February 1, 2012

Cigar Review: La Flor Dominicana El Museo


El Museo Box Cover
In 2009 Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana teamed up with Ruben and Isabel Toledo to create a cigar that would benefit the Latin American Museum in East Harlem of New York City, El Museo del Barrio. The museum is the most leading museums on Latin American culture in New York, and unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to visit it when I have been in New York. At the time, Litto released 2000 boxes of 24 cigars each, and they sold for around $600 a piece. The cigar is no longer in production, but the cigars are still available in certain retailers across the country. Named El Museo, the cigar features a gorgeous artistic band, and comes packaged in a beautiful off-white lacquer box that has been hand painted by artists Ruben Toledo. The packaging features a mambo dancer posing quite seductively, and smoking a cigar. You can see the smoke from the cigar form the shape of a butterfly, and all around her is vegetation local to Latin America and the warm tropics.


Inside the gorgeous box are beautiful cigars, and each cigar has an extraordinary band on them. It features a face that has a palm for nose and eyebrows, two palm trees as hair, and eyes within tobacco leaves. It is a terrific band that nothing compares to, that is all I can say. The cigar is beautiful in coloring and very oily. There are some veins present throughout the wrapper, and they are very dark underneath the Colorado wrapper. The cigar is a Dominican puro, and features filler and binder leaves from the La Flor del Palma farm. The wrapper I imagine is from Litto’s famed “ligero farm,” but they do not say. The cigar is massive, and measures 6 ¾” with a 52 ring gauge. It is more of a toro vitola, but they have it broken down as a Churchill. The cigar is finished with a cap, and is very firm in hand. Holding the foot and wrapper to my nose I get aromas of leather, floral notes, and even some lemongrass.
Incredible band
The first third begins very different than most La Flor Dominicana smokes, and it is very light. There is a hint of spice with the smoke, but I am mostly getting some woody and earthy notes. There is a bit of leather with that, and there is some very complex flavor that I am trying to pick up that is between lemongrass and these herbal notes. It is very different from what I was expecting, and I would say that the cigar is slightly below medium, but ever so slightly. That could have something to do with the years these cigars have been aging, but either way it is very pleasant. The cigar is performing very well in terms of construction, and it is leaving a solid gray ash that is very dark in coloring.

I am in the second third of the cigar now, and I find that the smoke is performing very similarly to the first third. The cigar is rolled very well, and is packed with tobacco. The draw has been very open throughout, so I am getting tons of smoke, which is great for rings, and for an aromatic environment. In terms of flavor, the wood, earth and leather notes have been very prominent in this third, and there is a bit of floral, herbal and mineral notes present as well. There is very little spice present at this point and the cigar is at a solid medium, making me wondering if I am even smoking a cigar by Litto Gomez or not. Either way the cigar is still performing at its best, and leaving a razor sharp burn line with a great dark gray ash.
Lovely wrapper, great coloring
When I get into the final third the cigar is smoking still very similar to what it has been doing in the first and second third. The burn line has been razor sharp and leaving a solid dark gray ash. I have ashed the cigar a couple times, but I imagine that it would have stayed on for some time if I left it. The cigar is still smoking around medium in this third, like it was in the second third, and still producing a thick amount of smoke on the cool draw. The flavors in the final third are almost identical to what they were in the second third, and I am left with an earthy, wood and leathery smoke that has a complex herbal, floral and grassy finish. As I smoke the cigar down to the nub it is still smoking well and cool leaving the cigar a great finish.

This was a very enjoyable cigar, but very surprising. I wasn’t expecting anything along these lines when I went to smoke it, and I needed to give myself some time before I really rated it. When you smoke your way through so many La Flor Dominicana smokes you begin to expect a full flavored full bodied cigar, but this cigar really did not do that. This was a very elegant cigar that you could smoke almost any time, and was made so that almost any cigar smoker could enjoy. The flavors were very complex and enjoyable, and as a cigar it performed perfectly. This was a very nice treat, and though it would not be a cigar that I would look for a lot, it was still a great experience to have. I give this cigar a 91, and if you are a fan of lighter smokes with subtle yet complex flavors then this cigar is for you.                   
El Museo