About to kick back and light up one that's been sitting in one of my humidors for a hot minute now, one that I was thrilled to find locally, but never got around to smoking and reviewing.
La Flor Dominicana's La Volcada, named for the “overturned” move in which the lead tango dancer leans forward and the follower leans back as far as possible, is currently available only in the Churchill vitola, and obviously, I'll have my tango playlist lined up while I some this one. Obviously, I'm having a bit of fun with the photos, too.
Cigar: La Flor Dominicana La Volcada
Vitola: Churchill (7” x 48)
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Ecuadorian Corojo
Rating (out of 10): 9.3
The band is mainly black, with red and white accenting. It features the obligatory “LFD” script in white, behind which is some line art in red of a tango couple performing the “volcada” move. I have previously noted other lines of LFD cigars inspiring a tango “mood” while smoking them; apparently, Litto Gomez feels the same!
The wrapper is a dark, veiny, slightly toothy chocolate color, with a slight reddish tint that plays nicely against the band. It is very neatly pigtail-capped, and cuts perfectly.
Perfect construction, which is not surprising to me, coming from LFD. The surprise is in its relatively ordinary shape; I don't say this in a negative sense by any means, just to note that LFD is pretty well known for producing cigars in unusual shapes (particularly their signature box-pressed “chisel” cigars).
La Volcada is sleek, simple, and classic, like the dance move to which it pays homage.
The barrel gives of a soft, sweet, fruity scent, with a hint of berries and something floral at the foot. I think there's a bit of spice hiding in there, too, but we'll see how this dance plays out.
The cold draw is smooth and open, and gives an immediate impression of slight caramel and a very faint hint of coffee.
A minimal but certainly noticeable trace of spice on the first draw after lighting.
Almost immediately, Spotify gives me Tango de Amor, from The Addams Family Values. Appropriate. One, because it's that time of year (October) again; and two, because Gomez Addams actor Raúl Juliá was an avid cigar smoker, himself. More of a stretch is connecting Gomez Addams' first name with the Gomez family surname, the family behind LFD cigars. Call it my “Glenn Back Chalkboard Moment.”
There's some cedar sneaking in here, and a bit of cream, as well. The burn is nice and even, though not razor-sharp, and leaves behind it a solid, white column of ash. So far, this cigar is perfection.
Primarily, flavors are caramel and coffee, with an exciting and constantly changing blend of secondary flavors and spices.
Gerudo Valley, nice. Someone took the theme music from Gerudo Valley in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and arranged it into an actual tango composition.
The smoke on this stick is rich and silky, and consistently cool. It's not often I take notice of the smoke itself and its consistency, but this cigar is living right up to its namesake; even the smoke itself dances passionately.
The cigar starts to turn it up in the second third, with the peppery spices becoming just slightly more pronounced, but a much earthier tone taking the lead in this dance. More cedar and fruit here.
The burn becomes slightly uneven in the second third, but it's not hurting anything yet.
As a side note, and maybe I'll hit the blog section of this site to write about it, I've been smoking on the road lately, now that I have a car of my own and plenty of traffic to slow me down. Since it's next to impossible to re-light or tough up uneven burns while driving, I've been getting a lot better at controlling the burn with different breath and drawing techniques that I've kind of just improvised. Mostly just blowing air back through in the opposite direction to “strongly encourage” the burn to right itself (for all you civvies, that's a military joke, about things that are “not mandatory, but strongly encouraged;” or, in other words, might as well be mandatory!).
Some hints of citrus beginning to show around the halfway point. I want to compare the hint of flavor to a grapefruit, but let's be honest, I'm not positive. I hate grapefruit, so I don't eat it, which makes it next to impossible to make that judgment with any certainty. But I don't hate it here. It's fascinating to me sometimes how I'll enjoy flavors in cigars that I can't stand in actual foods. Maybe it's more a matter of texture than flavor, or maybe it's the blends of other flavors in the smoke. Who can say for sure? All I know is, I hate grapefruit, but this cigar tastes great. I'll just have to accept that it's kind of paradoxical.
Slightly beyond the half, it was really starting to canoe on me, so I did eventually have to give it a touchup.
Watching that burn as we step into the last third. Might need to touch it up again in a bit.
Wow, spice. This is like a dance that gets progressively hotter and more fiery. It is quintessential tango.
Spotify: Alan Lee Tango, by Omnia. Omnia is a European pagan folk band, but wrote this tango to honor female vocalist Jenny's uncle, Alan Lee, who is a well-known fantasy illustrator, whose most famous work was illustrating the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit novels by JRR Tolkein, as well as working on concept art for the films directed by Peter Jackson. He's also a lover of tango, and the song is a witty, charming tango about him leaving his work untouched in order to “dance all night long.”
There's the necessary touchup, around the 5½” mark.
Spicier and spicier as the end approaches. Some of that caramel-coffee coming back in, too, to bring it full circle. Absolutely marvelous.
Once again, LFD shows itself to be the tango of cigars. I really like how Litto Gomez is able to capture the character of a genre of music and dance in the blends he produces, and La Volcada in particular is directly symbolic of that. I find myself thinking also of Avo Uvezian cigars and their strong link with jazz music. Freud once famously said that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” but sometimes a cigar can also be so much more. I don't smoke LFD sticks often enough, but every time I do, it is a fully enjoyable experience.