La Flor Dominicana TAA 47th
Last year’s (fabled, per Craig) selection process led to the finished product we have before us – the La Flor Dominicana TAA 47th. It’s a 5.5” x 52 robusto extra that features an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and Dominican/Nicaraguan filler mix. It was available only through TAA member shops, and retailed for about $9 per stick.
The much anticipated…and much maligned…CA Top 25 list is making its rounds for 2016. If you follow the list, you probably already know that the La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull topped it at number 1. I (Kip) haven’t personally smoked this cigar yet, but I have read a bit about it. In fact, quite a few of the things I read deemed it as being uncharacteristic of the typical LFD portfolio. The anecdotal trend I am seeing is folks saying it’s not as potent as the company’s standard fare, with perhaps more of a spicy profile. I suppose I’ll have to track them down, because nicotine-heavy blends has been one of my personal reasons I avoid the brand most of the time (although there are a few I will reach for on occasion, like the Airbender). I’d love to hear what some of our listeners think of it – because this list is often polarizing for the magazine’s readership, and I’m interested to see what Johnny-on-the-street has to say about the cigar. The 6.5” figurado retails for about $15, and features a Corojo-seed Ecuador Habano wrapper over a blend of Dominican Criollo ’98, an undefined hybrid, and some Pelo d’Oro.
Lots of legislative news since our last show. First, a very brief update in the form of a date. July 28, 2017. This is the date that the joint CRA//IPCPR//CAA lawsuit will have its day in court. We’ve covered this in recent shows in terms of its initial filing and the FDA’s response. We’re going to have to wait a few more months before anything really starts to move with it….
Moving along into the second bit of legislative info, the FDA has now alleged that several companies are falsely marketing cigarettes as “Little Cigars.” Swisher is the only company in the list that I recognize having a tie to our standard roster of cigar companies, with their past premium division and current ownership of Drew Estate. Frankly, despite my (Kip’s) typical displeasure with the FDA’s asserted long arm, I’m kinda onboard with this reach. Similar loophole wrangling led to some portion of the mess we’re in today (i.e. roll-your-own tobacco being marketed as pipe tobacco in FL, etc.). If these are cigarettes, call them cigarettes. THIS is why we need a solid definition that differentiates premium cigars from other types of tobacco products. I’m not alleging Swisher did this, but there were a number of cigarette makers in 2009 that simply changed the color of their paper wrapper to brown and called them “little cigars” to manoeuvre the tax framework. These things are sized like cigarettes, have similar composition, and are packaged much alike…
Representative Mark Meadows (NC, Rep.) has compiled and presented a list of over 200 regulations that could beneficially be repealed by incoming President Trump. One of these regulations is the FDA’s claim on regulating tobacco products – specifically premium cigars. The list specifically notes the fear of the overwhelming pre-review process that the industry now faces. Story on Cigar Coop
The 20th Anniversary Opus X has hit the market…in the brand’s 21st year (of course). A number of retailers have been busily posting pictures as they land in stores. The line comes in four sizes: Believe (5 3/4 x 52), Father & Son (6 1/4 x 49), God’s Whisper (6 1/2 x 56) and Power of a Dream (6 3/8 x 52). They come in 20-count boxes with MSRP pricing ranging from $17.75-20 per cigar. I have a couple of these from the 2014 CFC, although without the fancy blue packaging. They were distributed at this event with a simple secondary “Hublot” band, and no information given except they were 20th Anniversary Opus. I suppose it’s time to break them out…
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
Alphonso custom corona 11/16 from Zedman
Punch London Club Maduro
Perdomo Lot 23 Habano
SevenSeven Cigars – Sumatra (Ec Sumatran wrapper, Criollo ‘98 binder, Piloto Cubano, Nicaraguan, Criollo ‘98 fillers) milder in flavor but just as potent as its Sumatran brother. Habano (Habano wrapper, Criollo ‘98 binder, Piloto Cubano, Nicaraguan, Criollo ‘98 fillers) – Occasional crispness, but generally came across with lots of dark chocolate flavors.
Tatuaje Skinny Monsters – I’ve begun smoking through these as I get the chance. I’m keeping some notes on each and will post them up once I’m through the lineup. So far, I think the Mummy has been my favorite…which is peculiar, because I believe it has been my least favorite in the full size offerings.