Wrapper: Dominican HVA Natural
Binder: Dominican Negrito
Filler: Dominican Corojo, HVA
Brand: Flor y Nata SRL
Factory: Manufacturera Rivas (Dominican Republic)
CigarNoise Price Range: $5-$7
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Flor y Nata – First Thoughts
Today’s review comes to us from Joan Rodriguez, creator of Flor y Nata and Noxio Cigars. If you had the pleasure of joining us for his virtual Meet & Greet in the CigarNoise Virtual Lounge, you know that Joan’s cigars are produced in the same factory as Chogui, Campesino, Edolara, Caminos, CDR, and several others. Being a fan of this factory in general, I’m super excited to review this Dominican puro.
Here’s 90 seconds with Joan at IPCPR 2016:
The wrapper is oily, fairly dark for a natural cigar, and almost seamless except for a spot at the head and the foot. In fact, there is a natural and maduro version of the Flor y Nata and it took a few minutes to confirm that I’m reviewing the natural today instead of the maduro.
From the foot, aromas of cedar, hickory, cherries, and raisins wash over me in what I hope is to be a precursor to the an excellent morning. The cigar is firm, dense in the hand, and required an extra cut with such a thick wrapper.
Flor y Nata – First Third
Pepper, Cream, Cedar, Vintage Wood, Earth, Bran Flakes, Mushrooms, Cherry, Spicy Chocolate
Our first serious draw is much spicier than anticipated. Pepper strikes in the back of the throat and lingers in between puffs. Rich, creamy smoke contrasts the spice in an interesting duo of good versus evil. Tasting notes of sweet cedar, vintake wood, earth, and bran flakes work their way into the mix, with mushrooms appearing in the retro hale. The initial spice and body of this cigar reminds me of Opus.
The Flor y Nata is definitely the most high octane cigar that I’ve enjoyed from one of my favorite factories in the Dominican Republic. At an inch in, our spice continues to linger and ride the line between punishing or pleasing. Delicate cherry notes also develop at this point, further combating the villainous pepper.
Towards the end of the first third, pepper eventually begins to relent to cream, earth, cherries, and spicy chocolate.
Flor y Nata – Second Third
Pepper, Dark Chocolate, Wood, Cream, Earth, Cherry
Dropping the ash, pepper is yet again the first to meet me at the door. Dark chocolate, ambiguous wood notes, and cream are close behind. A few more minutes in, I’m tasting those subtle hints of cherries again, but this time like they’re dropped on soft, tilled earth. Let’s be real here, I’ve not seen anything but sand in almost 60 days – but this cigar is taking me back home.
The draw has tightened up in this segment, making what was already a slightly tight draw just a little more resistant to my charms. Whereas pepper reigned supreme in the first third, dark chocolate and earth are King in this portion of the Flor y Nata.
Flor y Nata – Last Third
Espresso, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Walnut, Cream, Pepper
The last third begins with espresso, dark chocolate, earth, walnut, and yet more cream – which is only fitting considering that Nata translates into cream in english. I’m pretty sure we could make a latte out of this combination.
Pepper also resurges as I’m pushing the band back from the burn line, tickling the back of the throat and coating my palate once more. This time around it’s playing nice with the other kids on the playground, though, and is a welcome addition.
Removing the band completely, pepper exits stage left for the final time as walnut, espresso, and cream have their unadulterated moment in the limelight. What was dark chocolate before now tastes like truffle chocolate, and this third is quickly becoming my favorite. Subtle nuances, depth of flavor, and rich, creamy textures shine brightly in the final segment of the Flor y Nata.
Rich Last 1/3
Mediocre Second 1/3
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