La Flor Dominicana - Ligero Cabinet Oscuro, by Lito Gomez, isn't a new release but it is a regular in my humidor so I thought I would share it with you. It is their first full-bodied release and while not a true maduro cigar, they tell me they obtained the oscuro color and full-bodied flavor profile by applying a new proprietary method of trabajando to the aged ligero leaves used to make it. What was told to me by a representative was that the method is a company secret but try to imagine an overly ripe banana... It comes in several parejo vitollas: L200 - 40 x 4 7/8, L250 - 48 x 5 3/4, L300 - 50 x 5 3/4, L400 - 54 x 5 3/4, L500 - 60 x 5 3/4, and one they call the Mysterio which is a figurado.
The Cabinet Oscuro is made with an Equadorian Sumatra wrapper, and Dominican binder and fillers from their own farm in La Canela, Dominican Republic. It has a beautiful, shiny, oily wrapper (in fact probably one of the oiliest you will encounter), with nice texture and teeth. It squeezed well, had no soft spots, and was obviously well packed. It has a very enjoyable, sweet pre-light aroma that changes slightly as you go from head to foot and is more pronounced at the open foot. I made a punch-cut and tested the draw which was smooth and easy and left a very mild, earthy tobacco taste on the lips and tongue. After lighting, the flavor starts out with a very mild spice on the tip of the tongue which slowly begins to build. It produces a grey, "stringy" smoke that looks like it is slowly pulling apart as it floats away. As it burns it leaves behind a light-grey ash with dark undertones and highlights which flakes a bit, but otherwise holds on pretty well. Retro-exhalation is pretty easy until you are near the very end and leaves pepper notes in the sinuses. As the flavor profile develops, it becomes a little peppery which can be felt on the tongue and holds on throughout. The pepper picks up some just past the half-way point but never becomes overwhelming and maintains a noticeable balance and consistency all the way to the dry, mild-spice finish.
The La Flor - Ligero Cabinet Oscuro is one of my favorite choices when the time and mood is right. While it is upper-medium to full-bodied, it is not overly strong but definitely has enough to bring on the leading edge of a buzz so you should certainly eat first. One thing to be aware of is that every one I have ever smoked required a fair amount of touching up and even re-lighting. I don't think this is a quality issue like with some cigars, I sort of attribute it to being a side effect of the heavy oiliness of the wrapper which is a good thing.