Candela wrappers are so scarcely seen in the modern cigar market that it’s easy to forget that fifty years ago they were the most popular wrappers in the U.S., and at one point were even referred to as “A.M.S.”, or “American Market Standard”. Largely due to the difficulty of using such a fragile leaf, Candela wrappers have all but vanished from the premium cigar industry. In recent years, a handful of manufacturers have attempted to bring a new life to this leaf, one of whom is La Flor Dominicana, with the introduction of their Double Claro line. These sticks are blended using Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, and feature an Ecuadorian Claro wrapper. I decided to sample the #42 size (5 x 42) of this mean green stogie, just in time for St. Patty’s day.
The pale-green wrapper on the cigar looked pretty smooth, with thin veins running throughout the length of the cigar. The wrapper seemed a bit delicate, though the cigar was sturdily constructed, and topped off by an ample amount of cap. Pre-light draws gave off only a faint grassy taste, with just the slightest trace of sweetness. After a toast of the foot that took no time at all, I was off and smoking.
Initially, the flavors of this cigar came across as very bold, with heavy notes of hay and black pepper drenching the palate. The draw was a little firm for my tastes, but I still managed to pull a nice amount of smoke through. The light-bodied smoke that this stogie produced left a slight sweetness on my lips. The burn was sufficient, though a bit wobbly, and a flaky gray and white ash was beginning to build.
In the 2nd third of the smoke, the flavors came across much smoother and sweeter, with the pepper taking a backseat to an earthy tobacco note. During this portion notes of butter and cream became present, adding a nice extra dimension to the profile. I noticed that despite its considerably light wrapper, this stick was burning quite slow. Right as I neared the final 3rd, the draw opened up a good amount, which was greatly appreciated.
During the last phase of the session, the taste of the cigar was woody and smooth, with just the right amount of peppery-spice returning to the fold. In the last third, the burn was near-perfect, and the flavors seemed well-balanced, even as I approached the nub. With just over an inch remaining, I finally laid the Double Claro down.
Admittedly, this was the first Candela-wrapped cigar I had smoked, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Overall, this stick had solid flavor throughout, and a decent burn considering the fickle nature of its wrapper. The draw could have been a little looser in my opinion, but other than that, this stogie fared pretty well performance-wise. This cigar is billed as medium in body, and I found that to be accurate. Something about the look of the stick led me to believe it would be more on the mellow side, but as I type this with a slight nicotine buzz, I assure you this one had a little kick to it. At the end of the day, I have to give the La Flor Dominicana Double Claro #42 a solid B grade, and I would recommend it as a great choice for fans of La Flor looking for something just a little bit outside of the norm.