I keep on hoping I'll get my hands on Cigar Aficionado's Cigar of the Year for 2016, the Andalusian Bull, but for now, I'm smoking a much smaller perfecto by the same brand, la Flor Dominicana's El Jocko Maduro.
Cigar: La Flor Dominicana El Jocko Maduro
Vitola: Perfecto (4 1/2” x 54)
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano
Rating (out of 10): 9.7
This is a neat little perfecto, with LFD's black, red, and gold band, featuring the LFD monogram in gold stylized lettering over a red background. The wrapper itself is a dark, mottled brown, and you can see just looking at it how toothy and oily it is. It's nice and smooth, with a few veins here and there, and the feel of that oil on the fingers is... just fantastic.
El Jocko is perfectly constructed, with no soft or hard spots, no wrinkles, or tears, and the cap is perfect. I get a perfect cut with my scissor cutter, which allows a nice, open draw with the slightest bit of resistance.
The aroma is rich and chocolatey, but there's something else in there that suggests this thing is going to be quite spicy, also. Should be exciting.
Once lit, the draw tightens just slightly, but the flavor just swings right for the jaw without delay. Rich cocoa, with an oaky woodiness, and a hint of chili pepper spice. It's absolutely delicious.
The burn is looking pretty even, with a nice, marbled-grey ash. There's quite a dance going on between the sweet cocoa notes and the peppery spice, and the subtle notes of oak are being balanced by a faint trace of leather. All of this is being played out on a creamy, medium-bodied smoke.
The spice really steps up going into the second third, with the sweet cocoa taste lingering in the insides of the cheeks in the aftertaste. I'm also picking up a hint of anise here towards the middle, which plays quite nicely off of the oak and leather.
The burn is slightly less even now, but not out of control. The ash is still holding on, which is not altogether unsurprising for such a petite little stogie. I ashed it around the halfway mark, mostly because I'm still a bit paranoid after dropping a hot column of ash on my own thumb the other night.
The flavor doesn't change a whole lot in the final third, but why should it? it's found its sweet spot, and it's sticking with it. Besides, at less than 5" in length, wild changes in flavor can't really be expected.
Personally, I'm not usually a fan of spicier cigars, and this may not be one that I reach for frequently. But it's got a great bland of flavors overall, and I quite enjoyed the subtle dance between the sweet and spicy flavors. I've noted this "dance" more than once during this smoking experience; indeed, with its fiery and sensual passion, and its sweet and gentle romance, I would be inclined to call the LFD El Jocko Maduro the "Tango de Cigarros," or, the "Tango of Cigars."
Of course, it has me feeling like I need to take a much better photo of this cigar, which incorporates that tango vibe...