Cigar Review – La Flor Dominicana 20th Anniversary 1994 Conga
The recently released La Flor Dominicana 20th Anniversary 1994 cigar was created to celebrate Litto and Ines Gomez’s 20th year in the cigar business, not the La Flor Dominicana brand’s 20th anniversary as some would likely assume. In 1994, Mr. And Mrs. Gomez launched a Dominican-made line of cigars called Los Libertadores, the blend for which would become the basis for the original La Flor Dominicana cigar that would debut two years later in 1996. So this blend commemorates the very beginning of the La Flor legacy. Combining binder and filler tobaccos from the company’s famous La Canela farm with a natural Mexican San Andres wrapper, the 1994 sounded pretty promising. So promising, in fact, that I decided to light one up for today’s review.
The San Andres wrapper on the 1994 had a texture to it that was akin to a fine sandpaper when rolling it around between my fingers. The tooth was strong with this one, and it was actually visible once I took a closer look. Because the cigar was so firmly packed I chose to hit it with a punch-cut in hopes of avoiding a tight draw, after which a buttery bit of cocoa and some sweet grain came through on the pre-light.
Initial flavors of the Conga were of smooth cedar, baking chocolate, and some white and black pepper. Smoke production was adequate and the draw was a little firm, but not annoyingly so. Over the course of the first inch the pepper ramped up in intensity with each puff before morphing into more of a nutmeg-like spice and retreating to the background of the woody profile.
By the second 3rd the smoke had evolved to a hearty taste of crisp cedar with lots of leathery character. It was around this point that the strength of the cigar began to hit me and I decided to slow my smoking pace down some. This wasn’t knock-you-on-your-ass strong, but it was definitely on the heavier side of medium-full. I also began to pick up hints of a distinct malt sweetness that reminded me of one of my least favorite candies ever, “Whoppers.” While I normally despise Whoppers, in the context of this well-rounded profile I found the taste to be only slightly offensive.
It was at just about the halfway mark that the La Flor 94’s profile started to really open up for me and get interesting. The cedary core remained, but new nuances of salted peanut, bread, earth, and a vague impression of black cherry sweetness were now present, filling out the body of the smoke nicely. This mid-way point was definitely the “sweet spot” of this stick in my opinion.
In the final stretch of the cigar flavors were less complex, but just as rich with a deep taste of earth offset by notes of cream and an ever-present creeping sweetness. This remained the gist of the smoke until I set down the nub with an inch remaining.
La Flor Dominicana fans will not be disappointed with this one, as it showcases all of the qualities that have made the brand so successful. Rich taste? Check. Power? Check. Juicy, nuanced flavor? Double check. What’s not to love? This thing smokes much like La Flor’s very best blends, only with a few added degrees of smoothness that set it apart. I smoked this sample shortly after release, and methinks that a few months humidor time will allow the tobaccos in the blend to reach their full combined potential and bring out even more subtleties in flavor. I recommend buying a box now, smoking a few, and tucking the rest away for a while. Come springtime you’ll be kicking off stogie season with a smoke that will be hard to top.