Toro, 6" x 52 ring gauge / $20, The Standard Club at the Smith House
I remember a rather chilly day last year when David Jones came to town. He and I were also joined by Nathan McIntyre at a cigar shop Southwest of Nashville, close to where Nathan lives. We had dinner, bought some cigars and herfed the night away. While inside the shop, Dave suggested the Flor de las Antillas, so I scooped some up among some others that I hadn't yet tried. At the end of the night, I got home and placed them in my humidor. Then a little bit later, Cigar Aficionado named the FdlA Cigar of the Year. I decided that I shouldn't review it yet because of the COTY publicity, so I thought I'd wait until later in the year when the review wouldn't be lost in the crowd.
Well, here it is months later, and the buzz has died down. I am recently back from travelling abroad and caught up with a friend whom I hadn't seen in a while. He had a deal that successfully just went through and he wanted to celebrate. We met at The Standard Club in downtown Nashville and were going to celebrate with cigars and bourbon. We opted for some Bulleit and the Flor de las Antillas by My Father. **(And if you're noticing the $20 for this cigar mentioned above, yes it is high and a lot more than I paid for the sticks in my humidor at the end of last year. I think I paid around $8 for those. But I was at The Standard Club where you know it's going to be high regardless what you order. So don't freak out because your local cigar shop won't charge anything near this high.)
Starting with the band, you can tell this cigar was carefully crafted with great attention to detail being given to it. You don't see art like this anymore, especially in the cigar industry. It's rare, and has a romantic quality about it. It enhances the natural beauty of this Nicaraguan puro that makes this cigar that much more memorable. This milk chocolate stick had a pressed shape, medium to fine veins, and had a bit of spring when I pressed it between my fingers. I detected some hay and cocoa notes in the pre-light and a bit of spice in the cold draw.
A few draws into the cigar, I detected a bit of sweet tobacco, cocoa, and spice like cardamom. There was plenty of smoke and a clean draw. Continuing through the 1st third and the profile changed to hay and cedar notes while keeping a nice, tight ash.
Hitting the halfway point and the cigar maintained its burn and smoke output, but changed in its flavour profile again near the end of the 2nd third. I now found leather and pepper with the occasional hint of cedar.
Finally hitting the home stretch and I discovered a change back to some of the sweeter notes from earlier. A bit of cocoa, some spice, some hay and vanilla. Then in the last bit, after having taken the band off, the pepper and leather notes merged with the cocoa and edged out the spice and hay. It was a bit interesting.
The cigar had good construction. The only noticeable issue, which was minor, was the uneven burn. There were a couple of times I needed to touch it up to keep the burn straight, but other than that everything else was great. I found it to be a full-on medium bodied cigar with some interesting flavor profiles that kept bouncing back and forth. I like the cigar. I will definitely have it again. But do I think it's worthy to be COTY? No, I don't. I do think it's a competitive cigar, but not sitting at the top of the list, in my opinion. And definitely not worth the $20 (that was a special occasion at a club with a high mark-up)...but at the typical retail price of around $8.
Value: 1/1 (Rated on what I had paid at the cigar shop, which is typical, not at the private club price)