Cigar Reviews

Dona Flor Mata Fina – Double Corona

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One thing we don’t see too much of in the cigar world is Brazilian Puros. Sure, a lot of cigars use the Brazilian Maduro wrapper to get the rich cocoa and coffee notes but they usually bind and fill them with leaves from other countries. The Dona Flor cigar line is distributed by CigarFromBrazil.com (GVG International LLC). We were lucky enough to receive a few samples from CigarFromBrazil.com and will be sharing my thoughts with everyone on them today. As with all our reviews, I go into this completely unbiased and aim to provide a totally honest and truthful review.

The actual company producing the Dona Flor cigars is Menendez Amerino which has been in business since 1978. The blend for the Dona Flor was created by Felix Menendez and offers a wide range of sizes from cigarillos up to up Double Coronas. They also have a few special blends in the line which were developed with the help of Arthuro Torano. I actually reviewed one of the special blends, called the Dona Flor Selecao, not long ago.

Today’s review is of the Double Corona with the Mata Fina wrapper. Some of the line is also available in Connecticut or Mata Norte wrappers. This will be my first review in temperatures that are NOT below freezing (Yeay Me!). It’s actually exactly 32F tonight as I light this up. So let’s dive into the review on this Dona Flor and see how it stacks up.

Cigar: Dona Flor
Drink: Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Winter Beer
Vitola: Double Corona (7.5 x 50)
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Brazilian
Price: Around $5
Burn Time:

2 Hours

Construction:
• A long and slender shaped cigar with an appealing dark chocolate brown wrapper
• The wrapper displays some oiliness and roughness with a few larger veins, one in particular looks like it could cause some burn issues
• The cigar felt a little lumpy in areas but mostly gave a nice soft spring
• Although they say this is a 50 ring gauge cigar it seems a little smaller then that to me and it’s not box-pressed
• The overall construction reminds me of some old or mid-range handmade Cubans with it’s rough appearance
• The head is finished with a rough triple cap and the foot appears to be quite well packed
• The cigar cut Easily under my Colibri double bladed Guillotine cutter
• Initial draw seems to be a bit open but not too open that it ruins the experience
• Cut was nice and easy with only a slight mess
• Just past the halfway mark the draw tightened up a bit

Burn:
• Toasting was even and easy, any dark spots were easily cleared with a light exhale on the foot
• Despite the rough appearance the burn is going very sharp so far
• There’s no need for extra draws here, the Dona Flor is staying lit easily without extra attention
• No problems at all through the length of the cigar, my only complaint here is that it burned a little fast and got a bit hot near the end

Smoke & Ash:
• Ash is coming along even and tightly wound
• First ash held on about an inch before gently falling into the ashtray
• The smoke here isn’t overpowering, I’d say a little shy of what I’d like
• The second ash held nice and strong until tapping it off at almost 2 inches
• As the draw tightened up the smoke from each draw become a comfortable mouthful

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper aroma is mostly cedar with some mild tobacco
• The foot offers similar aromas plus a slight cocoa sweetness
• Pre-light draws have more cedar but along with it came a bit of a tart sweetness and some raw cinnamon
• My first impressions in the flavor department bring me a bit more tart sweetness and cinnamon along with the same cedar that been around
• Body is starting off in the mild range
• As the cigar progresses, cedar becomes the main flavor with the raw cinnamon sticking around. That tartness is coming and going
• At the end of the first third I’m starting to pick up hints of the cocoa I initially got on the wrapper
• So far the retrohale has been fairly straightforward, very mild with no bite and just a slight cedar finish
• As I approach half-way the flavors are balancing out a bit more and the cocoa is being matched with a nice coffee flavor I was expecting from this Brazilian wrapper
• The body increase a bit in the final stretch but nothing overwhelming, just holding steady in the medium range
• No bitterness on the finish and the flavors stayed consistent and balanced from the half way mark other then the coffee notes developing nicely to the end

Final Thoughts:
This was a perfect cigar to kick back and relax with. It’s nothing earth shattering or revolutionary but it hits a perfect balance of interesting and mild flavors that can be enjoyed any time of day. The milder body makes it a great alternative to Connecticut wrapper cigars in the early day with a coffee or any other time. It also burned exceptionally well making it an easy cigar to enjoy without requiring much attention. you won’t find a powerhouse or a pepper bomb here but you will find an enjoyable cigar at a fair price that can be included in your daily rotation easily. After some research I did notice they were slightly difficult to find online but not impossible. You can also ask your local B&M to sign up to be a wholesaler on their website to try and get the cigars in.

Pairings:
I can’t get enough of the beers that this brewery produces. I’ve been hooked on their Original and now the Scottish brewery of Innis & Gunn has hit another homerun with their Winter Beer. I’ve enjoyed the Original brew in my brevious reviews of the Camacho Liberty 2009 and the Man O’ War Virtue. You can see from those reviews how much I enjoyed that brew. Now the Winter Beer picks up where the original leaves off and brings a fuller and richer beer that has a warming effect for the winter season. The brew itself is aged in Oak barrels slightly longer then the original and produces a warm sweetness with some added vanilla and caramel notes on top of a delicious malty flavor. This brew paired fairly well with this cigar although I think it would have gone better with a Connecticut wrapped cigar. A better choice with the Dona Flor would have been a dark stout or porter, coffee or a dark cola.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

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