La Flor Dominicana – Carajo Maduro
La Flor Dominicana has been one of those brands I steered away from for a long-time and, to be honest, I am not quite sure why. When I first began smoking cigars, it may have been the strength that kept me away. As my palate evolved and my body adjusted to stronger cigars, I still did not visit La Flor Dominicana cigars often. Possibly because I was, and still am, a Nicaraguan cigar nut. Recently, I have made an effort to expand my palate and smoke cigars from manufacturers or countries I have stayed away from in the past. A couple months back, I received a few LFD sticks from Anthony Cantelmo, reviewer on cigarbrief.com and Southwest Area Sales Manager for LFD Cigars. He was kind enough to send me a 6 pack of Carajo Maduros, which I will be reviewing this week for your reading pleasure.
When I received the cigars, I was instantly impressed by the presentation of the Carajos. I absolutely love the packaging in the cedar box/sleeve and the size of these puppies. Browsing laflordominicana.com, I did not come across any information on these sticks. After messaging Anthony Cantelmo for some information on the cigar, I was forwarded an e-mail from Antonio “Tony” Gomez, Litto Gomez’s son, about the Carajo. This is what Tony has to say:
The Carajos are basically an experiment to see how big a % of Ligero we could fit into a cigar relative to its ring gauge. Carajo is one of those words that can be used in a lot of different ways and doesn’t necessarily have an exact definition, but it is typically used as an exclamation or for emphasis. I’d say that “Los Carajos” loosely translates to “The Shit”. Anyone that lights up a Carajo will experience an immediate blast of power and flavor and it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for them to proclaim “Carajo!” or “Shit!” haha.
Vitola: Petit Corona
Size: 4 by 34
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Maduro
Smoke Time: 50 Minutes
This petite corona sports a dark reddish brown wrapper that has a very fine tooth. The cigar is firmly packed from head to foot, and I encounter no soft spots during my pre-light inspection. The wrapper aroma is of cedar, which is expected due to the packaging of the cigar. I do not pull much else off the foot other than a mild spice sting in the nose.
The cap has been applied neatly. A nice change from the last couple of cigars I have reviewed. The double cap clips clean, revealing a great draw . The cold draw delivers cedar and rich tobacco, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
This LFD is comfortable in several respects. The small ring gauge makes it comfortable in the hand and mouth, and the draw has just the right amount of resistance. The Carajo Maduro is producing a satisfying amount of smoke that is delivering heavy flavors of black coffee and earth, and a black pepper spice that warms my palate. I will not be retrohaling this cigar often due to the sharp,black pepper blast. A salt and pepper, layered ash is holding strong. The fine tooth on the wrapper leaf can be seen in the ash as it burns down. The thick eyeliner burn is even and the ash holds to three-fourths of an inch before dropping.
The spice has picked up leaving a tingle at the back of my throat. A rich cedar has arrived in the flavor mix bringing a nice balance to the coffee and earth. Already making my way down to the disproportionately large band, I remove it with ease. There seems to be an unidentifiable sweetness attempting to make its way into the flavors. With this being a Maduro, I did expect some sweetness in the smoke. No change in the burn or ash. It is nice to see such a small ring gauge producing a firm ash that isn’t constantly dropping in my lap.
The flavors have been full throughout but it is just as I enter the final third that I begin feeling a relaxing amount of nicotine. If this cigar was any larger, I would probably need a fuller stomach to smoke it without getting sick. All the flavors from the previous thirds have balanced making this one heck of a pleasant smoke. Now I am wishing I had a few more inches! The richness continues to pick up pace, as well as the sweetness that seems to be more of raw sugar sweetness than anything else. Some heat is forming in the smoke and on the tips of my fingers, letting me know it is time to put this cigar to a close.
The La Flor Dominicana Carajo Maduro delivered bold flavors, with a nice amount of spice that will wake you up and keep you interested in the cigar. The burn line and ash were exceptional for a petit corona and I can’t forget the perfect draw. I have smoked through half of the 6 pack, and all have performed at the same level. A 6 pack of the LFD Carajo Maduros can be found online around $18, which is an easy buy in my book. According to a halfwheel.com news piece, there has been a change in packaging to boxes of 5 that will be offered at $15.60. However, as of now, the 6 count boxes can still be found online. I am always on the lookout for great, small cigars that can be enjoyed commuting to and from work or maybe even during a lunch hour. While this may not be a cigar I would smoke on my way to work, I will definitely keep a handful around for the drive home or a quick lunch break.