Bite Size Review: La Flor Dominicana 1994 Rumba
I recently read some opinions, both community-driven as well as some from those I would consider the “more informed”, regarding short- and long-term effects of under-humidification versus over-humidification. At some point during the various dialogues a segue to aging seemed inevitable and the primary question centered around whether too much aging could adversely affect performance/flavor characteristics. The consensus seemed to suggest that the simple answer is, yes. From personal experience, I tend to agree.
I think it’s universally accepted that no manner of aging will improve a bad cigar. Period. But when the discussion shifts to various methods of humidification for effective aging, are all ill effects of aging directly related to improper humidification? Maybe, but I would argue there are other forces at work. Effects of temperature, tobacco quality and age, fermentation method(s) and even blended tobaccos that may not “gel” well together over long periods should also be considered. Well, wherever you land on this topic, our next cigar won’t have you fretting needlessly.
La Flor Dominicana (LFD) has been a household name for the better part of 20+ years and in 2014, Litto and Ines Gomez celebrated their 20th anniversary in the cigar business (LFD wasn’t officially launched until 1996 from the ashes of Gomez’s initial Los Libertadores brand) with the release of 1994. As part of the celebration, a limited edition 6”x54 vitola was oddly packaged in German beer steins with a run of 5000 units. Initially garnering an 87 rating in 2014 from Cigar Aficionado, the Rumba vitola got a bit of an uptick in 2019 with a solid 89, but only a $0.60 bump in price over five years.
The cigar employs aged binder and filler tobaccos from Gomez’s La Canela farm topped with a rustic Mexican San Andrés wrapper. Veiny and hard, our year-old Rumba sports a nice triple cap and possesses a uniform firmness. The substantial barnyard aroma emitting from the wrapper is eye-popping, but the rich fudge essence from the foot is a nice counter. The cold draw is annoyingly tight but there is a noticeable tinge of spiced raisin on the palate. The good news is the draw does improve as the cigar gets shorter.
The Rumba dances to life with a toasty character surrounded by notes of cinnamon, leather and creme. There’s a spicy woodiness to the draw and the light finish smacks of wood and baked bread. Notes of caramel, salt and pepper arrive late as the texture remains silky. The 1994 begins life medium bodied and turns up the heat in later transitions offering well-balanced and robust woody cores complemented by notes of graham cracker, toasted almonds and oak. With an uptick in spice late, 1994 calls it a day with a hardy mix of earth, chocolate and hay finishing with a dose of black coffee.
Combustion of this cigar is simply flawless and she’s a slow burner so no huffing and puffing. While 1994 is a mediocre smoke producer at best, the draw does improve and as the girth suggests, it holds a solid ash. This is a solid, enjoyable blend that will satisfy most aficionados on the strength and flavor spectrum and if you happen to get a tight draw, ride it out. Could the hardening or draw issue be an adverse effect of another year of aging? Probably not and maybe respectively. At the end of the day, you get what you get, your best bet is to just try and enjoy it all the same. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The vitolas of the 1994 are each named for a Cuban style of dance.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Rumba [Toro]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.5″ x 52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Domincan (La Canela)
- Filler: Domincan (La Canela)
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $8.40 [Box $168]
- Humidor Age: 12 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Mambo [7″x54], Aldaba [6.5″x58], Conga [5″x52]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:52
Construction: Lots of tooth; nice cap; rough feel; rusty nail appearance; veiny; solid and uniformly hard; visible seams.
- Wrapper – Strong barnyard
- Foot – Fudge
- Cold Draw – Raisins
- Initial: Medium-bodied, toasty profile featuring background notes of cinnamon, leather, honey and creme; spicy draw of wood and light spice on tongue; light woody finish with hints of baked bread; adds hints of berries, salt, pepper and caramel late; silky texture.
- Transition: Nice woody core featuring hints of graham cracker; rich, warm mix of toasted almonds, oak and baked bread; remains light in nose/on palate; increased spice as bits of caramel linger; draw finally improving; more robust, but remains light in character.
- Transition: Savory mix of chocolate and wood with notes of earth and hay on retro; strong, baked finish of cedar and black coffee; maintains spice level.
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Tight draw but improves.
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]