and he flattened it,” Gomez said this morning.

“When asked if the cigar was strong, Gomez replied: “Very. I think it’s the strongest Chisel. The broadleaf binder kicks it up.”

“The Brazilian wrapper used on this smoke is from the same tobacco used for the La Flor Dominicana TAA cigar and in the Casa de Tabaco Air Bender Maduro, but from a higher priming. A high-priming leaf is grown higher on the tobacco plant, resulting in darker color and more power.”

DESCRIPTION:
This is a big honker of a cigar. The biggest chisel head LFD has made.
To be totally truthful, I’m not a fan of the chisel. It is awkward and isn’t comfortable in the mouth. But if Litto says the experience is better using the squeeze technique, then that is what I shall do for this review.

4

This log is semi-oily with a matte finish. The wrapper is a gorgeous dark chocolate in color and silky smooth.
The box press is soft. But the transition from the foot to the chisel cap is somewhat artistic.
Seams are tight. Lots of small veins and a couple of big ones. This is one packed cigar. No soft spots. And heavy, man, heavy. (60’s speak).

The double cigar bands’ gold lettering on a chocolate brown background amplifies the look of the wrapper.
It’s hard to count the number of caps on a chisel but it looks like 3, maybe 4.
I reviewed the Capitulo II back in August of 2014. The only similarities was it was that it was also a big cigar with a chisel head. Totally different blend but a killer cigar.

la-flor-dominicana-capitulo-ii1

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell barnyard, chocolate, floral notes, dried fruit, fresh fruit, sweetness, coffee, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark, bittersweet chocolate, strong espresso, spice, dried fruit, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of a German chocolate cake, spice, sweetness, cedar, roasted nuts, and a bit of salty pretzel.
The chisel cap makes it difficult to hold it in your mouth without biting down.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is perfect.
Man oh man…this is like biting down on a habanero pepper. Pepper Bomb Alert!
My eyes water and my shnoz drools.

I’m guessing I got one of the original 2013 sticks so it should be ready to go. Normally, LFD blends take a long time in the humidor. I’ve had this cigar less than a month. And I was only sent one so no fuck ups allowed.

Flavors: Dark chocolate cake, espresso, malts, raisins, a super-rich earthiness, caramel, and cedar.
Strength is medium body.

Very nice start. Yeah, most definitely. Jonathan sent me an original 2013 model sitting in the LFD warehouse for a couple years, or more. This baby is whippin’ the horses and yelling ..(A perfect example of my frustration. I was going to use a famous movie quote and not only could I not remember it, but I couldn’t remember the name of the movie or the stars. And this movie is a legend. So frustrating).
The musical selection is The Beatles once again. Comforting.

As you can see in the photo below, my bite marks have made the cap look like a dog’s chew stick:
5

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One is going to take a month of Sundays to smoke. They couldn’t have filled the cigar with another single shred of leaf. And it’s so heavy that I can’t help but bite down while I type.

Meaty. Earthy. Packed full of tampons. (??) The mind goes where it wants to go.
Be grateful when your wife finishes menopause. The sex is free…so to speak. No birth control needed. But then your wife is so pumped up with hormone therapy she no longer wants to have sex.

The usual suspects of malts clear the deck and move upfront of the flavor line.
In order to keep this review from being a 3 hour read, I will move about freely in the house. Speaking of “Animal Crackers,” it was on TCM the other night. My favorite Marx Bros. movie.

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One is not really a broad minded flavor profile but it uses the flavors wisely. They are already complex with only 1” burned. But the flavor profile is not a kitchen sink blend…at least, not yet. The balance is good. And the finish is on its way to becoming spectacular.
Boy, when LFD gets it right, it’s mint.

I smoked the re-vamped Coronado the other night and it blew me away. With only a couple or so weeks of humidor time.
The construction and the char line are dead nuts perfect.
Don’t you just love a cigar that doesn’t pester you with the annoyance of constant touch ups or errant wrapper seams?

One inch burned and it has been longer than 15 minutes. Of course, the part that looks like the boa ate the rabbit is at the bottom so as I move towards the top of the cigar, it slims down and shall smoke faster. It already takes me forever to write reviews now. But a 5 hour review does not become fun after the 3rd hour.
I shall move freely now and come back when the cigar makes a move towards progress to the second third.

