Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512 by D’Crossier
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
D’Crossier cigars are a product of Pure Aroma Cigars, Inc., an entity owned and operated by Havana native Isaias Santana Diaz. The brand is named for Diaz’ great-grandfather Francisco Crossier, who found his way to Cuba while seeking seeds to replenish his vineyards in France. D’Crossier cigars have made a splash in the realm of higher end smokes, but last year introduced the Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512, a more budget friendly line, which comes in six core sizes: Coloniales – 5 1/4×44, Coronas Gordas – 5 1/2×46, Hermosos – 5 7/8×48, Campanas – 6×54 torpedo, Magificos – 5 7/8×52, and Geniales – 6 1/2×54, and are priced between $6 and $7.40. They come in cylindrical cedar lined tins with a count of either 15 or 20 cigars, depending on the vitola, and are sleeved in D’Crossier’s distinctive vented cellophane, which I assume allows for better humidity transfer while protecting the cigars. Also under the same designation is the subsequently released 7 1/2×38 lancero, which goes for $13, and from what I can gather, is a separate blend utilizing Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler. As with other D’Crossier lines, they are made in Costa Rica at the Pure Aroma Cigars S.A. factory. Being unfamiliar with the D’Crossier cigars, I decided to pick up a handful of the Coronas Gordas from our friends over at Cuenca Cigars to at least partially rectify that oversight.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Costa Rican Sumatra
Filler: Costa Rica and Dominican Republic
Size: Coronas Gordas 5 1/2×46
Smoking time: One hour, twenty minutes
Pairing: Victory Hop Ranch Imperial IPA (9% ABV)
The Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512 comes draped in a golden brown wrapper with some darker splotches and shows a fine tooth and a very light oily feel. There are a couple of medium sized veins on a firm, but not rock hard roll, which culminates in a nice triple cap. The classic looking band is simple and elegant with its red background and raised gold lettering and trim, and coordinates well with the cigar. The wrapper displays a lightly barnyard laced tobacco scent, while the foot shows spicy and slightly herbal tobacco. An easy cut of the cap gives it an ideal draw that shows sweet spice and wood.
The initial draws off the Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512 give up a medium bodied mixture of dark cedar, lightly sweet herbal spice, and pepper. On the retrohale, the wood is more oaky and savory, and the pepper more apparent. The burn line is fairly thick, but mostly even, leaving behind a light gray ash that easily taps off at ¾”. The flavors have deepened and the sweetness has become more apparent, although it is not a strong presence. Just past the 1” mark, the pepper has settled back, although it is definitely still there, and the smoke has become much smoother, almost creamy. Toward the end of this first section, the spice has turned to more of a musky note and a bit of earthiness has peeked in.
The second portion of the Flor de D’Crossier 512 continues to get even smoother with all of the aforementioned flavors harmonizing well, adding a bit of smokiness to the mixture. The burn is still excellent, although I would not recommend trying to take the ash further than an inch. At this point, the body is still at medium and I am not feeling any nicotine strength. A floral element wafts in and out and the smokiness has turned to more of a light char, though not in a bad way.
As the Flor de D’Crossier 512 enters the home stretch, a nice touch is that the band slips off easily and cleanly – a big plus. It is now pumping out quite a bit of resting smoke, so I’m glad that I’m doing this review outside. The floral note has vanished, but the remaining flavors are still playing together nicely, and I’m beginning to feel some strength creep up, although it is not a big deal. The body has also crept up, but has not yet reached the medium-full level. A bit of bread has emerged with 1 ½” to go, along with some citrus sharpness, and some sweetness has returned. With a little less than an inch remaining and my lips tingling, it’s time to put the Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512 to rest. It has smoked cool and firm all the way down.
The Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512 is a thoroughly enjoyable cigar with solid flavors and a good amount of complexity in a terrifically constructed package. I never had the slightest thought of a correction or re-light, as it burned evenly throughout. It’s a cigar that can be smoked just about any time of day, with a number of beverages, and the price makes it one that I can easily recommend to just about anyone to try. I was highly impressed with the three that I smoked and will be looking to pick up on more of the D’Crossier lines to delve into.
In reviews past, both Tony and I have voiced our reluctance to pair standard IPAs with cigars, as the sometimes overwhelming amount of bitterness of the brew can broadside the cigar. That being said, I think that I can safely say that we both have an affinity for Imperial or double IPAs as a viable match for a number of cigars, and a recent post by Stogie Review’s Brian Hewitt inspired me to give this pairing a try. Although this is my first experience with Victory’s Hop Ranch, I was pretty comfortable with this pairing. DIPAs usually bring a large amount of malty goodness along with citrus and sometimes tropical fruit to the party, and these flavors are what I saw as good partners to what the Flor de D’Crossier Selection No. 512 has to offer. As it turns out, the Victory Hop Ranch is a lighter version of that, with a lighter mouthfeel and less of both the heavy malty sweetness and piney hops than what I’m used to, and more citrus. That actually played very well with the cigar, but like I said in the wrap up, this stick can also go with a variety of drinks including a nice bourbon or Scotch, a Belgian type pale ale, a not too sweet fruit based soft drink, or a good strong cup of coffee.