Robusto, 5" x 50 ring gauge / $7.30, Silo Cigars
I find it amusing when someone says, "I love everything X-Cigar-Maker does." Any cigar maker that has a decently broad product line ends up producing many different blends that are meant to appeal to many different palates possessed by many different levels of cigar enthusiast. So to me, claiming to love everything [fill in the name of your preferred famous cigar blender] does borders more on sycophancy than anything else. Case in point: My Father Cigars. With dozens (hundreds?) of blends on the market through several major and minor channels, it would be unlikely that most people have even smoked everything they have produced, much less "loved" them all. Break it down further by differentiating between the blends of Don Pepin Garcia and his son, Jaime, and I still find it hard to say that I love everything either has put their name to. I love some, like others, and just plain don't care for some. That's the way of life. All that as an introduction to My Father's latest product: Flor de las Antillas, an all Nicaraguan cigar with a Sungrown wrapper.
The band on this cigar is beautiful...it really is a work of art, and a printing marvel, too, with its tight integration of 4 color process printing, gold foil (or is it metallic gold ink? The detail is so fine that it's hard to tell, but I think it's foil) and embossing on a premium paper stock. Really exquisitely done (actually maybe ever so slightly over-done, but overdone in a Fuente way rather than in a Gurkha way). So cigar itself is smooth and oily, a nice medium brown in color and with a soft box press. Even though this came in cellophane I can't pick up any aroma on the wrapper leaf...how odd...maybe just a hint of leather on repeated sniffing. The foot had a potent earthiness along with dark chocolate. The cold draw had rich natural tobacco flavor with an overlay of coffee, cocoa powder and mild chili pepper. Initial puffs had tobacco and earth on the palate along with a sharp, painfully spicy retrohale.
The first third saw me going from thinking "interesting" to not liking the Flor de las Antillas at all...then going back to "interesting." Lots of cedar, occasional papery notes...earth and pepper like you would expect from a Nicaraguan Puro, but not in large amounts. This definitely struck me as one of the more unusual and unique of the My Father releases. That back and forth continued throughout the majority of the stick and I was left with mixed feelings about it. At this point, I can only say I "like" this cigar and the price point is such that I can consider trying it again. Maybe in a different size it would all come together in a more satisfying way.