6

That wonderful spiciness has moved to the back of the pack. Too bad.
That meatiness is more defined now. Another cigar blend that has that terrific BBQ steak flavor. Medium rare. Just salt and pepper. No fancy spices.
The fruity flavors are defined as well: dried figs, dates (Medjool, of course), and Honey Crisp apples. Nice.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Strength moves to medium/full body.

I’ve got 3 cigars left to review so I shall spread them out as I get to February 10.
I did buy two Angel’s Anvil TAA 2015 Toros from Corona Cigar. It should be here in a week. Although, at $8 for shipping, it should be here tomorrow.

I find this an absolutely delicious, manly cigar blend.
The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One is most assuredly for the experienced palate.

7third

This is where that experienced palate comes to play. When flavors are subtle and nuanced, instead of bold, one can use that opportunity to fine tune that palate. The term “earthiness and leather” are way overused.

But there is a true earthy flavor that isn’t hidden by other flavors in the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One. It gives the blend real depth of character. I don’t think, at this point, the Chapter One will become a flavor bomb. I also don’t think it will explode with flavor in the last third. Litto designed this blend so that the smoker must really hunker down and focus on what it presents to said smoker.
One is reminded that if only 100,000 cigars were released in 2013, why are they still for sale? Did word of mouth kill the radio star?

Since I am enjoying this blend so much, I have the answer. There weren’t enough patient palates to make this cigar a bloomin’ success. We are so used to big and bold flavors that when a cigar blend forces us to truly analyze what’s going on, it’s work. Requiring a lot of focus. And most smokers probably don’t want to invest the time to dissect the blend as it should be.

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One is a grown up cigar blend. It is full of subtlety and nuance. It makes you scrunch your forehead to squeeze the flavors into your brain.

As long as this cigar will take to smoke, I’ve not become bored or disinterested. I’m intrigued with what comes next. It is super smooth.
The other intriguing device is the chisel head. It acts like a funnel to force flavors through a smaller aperture. Therefore, intensifying the experience. Even when that experience does not include being a flavor bomb.

The halfway point. Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.

The malts really take off. Caramel Wheat Malt, Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, and Flaked Oats Malt. (See Malt Chart).

New flavors: Creaminess, strawberry, and nutty toffee.

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One deserves utmost attention and focus. Flavors are becoming more fluid and intense. It has made a quantum leap from one type of blend to a different type of blend. The first being so subtle and delectable demanding total focus on your part. And the second type is one more traditional. Flavors aren’t subtle any longer. They stick out like your big shnoz. And growing.
Don’t give in to the “I don’t want to smoke a 2-1/2 hour cigar” mind set. It is too masterfully blended for that attitude.

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And I believe if the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One were released in 2015, it would cost a whole lot more shekels. $11 is a deal on, not only the size, but the intense quality of the blend. There is a whole boat load of $11 cigars out there that don’t touch the hem of this blend. The original MSRP was $10.50.

I would definitely make a trip to Holt’s or Thompson and snag a single or a 10 count box. The price is even cheaper if you buy the box. Brings the price down to $10 per stick. Both Thompson and Holt’s offer it the same way. Either by singles or a box.

I’m pretty sure that Thompson and Holt’s split the difference and bought up all that is left of the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One. So who knows how long they will still have them?

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One should be a glowing success. But inexperienced palates did us all a favor by not appreciating the blend and 2 years after a limited release finds the cigar still on the market.

I’m going to miss reviewing. But so far, I’ve spent hours on this review. My typing skills are gone. And I struggle to find words. I keep a couple of tabs open in my browser for an online dictionary and a Thesaurus. Last night, I was discussing this with Charlotte and I couldn’t remember what the Thesaurus was called and nonchalantly called it a Dinosaurus. It made perfect sense to me. Charlotte had tears in her eyes from laughing at me.

The flavors once again: Chocolate, creaminess, malts, coffee, caramel, meaty, toffee, cedar, rich earth, dried fruit, and fresh apples.
I ain’t going to kid you. Figuring out the flavor profile was no mean feat. It requires intense scrutiny. And a shit load of patience. But there is treasure at the end of the rainbow.

