Not too long ago the conventional wisdom was that cigar wrapper leaf could not be grown in the Dominican Republic. This skepticism was in large part due to the fact that it hadn’t been done before, and nobody was willing to take a chance on a difficult venture. Fuente was the first to prove definitively that Dominican wrapper could be a success, and in 1995 the proof was presented in the form of the Opus X.
For the Fuentes the bet paid off in spades, and other manufacturers soon followed suit: La Flor Dominicana and La Aurora came along a few years later, and today even smaller boutique companies like La Tradicion Cubana and Cusano have Dominican puros in their lineups. Even Davidoff just released one, the Puro d’Oro.
So it was a little surprising that it took as long as it did for the giant of Dominican cigar production to develop a Dominican puro, but in late 2008 Altadis USA released Mi Dominicana, blended by Tabacalera de Garcia’s general manager, Jose Seijas.
My favorite Dominican puro has always been La Aurora’s Cien Años, but I remember the excitement that surrounded the release of Opus X. So anytime a cigar manufacturer announces a new blend with Dominican wrapper, it gets my attention. Which doesn’t explain why it’s taken me so long to review this cigar, but anyway…
Mi Dominicana is available in 8 sizes:
- 7 1/2 x 40 -Lancero (ranked #20 in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars for 2009)
- 7 x 54 – Churchill
- 6 1/8 x 52 – Belicoso
- 6 x 54 – Toro
- 5 3/4 x 52 – Figurado
- 5 1/2 x 44 – Corona
- 5 x 54 – Robusto
- 4 1/4 x 46 – Short Figurado
Mi Dominicana is a suave looking cigar with a slightly oily, smooth colorado claro wrapper. The head is triple wound, though not perfectly, and the cap is a bit wrinkled. These minor aesthetic considerations aside, the cigar is rolled well but softens a little too much as it burns. The draw is a little too open, which contributes to a hot burn at the cigar’s conclusion. Surprisingly, the loose draw does not affect this cigar’s burn time — it patiently smolders away at a leisurely pace. The ash is firm and the burn is even.
Overall construction: Good, but could be better.
The robusto opens with a smooth, mildly woody flavor. After a few puffs I notice a salty earthiness on the palate that almost reminds me of being by the ocean, so maybe Seijas is right when he says, “Everything that is beautiful about the Dominican Republic has gone into this cigar.” The smoke texture is medium in body, at times almost creamy. The finish is slightly dry.
For me the highlight of Mi Dominicana is the aroma, but I find it to be very subtle and difficult to describe. It’s similar to the floral scents that I find in Connecticut shade wrapper, but understated and less sweet. The flavor on the palate becomes nuttier in the mid-section of the cigar, but the aftertaste continues to be earthy and dry with a salty edge.
There is a whiff of black pepper in the final section of the smoke and it grows a touch bitter at the very end, but the aroma continues to impress me. The loose draw also contributes to a somewhat heated last inch.
Mi Dominicana is a medium-bodied cigar with a mild disposition that will appeal to smokers who appreciate subtlety. The flavor on the palate is not tremendously complex, but the aroma is. It won’t wow lovers of big Nicaraguan blends, but if you’re a fan of nutty Dominican smokes you might find this one intriguing.
And for a Dominican puro, the price is on the mark: around 7 or 8 USD for the robusto. I don’t find that price point terribly attractive for the cigar in general, but for a Dominican puro it’s not bad.