Thursday, June 10, 2010

La Flor Dominicana - Air Bender

LFD Air Bender - This cigar had a lot of smokers anxious for its release.  La Flor Dominicana is known for full flavored cigars with prices that are easy on the wallet.  When I think of the brand, the phrase "a lot of bang for your buck" comes to mind.  Many of their cigars fall in the $4-$8 range, and lean towards the strong side of the flavor spectrum.
The Air Bender is filled and bound with Dominican tobacco.  The wrapper is a Ecuadorian Habano.  Ecuadorian wrapper leaves are used by a lot of cigar companies these days.  The sometimes cloudy weather in Ecuador filters the sun and allows the leaf to mature for a longer period of time.  That extra time means more flavor and a smoother taste.
The Air Bender seems to be that La Flor Dominicana is showcasing their ability to produce balanced and tasteful cigars.

Prelight - The wrapper is flawless and is colored a medium milk chocolate brown.  The leaf looks nearly seamless and sports an attractive oily sheen.  The construction is great and the cigar feels heavy and full.  The entire cigar from foot to clipped cap has a fresh and enticing aroma.  The prelight draw is smooth and effortless.  I taste a little bit of sweet spice on the prelight draw.

Sparking it - The cigar lights with ease and is producing a considerable amount of smoke.  Each draw results in a big cloud of tasty smoke.  The resting smoke smells of sweet spice, while I taste a medium bodied pepper in my mouth.
The cigar burns even and the ash holds tight.  I'm about 2 inches in and the flavor profile is starting to evolve from pepper to cinnamon.

Smoking it - I'm a little past the half way point and I have to say I'm enjoying the Air Bender.  I've got the Robusto size 5" X 50 gauge, aka. the Matatan and the cigar has been a nice balance of strength and elegance.  I picked this cigar up for $7, and I think it has a lot of value at that price point.
I've smoked my share of LFD's other lines and while I appreciate the value, some of their cigars can have a bit more pepper spice than I prefer.  (On the other hand, I know guys that love the brand for that same reason) - The Air Bender's flavor profile is a bit more complex than comparably priced cigars.  I've tasted a lot of coffee and chocolate, along with notes of spice.

The Air Bender is definitely worth the money.  This cigar has a unique taste and is an excellent example of balance in a cigar.  If you've ever steered away from LFD because you don't care for the strength of Ligero leaf; this cigar will help introduce you to a brand that offers a lot of value.  I may not care for the sheer power of the Double Ligeo and Ligero LFD series, but I appreciate the quality of construction, the consistency of burn - and the Air Bender itself.

Overall - B

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