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Music program has changed to a compilation of “Funky Heavy Bluesy.” I had to bring up the browser three times because I kept forgetting those three words. Just a little window into my illness.

While taking my time, I’m cruising the interwebs. I just found the deal of the month. Atlantic Cigar is selling the HR Cigars By Hirochi Robaina HR Sampler 4-CT sampler.

The price is nearly half off at $42.50. Every single outlet is selling this same sampler for over $75.00. No shit. These are all $20 sticks folks. And killer cigars. The sizes are: Robusto No 48 (5 1/8 x 48), Belicoso No 52 (5 1/2 x 52), Toro No 52 (6 x 52), and Sublime (6 1/2 x 54). You must try this as this is a deal not to be missed. It says that the deal is only good through December 25 so I have no idea why the deal is still there. So, if this interests you, act now.
Photo courtesy of Atlantic Cigar Co.

hrbox

That killed some time. I’m now approaching two hours of smoke time.
And then a major leap in the flavor profile occurs.
The pepper returns in force. The flavors become bold and furious. Bitch slapping my palate with every puff.

Godamm the Pusherman! This is some cigar. I cannot fathom how there are any cigars left. I might have an idea. Most LFD blends take a long time in your humidor before being ready to smoke. Picking the right time is difficult. Too soon and the cigar is tossed. Too much humidor time and the blend becomes blah.

Clearly, my stick has at least two years aging on it. It may have been totally different in those early days after the release. But now, the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One is anything but blah or bland. It is one of those rare blends that hits the blender’s intent after a long rest. It has lost nothing. I’m guessing of course.

But you can ignore all those reviews that came out just after the cigar did. None of them got it right. This is one advantage of being poor…reviewing cigars long after they were hip and happenin’. Being the first on the block doesn’t necessary guarantee the right experience.

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One is fucking unbelievable now. If you don’t buy at least a couple singles, you’re out of my will.
Just make sure you tell Thompson or Holt’s that the Katman sent you. I want them to know why there was a rush to buy their cigars.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 2 hours 15 minutes.
This review might take me right up to my old man nap time at 3pm.

But I am so enjoying it. LFD and Jonathan Carney were very generous with me but I wish they had sent me a few of these sticks instead of just one. I know, I know…I’m a whiny old Jew.
I should be grateful that Carney sent me any at all. But I truly love this cigar. And my rating will reflect that.

The La Flor Dominicana Chapter One needs its second touch up. Nothing major.
The blend is super complex.

10third

The strength remains at a steady medium/full body.
Construction was excellent. Balance was perfect. And it had a nice long chewy finish.
With less than 2” to go, the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One completely surprises me and becomes a bona fide flavor bomb. It is still uber smooth. No harshness or heat.
The creaminess, malts, chocolate and other ancillary flavors go big. And out of nowhere, the blend becomes very fruity.
Nicotine creeps in with 1-1/2″ to go.
With about an inch or so left, I put it down. I’m exhausted.
Go get some.

RATING: 93

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6 replies

  1. Thought I’d smoked this cigar. Checked my inventory spreadsheet and discovered I still have it. It went into my humidor in March of 2013. Found it buried beneath a handful of Limitada Vs. Last LFD I smoked was the Factory Press, which was excellent. After your review I look forward to sparking up the Chapter One. Still smells rich and bountiful.

    A side note. If you are on any cholesterol-lowering medications stop taking them. Statins weaken your memory and rob your brain of the much-needed cholesterol (there is more in the brain by far than the entire rest of your body.)

    Don’t give in to old timer’s disease. Think of it as a figment of your imagination. Good luck and all the best.

  2. God bless Chatlotte. 😘 And thanks for putting in the hard effort to create another lovely review.

  3. Man don’t go Phillip…I’ll miss your reviews and anecdotes well Hell pull out the go fund me money and buy you some good gars

    • I took down my Go Fund Me Campaign because it fell very short of its goal. I’m very grateful to the folks who donated but it just never took off.
      And second, any money I got from that campaign went strictly to my medical bills.

  4. Great review. But it smokes cooler if you squeeze the chisel and punch a hole in top man.