Litto Gomez has never been afraid to experiment. From the oddly shaped El Jocko to the widely praised chisel shapes — not to mention his innovations with purely Dominican tobacco blends — Gomez has always been interested in the creation of something new and interesting for the cigar smoker.
The LG Diez Line was released in 2004 to celebrate La Flor Dominicana’s tenth anniversary. Following in the footsteps of the Fuentes, Diez decided to create a Dominican puro for the occasion. Never an easy feat, they nevertheless succeeded in growing a suitable wrapper on the Flor Dominicana farms in La Canela. Patience was required as they grew, cured, fermented, and aged the tobacco to perfection — in all it took five years before the blend for the LG Diez was ready.
The year before, 2003, marked the introduction of La Flor Dominicana’s most celebrated innovation: the Chisel. The story is that Litto was on his way to work one morning, chewing on a pyramid shaped cigar, and came to the realization that the flattened shape really felt good in his mouth. He arrived at the factory and gave his torcedors the challenge of creating a chisel shaped head. Ten months later, they succeeded.
“This way it goes into the mouth in a perfect way, very comfortable,” said Litto Gomez. “I think it even fits better than a torpedo or a pyramid. It also allows you to smoke a big ring gauge cigar without filling your mouth. After I made it and I smoked it, I discovered the way that it distributes smoke into your palate is fantastic.” (Cigar Aficionado, 2003)
The first chisels to enter the marketplace were the Double Ligeros, arguably the most powerful cigars commonly available when they hit the scene in 2003. (And even today they rival the saurian strength of the Opus X or Tatuaje Cojonu.) So it was natural to create a chisel for the full-bodied LG Diez line of Dominican puros as well.
The one I smoked for this review was from a 2006 box. This is important to know because La Flor Dominicana recently changed their approach to this blend; they are now blending them as annual “vintage” cigars that will change each year. This will reportedly release them from having to maintain the exact same flavor from year to year, a difficult task when all of the tobacco comes from one relatively small farm.
The wrapper on this LG Diez puro is a beautiful colorado maduro, not quite rosado but golden brown. Several bumps and veins from the binder show through the slightly oily sheen of the wrapper, which gives it a rough, but still handsome appearance. The spike is perfectly formed and wrapped. I was a little worried about the wrapper at the head unraveling with a straight cut, but my worries were unfounded. It cut as easily as a torpedo, if not easier.
I had some difficulty getting this one to light evenly: after torching the foot for a good fifteen to twenty seconds it still lacked an even glow. With a little more work it finally came to life, but the wrapper on this cigar is not what I’d call a team player. On the other hand, it smolders with an exquisite and uniquely pungent aroma.
From reading other reviews I was prepared to be met with a Pepin-style fusillade of pepper, but I found that the first flavors from this cigar are more complex than that. The aroma is unusual and difficult to describe, but it’s equal parts leather and spice with an extremely smooth and creamy texture. I once remember laughing at a Russian cigar review that described a tobacco flavor as “animal,” but I think that might just be the descriptor I’m looking for here.
The flavor, as well as the power of this cigar gathers strength into the second third. Strong earthy tobacco flavors begin to cloud the complexity that I experienced in the first section. I can still detect a little woodiness, but the pepper starts to take over at this point and the finish lengthens considerably.
The last section — the last section for me anyway — is extremely intense. The dark spicy finish overpowers everything and I can’t taste much else. Letting the butt cool in the ashtray for a while helps a little. When I pick it up again I can still pick out the sweet pungency of the wrapper, but when I take another puff that subtlety disappears in a flood of pepper.
The ash on this cigar is a little crumbly and actually blew off when I purged the cigar in the last section. The burn problems I experienced at the start improved over the course of the smoke, but were never entirely resolved. Keep your lighter handy with this one.
The LG Diez Chisel is definitely a cigar everyone should experience at least once: the flavors here are as original as they are powerful. Retail prices hover around the ten dollar mark, so it’s not an everyday kind of smoke, but I think it’s worth the experience.
This Chisel is an A-ticket ride. Remember to buckle up!