March 21, 2012

PRE-RELEASE La Dueña by My Father Cigars & Tatuaje

Today's review is a pre-release sample that I picked up on my recent trip to the My Father Factory. La Dueña (translates to The Owner in English) is a cigar line that is blended by Pete Johnson (owner of Tatuaje Cigars) specifically for Janny Garcia, the owner of My Father Cigars. This will be the first line of cigars to be made just for Janny's taste and, I believe, the first cigar Pete has blended for the My Father company.

I got a chance to smoke multiples of this cigar in all the different sizes (except petite lancero), so I think I have a pretty good take on the profile and what Pete and Janny were going for with this release. The sample I used for this review I actually got in Miami at the My Father headquarters, so I am going to guess it had a bit more age on it than all of the sticks I smoked in Nicaragua.

(Due to the size of this cigar, this review is only in two parts instead of the traditional thirds.)

Vitola: Petite Robusto 
Length: 4.5
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $?
Smoking Location: New Havana Cigars
Beverage: water


The first thing I noticed when looking over my La Dueña were the visual differences in the broadleaf being used on the wrapper. Broadleaf tends to be pretty rough-looking in my opinion, but that was not the case with this cigar. The color was a consistent dark brown with virtually no variance in it at all. There were minimal veins and just a slight bit of tooth. Holding the cigar in the palm of my hand, it had some weight to it; so even with its small format, I didn't think it would be a super short smoke time. The un-lit aroma was very sweet, with hints of cocoa and earth. The cold draw was perfect with just a slight resistance and tasted heavily of dried fruit and sweetness. I actually commented that it reminded me of Fruit Roll Ups snacks.   

First Half   
My La Dueña lit up easily and and produced a lot of flavor from the first puff. The profile started out with a big bang of dark bitter chocolate and earth notes on the front, mixing perfectly with black pepper on the finish. The difference with this cocoa flavor is hard to describe, as it's not the same chocolate profile I tend to get from Mexican San Andreas wrappers. The taste seemed way more refined and clean. Speaking of clean, the peppery finish didn't lay heavy or feel like it was burning my taste buds, but instead left my palate nicely after a minute or so, making me want another draw. The construction was excellent and the the nicotine strength fell in the medium range. I do want to mention that this is not a cigar for a long ash competition. The ash holds strong for a little over an half inch and then starts to break.

Second Half and Final Thoughts
The second half of my La Dueña had some change-ups in the flavor profile which were most noticeable on the front. The dark chocolate turned into a sweet, dry cocoa flavor that really increased the the spice of the black pepper finish. For me, if the first half wasn't good enough, this took it to a whole new level. I love spicy cigars that maintain flavor balance and the second half of this cigar is a perfect example of exactly that. The construction was top notch the whole way, never needing a re-light or correction at any point during the smoking experience. Toward the end of the second half, I felt the nicotine strength of the cigar increased a little and I would put it in the medium- to lower-full range.

Final thoughts on the La Dueña by My Father Cigars? This is my favorite cigar out of all the new releases I smoked on my trip. There are a lot of other good sticks coming out this year from My Father and Tatuaje, but, for me, this blend was the shining star. The rich, deep flavors on the front turning lighter and sweeter in the second half with the addition of classic peppery finish was exactly what I found myself looking for when reaching into the bag of goodies Pete was carrying around. I'm foreseeing the future "Best of 2012" lists and La Dueña will be close to the top, if not the top cigar, for many of them.

Would I buy it again? All day, everyday.

Would I buy a box? Is there a waiting list? I'd like to be on it. Box purchase for sure.



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