My Weekend Cigar: Flor De Gonzalez 15th Aniversario Robusto

Sometimes you look at a box of cigars and you just get a vibe from it. Sort of like when you look at a picture of someone for the first time and try to determine whether they're a nice person or not. That's how it was for me with the Flor De Gonzalez 15th Aniversario Robusto I sampled during a Flor De Gonzalez cigars in-store event at Famous Smoke Shop this past weekend. I just had feeling it was going to be a good smoke. So was it? Read on amigos.

The cigar is rolled to a 5" x 50, banded at the neck and foot, and has a beautiful color to it. The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is what they call an "desflorado," Spanish for "deflowered." According to Flor De Gonzalez's sales and marketing director, Roberto Alonso, when the plants bloom the flowers are removed from the top of the plant. This allows more sunlight to reach the top leaves, so they prime a little darker in color. But even more interesting is, by removing the flower the sugars that would normally feed the blossom are absorbed by the top leaves. The result is a much sweeter tasting leaf. However, because only the very top priming leaves are used, the yield is smaller, which is why these cigars are made in limited edition. The filler tobaccos are Dominican, Nicaraguan and Panamanian.

The triple cap clipped off perfectly. The pre-light flavor was earthy, a bit herbal, and sweet on the tongue - a fairly good preview of what was to come.

The cigar lit evenly and the first few puffs were creamy and earthy in flavor with some woody notes, plenty of sweetness and an equally sweet aroma. Nothing spicy or particularly hardy in flavor. Medium bodied.

The ash burned clean and was very firm during the first act (see above photo). Just as I was taking that photo, Pablo, the Flor De Gonzalez torcedor who was administering a cigar rolling contest, came over and stood the cigar on its ash (see below). I could see that he was very proud of his work.

During the second act the smoke remained well-balanced with a nice mix of earthy and sweet herbal notes. I noticed the cigar also became a bit more complex, but did not gain much in the way of strength.

In the last third the smoke became a littler heartier as expected, yet the core flavors were still intact: woody, earthy, herbal and sweet. I drank only water during the entire smoke, which lasted a good hour with no relights. I attribute this to the excellent packing of the cigar, so you're getting a lot of tobacco for your buck. And, for what it's worth, the Flor De Gonzalez 15th Aniversario is the only line extension that is rolled in Miami, FL. That's about as close to genuine Cuban cigar handcrafting as you can get.

Thanks to Yadi Gonzalez-Vargas and Roberto Alonso for hosting an entertaining cigar store event and turning me on to these well made and reasonably priced luxury cigars.

Appearance - 9
Construction - 9
Draw - 9
Burn - 9
Flavor - 8
Balance - 9
Aroma - 9
Total Score: 8.8

Have you smoked any Flor De Gonzalez 15th Aniversario cigars? Your comments are welcome.

~ G.K.


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