Review: La Flor Dominicana Face Off by Christian Eiroa
In 2003, Christian Eiroa of Camacho and Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana had a competition, a $700,000 competition. It is known as Face Off and is one of the most famous limited editions of all time.
It was simple: each sent the other tobacco from their own farm for about 50,000 cigars. Once the tobacco was received, they were tasked with blending a 5 3/4 x 50 cigar. Both were released in boxes of 24, meaning that were just over 2,000 boxes of each blend.
Here’s a picture of both cigars:
- La Flor Dominicana Face Off by Christian Eiroa
- Camacho Face Off by Litto Gomez
The promotional poster for the cigar was quite fitting:
(via Cheaper Cigars)
And the particulars.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana Face Off by Christian Eiroa
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Tabacos Rancho Jamastran
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Honduras
- Size: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- Est. Price: $10.00 (Boxes of 24, $240.00)
- Date Released: 2003
- Estimated Number of Cigars Released: 2080 Boxes of 24 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The wrapper of the Face Off could be better. While it’s got a great red hue and okay oils, it just doesn’t appear to be anything special. As you can see above the wrapper’s delicacy is on display, as all of the examples showed a bit of chipping. There’s a great aged leather aroma from the Dominican wrapper, but it’s a bit light. Cold draw is a bit Cuban-like at times with hickory underneath a great not so Cuban sweet bubblegum and white and black pepper on the bottom of the tongue.
The Christian Eiroa-made Face Off starts the first third a bit like a La Flor Dominicana aroma-wise. Flavor is anything but with a sweet, creamy and raw nuttiness and a bit of black underneath. It’s quite lengthy and developed, just not so complex. The first third eventually settles with that same basic core aided by a floral note and a bit of sourness on the finish. Construction-wise,the La Flor Dominicana is good: above average smoke production, solid burn and a perfect draw.
Into the second third and it’s difficult to find much of a change. It’s still a creamy and nutty core with a bit more cedar and an increase in an unwelcome sourness. Pepper becomes even more relegated, now solely on the back of the throat. Strength is a bit over medium, definitely not the exact product you’d expect from Eiroa and Gomez, but it’s been almost a decade. The burn does begin to become uneven somewhere in the middle portion of all three cigars.
The final third sees another slight change, this time in the form of coffee and herbs. It’s a welcomed change, although the sourness is still very present, but it also seems to be more a product of unraveling than an advancing of the cigar. Quite frankly, I could have stopped with about two inches left.
- Each cigar maker was allowed to use a bit of their own tobacco.
- Christian Eiroa left Camacho last year. More on his return to the industry here.
- While the cigars originally retailed at around $7.00, the price today for both Face Offs is around $10.00 per cigar. These aren’t easy to find, but they pop up on the secondary market every now and then.
- Christian Eiroa finished his version of the cigar before Litto Gomez, I’m not sure if there was any prize for finishing first.
- The bands actually say Face-Off by Eiroa.
- I can’t really think of another project like this and it would be cool to see it happen again, although so few actually grow tobacco and roll their own cigars.
- Strength is medium, definitely something that has been affected by eight years.
- I’m not sure why exactly, but the prices of the Litto Gomez made version seem to be a bit higher than the Christian Eiroa.
- This is a great example of why it’s important to take into account the date into when a cigar is reviewed as this is a lot different than how this review would have gone in 2003.
- You can sort of notice that these are actually dual bands, although the way the cigars were presented, they looked like a single band.
- The La Flor Dominicana Face Off does not burn quickly, final smoking time was one hour and 50 minutes.
The Bottom Line: As good as the cold draw was each and every time, the reality is, it’s been too long. The La Flor Dominicana Face Off by Christian Eiroa isn’t linear, although it’s close. More importantly, there’s just not anything left worth raving about. This was a great concept and the cigars once smoked a lot better, but time has taken its toll. I’ve enjoyed some of the older cigars from both Camacho and La Flor Dominicana recently, but this just isn’t one of them. Ten years in the humidor is a while for most cigars and a lot of times can leave something that is decrepit, that’s not the case here, although the Face Off by Christian Eiroa has seen better days.
Final Score: 76