By now most cigar smokers are familiar with La Flor Dominicana cigars, but in the past few years Tabacalera La Flor has released a few “special” cigars like the Litto Gomez Diez line, the Limitados I and II, and the extremely limited Factory Press cigars. The Coronado entry is a departure from the standard LFD production as well, with only about 65,000 cigars made last year. And while the production run for the Coronado isn’t as limited as those “special” smokes, the fact that the double corona rated a 93 and won “Second Best Cigar of 2006” in Cigar Aficionado put in the spotlight for a while.
The heart of the Coronado is the filler and binder grown on Litto Gomez’s farm in the Dominican Republic. The binder is corojo, (Dominican corojo is always sure to get my attention) and the filler is from Sumatran seed.
The wrapper on this cigar is a very mottled colorado maduro with fine veins. It’s a gorgeous example of sun-grown wrapper, and in this case it’s easy to see why Litto opted for a non-Dominican leaf — it’s grown by Nestor Plasencia in Jalapa, Nicaragua, and in addition to the visual element it adds several levels of complexity to the smoke. It’s rough looking and oily, but beautiful.
The draw on this stick is just about perfect — an easy pull with just the right amount of resistance. The burn is not perfect, and the ash from the wrapper tends to peel away and look a little messy, but these are minor matters. Overall I found great construction here.
La Flor makes some great milder bodied cigars, but the ones that have gotten the most attention lately are the full bodied sluggers like the Double Ligero and the Litto Gomez Diez. As soon as I lit the Coronado I realized it was probably in the same class. The first few puffs are very peppery and the first half inch or so unleashes a serious tongue bite. The pepper I like, especially since it dissipates and develops much more complex flavors after that first blast. The tongue bite I could live without.
Eventually what I’m getting is a solid base of leathery flavors with overtones of black pepper and later on some woody elements. The finish is long and peppery, and the texture of the smoke is excellent — creamy, full flavored, almost chewy. Strength aside, this is a truly heavy bodied cigar just in terms of the weight of the smoke, and the aroma is powerful and pervasive.
But to be honest, this stick kicked my ass. I managed to get through the first two thirds, really enjoying the cigar, until the last third when my head started spinning and I had to weigh my options — keep smoking because the flavor was too good to abandon, or put it down and try to regain my equilibrium. I was struggling with this decision until I started feeling a little queasy and recognized the signs, the ones that say “Stop now or find a nice quiet place to be sick for a while.” So for once I listened to my body and let the Coronado extinguish itself.
This is a great cigar for full-bodied cigar lovers. It was a bit much for me, but what I could handle of it I quite enjoyed. I’ll be picking up a few of these for my friends who like Joya de Nicaragua Antanos and LFD Double Ligeros — the price point is a little high at around 8.00 USD retail, but for complexity, performance, and all around flavor this is money well spent.