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Archive for April, 2009

Litto Gomez, of La Flor Dominicana,  is an innovator.  His products are unique and exciting.  Unlike some of the top blenders today, you would be hard pressed to try to categorize his line of cigars.  Some are mild and creamy like the Premium Line, some are rich and nutty like his Reserva line and then there are the Ligeros and Double Ligeros – some of the strongest and most flavorful cigars on the market.  (Please check out my Manufacturer Spotlight on La Flor here).

Senor Litto Gomez

Senor Litto Gomez

Litto is easily one of the top 3 blenders making cigars today.  His limited editions and small-batch cigars are always unique, different and down-right tasty!

I had the privilege to correspond with Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana a couple of weeks back.  I had e-mailed him to inquire over a few more details to his new El Museo charity cigar.  I also asked if I could shoot him a couple of questions for my blog and he graciously agreed.

Zen: Senor Gomez, thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions.  What brought you into the cigar business?

Litto Gomez: When you don’t have a formal education or a rich father you have to make your own path in life, in the process you find yourself at crossroads, then you make your decision on which direction you are going to go.

I made the decision to get in the cigar industry without any analysis of what I was getting into. It made no sense to anybody our chances of failure were about 99.9999999%, but something almost magic  happened… I just happen to [have]  fallen in love with tobacco and everything involved in what I was doing. The rest is history.

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La Flor Dominicana is a brand that has really gained in popularity over the last few years.  It is the child of Litto Gomez and Ines Lorenzo-Gomez who have poured the hearts into creating one of the most diverse brands out there.  I love the brand as there is a cigar for every mood.  From the mild to the very full-bodied the Gomez’ have put together quite an amazing portfolio.

la_flor_dominicana_logo

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I have the distinct opportunity to smoke one of the most sought after cigars ever.  The original Miami La Glorias came about during the Cigar Boom and put Ernesto Perez-Carrillo on the map.  You probably wouldn’t have guys like Don Pepin Garcia, Pete Johnson or Dion Giolito without Ernesto.  The La Glorias were so hard to find that folks were paying quadruple and more of MSRP.

LGC Torpedo No. 1

LGC Torpedo No. 1

One of my buddies from Empire Cigars gave me a 15 year old LGC Torpedo No. 2 for the birth of my son.  I couldn’t wait to try this cigar that I had heard so much about.  I was just going to right a review for this old torpedo when I realized this was a good chance to compare the blend Then & Now.  So much has changed in 15 years, including LGC being bought by General Cigar to even in the last year Ernesto leaving La Gloria to start off on his own again.  Is there anyway these cigars can still be similar at all?  We’ll see!

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Size: 5 7/8″ x 41

Vitola: Perfecto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown

Origin: Dominican Republic

Age: 7 years

This is a very special cigar.  Not only did this blend lead to the AVO 787 but this is the only LE to have a different sized European release.  The original AVO 22  was 5 7/8″ x 50 while the European release has a ring gauge of only 41.  The Europeans historically prefer thinner cigars hence the change.  I got my hands on one of these in a trade and couldn’t wait to smoke it.

AVO 22 European Release

AVO 22 European Release

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Wow!  What a blast!  I was lucky to be one of a lucky 100 to get tickets to the AVO Companero dinner at Sullivan’s in Raleigh, NC hosted by Empire Cigars and the birthday boy himself, Mr. Avo Uvezian!

Avo Uvezian

Avo Uvezian

I arrived at 6pm sharp at Sullivan’s and was escorted to the back room where I was greeted by my buddies Hal, Dave and Oscar of Empire Cigars (poor Derek was stuck minding the store).  They shook my hand and gave me a bag with an Avo XO Intermezzo, and AVO 787 Toro and an AVO Signature Double Corona.

I lit the XO first as it was the mildest of the three and I wanted to start off slow.  The XO was a great starter cigar, it was creamy and woody and it got my palate ready for the night ahead!  The Final Four began, so everyone had something to do while waiting for the birthday boy to arrive.

As soon as Avo showed up, unmistakable in his signature straw hat, I realized I forgot my camera.  I looked at my pal Matt of Matt’s Cigar Journal, and he too forgot his camera!  So needless to say that bummed us out, but there were plenty of pictures taken that night.  Luckily many others did:

The Birthday Boy

The Birthday Boy

Shortly after Avo’s arrival we were served our appetizers of crab dip with toast points and fried calamari.  I can’t eat shellfish, but the calamari was perfectly cooked.

After the calamari, I lit the AVO 787 Toro and was greeted with slightly richer flavors than the XO, loaded with coffee and cocoa.  This never has been my favorite as it was modeled after the Avo 22 LE but has not come close to tasting as good as it’s predecessor.

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Size: 7″ x 33

Vitola: Slim Panetela

Wrapper: Connecticut

Origin: Dominican Republic

Age: 13 years!

This is the last of the awesome cigar bomb I recieved from Matt (aka Cyrann) from the Brothers of the Leaf Forum.  This is also the oldest cigar, clocking in as an early teen of 13 years.

Davidoff 3000

Davidoff 3000

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Size: 6″ x 38

Vitola: Panetela

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Origin: Dominican Republic

Age: 10 years

Now I’m getting real excited!  This is the first of two 10 years+ cigars that were given to me by Matt (Cyrann) on the Brothers of the Leaf Cigar Forum.  This is the fourth installment of my Kelner Bomb Review Series.

davi-class

Davidoff Classic No. 2

This cigar looks beautiful!  Hardly any visible veins, the wrapper looks to me to have gotten darker with age, compared to the current Davidoffs which use Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers.  This has a little sheen on it and judging by the cellophane, this baby has been resting for a long time!

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