January 7, 2012

La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV

Today's review comes from a brand that I don't smoke all that often, but one of which I have had my fair share.  Although I am a fan of a few of the La Flor Dominicana blends (more specifically the Limitado IV), I  had never had one of their cigars blow me away.

The LFD Factory Press IV was released in November of 2011. The Factory Press line has been a pretty big hit for La Flor Dominicana and I wasn't surprised that a new version of this stick had hit the shelves.

A quote from Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana. (Taken from their Facebook page) "For years I have been fascinated with our cigar box-pressing system. Many times I have thought how great it would be to share the process with our fans. That is why I'm offering a very special cigar shipped in the actual factory press. Because the concept is so special we needed to blend a cigar that will be totally unique to La Flor Dominicana"

Like I said above, for me, La Flor Dominicana has had some winners and some losers. I was eager to find out how this particular stick fares.

Vitola: Box pressed Double Toro 
Length: 6.5
Ring Gauge: 60
Wrapper: Mexican
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Dominican
Price: $15 and up
Smoking Location: Governor's Smoke Shop
Beverage: Water

If you've ever had the chance to smoke (or even to hold) a cigar in the Factory Press line from La Flor Dominicana, you will notice one thing immediately. This was the hardest box-pressed, most squared off cigar that I can think of in the premium cigar industry. I always tell people that I think they look like Lincoln logs and that you could build a barn out of them. The wrapper of this particular stick was a light brown color with medium-sized veining. Another thing to note was the head of the cigar, which seemed to have an abnormally large amount of glue on it. Most of the time (including this review) the glue (or pectin) adds zero flavor, so it's not something that really bothers me. The pre-lit bouquet was very faint and smelled only of tobacco. The cold draw was nice and free and had a raisin flavor to it.

First Third   
My LFD Factory Press IV lit up easily and had a fantastic draw. I mention this mainly because, with such a odd shape, you never know how the construction will be. At this point the cigar had zero problems.  The flavor on the front of the profile was a mild white pepper; not very spicy but just enough to tingle some taste buds. The finish was also very mild with dry cocoa flavor. The finish, however, was a bit unpleasant. After a minute or two between puffs, I got a very ashy flavor in my mouth. It wasn't horrible, nor was it the greatest taste. The strength of the cigar was in the upper mild- to lower-medium range.

Second Third  
Before discussing the flavor of the second third, I want point out the ash on this stick. The ash was very white and flaky and would fall off with just a slight tap or breeze in the air. Be cautioned if you're wearing black.

As for the flavors, the profile changed a bit in the second third, as the pepper faded away and the dry cocoa really took over. I am guessing this flavor comes mostly from the Mexican wrapper on the cigar because I have taken note of other cigars with the same palate notes who also use that leaf. Yet another change for the better was that peculiar, ashy finishing taste I had in the first third had all but vanished. Now the finish on the cigar was very clean and almost a little short. The strength maintained in the upper mild-to-medium range.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
Rounding out the final third of my LFD Factory Press IV, the cocoa flavors continued to pour in. The smoke was now very thick and coated my palate completely. Toward the nub, I got a bit of harshness in the back of my throat, but that could be due to me smoking the stick too fast. The strength finishing off the cigar had pushed up to a solid medium. The construction from first puff to finish was great, without any draw or burn issues.

My final thoughts on La Flor Dominicana Factory Press IV? If you are a fan of medium strength cigars with a lot of cocoa and chocolate flavors, you will dig this. The construction was great and I didn't had to "babysit" the cigar at all. I thought the shape and size felt a little awkward and the flavor profile was not as complex as I would have liked.

Would I buy it again? This particular stick is not one that fits my preferences and I would rather not buy it again, as there are other sticks from LFD that I prefer over this one.

Would I buy a box? See above.



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