Staff Reviews

Flor de las Antillas Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

As we head into the thick of summertime, the entire cigar industry braces for its annual tradeshow, an event that typically takes place in Las Vegas, where premium cigar manufacturers gather to release new products and meet with retailers from around the country. Traditionally, many cigar-makers utilize the tradeshow to officially unveil their newest brands, although new cigars can technically come out at any time during the year.

Case in point, a few years back, Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia and his son, Jaime, makers of My Father, premiered their now celebrated Flor de las Antillas brand in April of 2012, in an effort to create a nice momentum and additional buzz in advance of the tradeshow. Perhaps little did they know at the time that this special cigar would not only catch the attention of consumers, but it would finish out its debut year as Cigar Aficionado’s ‘#1 Cigar of the Year.’

With so much emphasis placed on rankings, titles, and ratings, revisiting a lauded release after a bit of time is a worthy exercise. It’s not easy to create a great cigar from the ground up – quite the contrary. However, to blend an award-winning cigar and to continue manufacturing it consistently on a large scale over the passage of years is truly amazing.

Let’s give Flor de las Antillas a taste today in a 6 x 52 Toro, the size that achieved much of the blend’s leading accolades. “Flor de las Antillas” translates to “Flower of the Antilles,” a reference to Cuba, Pepin Garcia’s birthplace and the nation where he spent decades developing his craft as a prominent cigar-maker, beginning at the tender age of eleven. The cigar is handcrafted from an all-Nicaraguan profile of predominantly Cuban-seed tobaccos harvested from select Garcia family estates.

The lustrous Nicaraguan wrapper is a medium-brown Sun Grown leaf with a touch of red in its uniform hue. The soft box-pressed shape displays an easy touch that is not especially dense, nor too spongy. Pumpkin, burgundy, red, and light blue-green shades pop out from a cream-colored background with gold highlights on the band in an alluring and detailed Renaissance-themed depiction. The band expresses an overall autumnal timelessness that is warm and distinct.

From the onset, Flor de las Antillas shows off notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, and a plethora of baking spices in both the cold draw and aroma of the unlit foot. It’s a cigar that’s easy to twist in your lips for an extra moment of anticipation before firing it up. The spices don’t overpower and the sweetness sets in. Once lit, a cool, approachable burn ensues with effortless wafts of smoke in a loose, airy delivery.

Notes of white pepper, leather, and coffee beans emerge. The ash is razor sharp and exhibits flawless construction. Sweeter hints of brown sugar and molasses undulate, but in a very subtle manner. The overall profile of the smoke is creamy and moderate with white pepper and leather notes in command.

One key detail that really stands out about Flor de las Antillas is its price. At $6.90 for the Toro, you’re getting a marvelous Pepin-made gem for a value that’s tough to top. Today, the blend is available in 5 sizes, all for under $10, including a 6 x 60 Toro Grande.

As the cigar transitions beyond the halfway mark, a chewier earthy profile becomes apparent. This is where the cigar’s medium to full-bodied character really takes shape. The draws remain cool and affable, but the tasting notes intensify a bit. Nutmeg, cardamom, and just a touch of clove surface with Pepin’s consistent signature of Nicaraguan spices. As the final quarter of the cigar draws in, cinnamon, nuts, cocoa, and coffee bean notes converge with earthy spices in a cohesive, satisfying finish.

Flor de las Antillas is every bit as impressive as it was six years ago when it debuted. I recall gravitating to the blend regularly after I first tried it. Today, it remains as tasty and complex as ever. If you haven’t already introduced Flor de las Antillas into your rotation, you’re missing out. Taste the talent the Garcia family possesses when it comes to cultivating, aging, and blending the finest premium tobaccos in the world.

93rated

Featured Products