Dona Flor Cigars has been around for 35 years, but the roots of the company go back to the 1930s when Alonso Menendez perfected the art of cigar making in Cuba. The Dona Flor brand was released to American soil in 2005. But turmoil between the Florida distributor and Dona Flor has kept the cigars away for many of years. The lawsuit was settled, and Dona Flor is now distributed via a Colorado company named “Dona Flor USA” a division of International Cigar Group. Dona Flor cigar are made in four blends, mainly composed of Brazilian tobacco.
Size: 5.5 x 44
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Mata Fina
Filler: Mata Fina & Mata Norte
Source: Sample from Dona Flor USA
First Looks: The Connecticut shade wrapper has very few small veins with tight seams. There is a slight soft spot in the middle of the cigar, but overall a slightly spongy feel to it. The wrapper has a very faint hay or straw aroma to it. The foot, has a more distinct hay aroma to it than the wrapper. A tiny pigtail cap tops the cigar and is easily cut off with my Xikar guillotine cutter. The cold draw is slightly firm with a slightly sweetened straw taste to it.
Construction: The burn stayed consistently even and produced a dark gray ash with loose ash rings. Although a small ring gauge, it produced a fair amount of smoke that was so-so on the room note. The room note reminded me a a burnt chocolate aroma. Similar to what happens when you keep brownies sit in the oven for too long. It wasn’t repulsive, but was no potpourri. Each ash held for well over an inch and a half. I figured it would fall faster being from a smallish ring gauged cigar, but it held nicely. The draw stayed consistently firm, not too thick, not too thin. When I smoked through the soft spot, I had to keep an extra eye on the cigar, it wanted to go out on me; but never did.
Flavor: First flavors are of a woodiness and slight malty/chalky notes. Into the cigar more, I got a slight hint of raisins, nothing that was overpowering and more of an undertone of the main hay flavor. The retrohale showed off a slight black pepper note and was very pleasant. Around the end of the first third, the raisin note seemed to get a little more potent and slightly overtake the wood and straw notes. About the half way point, the wood and hay notes seem to all disappear. There is more of a dried fruit flavors similar to raisins and now some added appricot notes. Its not a strong fruit flavor, so don’t think its an infused (Acid) cigar. Then the pepper note tasted in the retrohale showed through on the draw momentarily. Still not potent, and the raisin and straw notes are the key flavors.
Working past the half way mark, the pepper note comes back onto my palate. Its a fairly odd combonation of pepper and dried fruit. Peppered dried fruit?!!? Sounds odd, but it worked decently.
Into the final third, the raisin and apricot flavors seem to ease away into a creamy pepper note. Then, the raisin note is a very faint undertone and lingered some on the finish. The ending was full of creamy pepper notes with the dried fruit almost completely obsolete.
Final Thoughts: The flavor strength maintained fairly mild/medium and mild bodied. I did like the flavors for a mild smoke. Its not my favorite mild or Connecticut wrapped cigar, but its not the worst by no means. Most of the Connecticuts I prefer have a slight more body to them. Its complex, but not overly complex to lose any flavor(s) you find to like in it. It never got harsh or sour until the very end, where I usually let them go out on their own. So, it was no loss as it was its time to be put to rest.
I would suggest a new cigar smoker to try one of these. Its not overpowering with flavor or body strength, but has some nice flavors.
Website: Dona Flor Cigars
Facebook: Brazilian Cigars – Dona Flor