La Flor Dominicana – La Nox
Merry Christmas I guess! The next time I post it will be to introduce my top 10 list of 2015. I cap the year off in my backyard with a La Flor Dominicana La Nox and a bottle of a Christmas favorite of mine, Brouwerij Huyghe’s Delirium Noel.
The Good Stuff:
As a bit of a departure from what we have all come to expect with La Flor Dominicana, The La Nox is an incredibly dark, full production cigar. The name is appropriate as it translates to “The Night” and this cigar is as dark as the night. The cigar comes packaged in very interesting, huge, black, circular boxes which feature a simple moon and cloud design (said to be a tip of the hat to Van Gogh as the “La Nox” logo is actually a take on his signature) and magnets instead of hinges and nails. The La Nox blend starts out with a dark Brazilian wrapper, Mexican San Andres binder, and Dominican fillers from the company’s La Canela farm. The cigars are produced at the Tabacalera La Flor S.A. factory in Dominican Republic and began to hit shelves a few months ago, but sell out very quickly. The cigar is offered in a single 6.5 x 50 Toro Extra format which comes packaged in boxes of 10 and run $11 a stick. I purchased a handful of these over from our friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop.
Size: 6.5 x 50
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Pairing: Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Noel (Belgian Strong Ale 10% ABV)
La Flor Dominicana’s La Nox starts out with an incredibly dark, thick wrapper. It’s consistent in color sporting an almost black, dark brown color with a very toothy texture. The wrapper feel’s like a cats tongue drenched in oil. The wrapper is very thick, and very hard while it carries a few very minor veins, and one larger one running the length of the cigar’s body. The La Nox is polished off with a stubby, round, double cap and two very simple, elegant blue, black, and white bands featuring the same simple night artwork with the moon, clouds, and the words “La Nox” across the front. The cigar is very heavy. I mean, REALLY heavy as the wrapper probably weighs as much as the filler does. There are absolutely no soft spots. The cigar feels like a rock.
The wrapper on La Flor Dominicana’s La Nox gives off some slight grape, cocoa, and an almost charred rubber aroma while the foot of the cigar gives off a whole mess of spice and sweetness. Despite the density, the cap cut clean and smooth using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw leads with a very strong, and distinct raisin flavor backed by lots of sweetness, fruit, and cocoa.
La Flor Dominicana’s La Nox starts out with some faint black pepper which quickly faded away letting the cigar showcase some smokey, charred meat, cedar, dark chocolate, and sweetness. As I continue on the chariness subsides a bit as some nice subtle fruit begins to work it’s way in. The draw is perfect, each little puff kicks out a good amount of thick, white smoke while the La Nox gives off very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is sexy, very sharp, perfectly even leaving behind a perfect trail of thick, compacted white and gray ash which held on for a bit over an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of La Flor Dominicana’s La Nox and this thing is just pouring out the flavors. The charred meat has really taken a step back and is very faint at this point, but still there while the profile leads with strong cedar, date, fruit, and sweetness backed by cocoa, and spice. It’s a great mixture. The retrohale coats my nasal passage with a lot more pepper than expected along with strong cedar. It’s not something I find myself doing too often with this particular cigar. The burn line is still perfectly even as I close out the second third with only a slight nicotine kick.
As La Flor Dominicana’s La Nox continues to burn, the body and strength just keep ramping up more and more. The charred meat has amped up a bit but the profile is still leading with bold cedar, spice, cocoa, cedar, and fruit backed by pepper and those charred flavors. It’s still a great mixture. It took me an hour and forty five minutes to take this down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, nor any extra heat. There was a small amount of sap in the final third but a very small clip cleaned that right up. The La Nox left me with a pretty decent nicotine kick, but some of that may have been caused by the beer as well. Either way, it was a great finish.
La Nox is quite a departure from what we normally expect from La Flor Dominicana, and it served as a breath of fresh air. Not that LFD’s stuff is bad by any means, I quite enjoy their offerings. What I mean is, it’s nice to see them step out of their element a bit, and they killed it. La Nox is a deep, rich, bold, flavor bomb that hits on all marks. The fact that it’s full production makes it that much more desirable. The price is a bit steep, but I can honestly say that it delivered and the price is well worth it. Will this squeak into my top 10? Find out next week.
Each Christmas I have a run of three of four beers that I always make sure I include in my rotation. Delirium Noel is at the top of that list. Brewed at the Brouwerij Huyghe brewery in Belgium, this 10% strong ale has what it takes to warm me up no matter how cold it is out. Delirium Noel leads with strong sweetness, caramel, loads of spice, fruit, and malt with a decently heavy mouthfeel before finishing sweet with more fruit, spice, and honey. The fruit and spice were an absolute perfect match for the flavors found in the La Nox while the cigar offered up some nice smokey charness that carries over to the beer. Both the cigar and the beer are dominant forces so you have to be careful not choose one that will overpower the other. In this case, they both offered support without dominating the other. This cigar would also pair well with a strong tawny port, bold baltic porter, or sweet bourbon.