Review: La Flor Dominicana Factory Press I
Already on its fourth release, La Flor Dominicana’s Factory Press line was first introduced at the 2005 RTDA show. Instead of me trying to regurgitate and change the wording of a Litto Gomez quote about the Factory Press line, I’ll just let you read it for yourself:
For years I have been fascinated with our cigar box-pressing system. Many times I have thought how great it would be to share the process with our fans. That is why I’m offering a very special cigar shipped in the actual factory press. Because the concept is so special we needed to blend a cigar that will be totally unique to La Flor Dominicana. We started by obtaining Connecticut broadleaf wrappers that have been aging for several years. The filler is Corojo aged from the very first crop our farm produced in 1997, while the binder is a Sumatra seed (also grown on our farm) put to age for the last eight years.
The four releases of the Factory Press are all large cigars, the smallest being 54 RG. Here is a list of all four:
- Factory Press — 6 1/2 x 60
- Factory Press II — 6 1/4 x 54
- Factory Press III — 6 1/4 x 58
- Factory Press IV — 6 1/2 x 60
Now you know the background, so let’s get to the review.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Flor Dominicana Factory Press I
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Dominican Sumatra
- Filler: Dominican Corojo
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Box Pressed Double Toro
- MSRP: $12.00 (Boxes of 120, $1440.00)
- Release Date: 2005
- Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 120 Cigars (48,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
The Factory Press is a very square cigar, much more so than you would be used to seeing in a normal box-pressed cigar shape. This particular cigar has been out of the factory press mold for a little while however and you can see it has sprung back just a little bit from the pictures of other LFD Factory Press cigars which all have very crisp angles. The Connecticut Broadleaf is a dark chocolate color and is fairly rustic looking. There is one noticeable vein that runs up the length of the cigar and while the seam is visible it’s still wrapped well. The cigar itself feels very solid without any soft spots, but that’s to be expected with this pressed cigar. There isn’t much aroma coming off the foot of the cigar, but I do get some minor chocolate and cinnamon notes. On the pre-draw I also get the same minor chocolate note but also with a hint of pepper.
The cigar starts out with sweet chocolate notes and a touch of pepper on the tongue. The draw is actually very nice, not too loose or tight. Having said that however, there isn’t much smoke production and it takes a couple of draws to get anything significant. The large box-press shape is awkward to hold in your mouth, but you get used to it. The Factory Press I continues with the same flavors just like before, not overly complex and in fact kind of mild, but it’s enjoyable. There is an overall earthy profile that has the chocolate and pepper notes at the forefront.
Moving on to the second third I’m still getting the same sweet chocolate but there is a nice cedar background starting to develop. The smoke production has increased significantly and I’ve been able to settle into just a single draw at a time. The white-grey ash has a brown tinge to it and holds to about an inch. The burn line of the La Flor has been even without having to do any touch ups which along with the nice draw speaks well of the construction. Towards the end of this third I’m starting to get some interesting background espresso notes.
The final third is much like the others. Still getting an overall light chocolate note, hints of espresso, and some minor background cedar notes. The smoke production continued to be impressive. Towards the end the strength of the cigar really jumped out all of a sudden and showed the classic LFD strength. What I was going along thinking of as a medium to medium-strong cigar ended pretty strong. Finishing up the cigar I was still enjoying the same profile without it getting hot or bitter and drowning those flavors out.
- While the first release of the Factory Press has long been sold out, you can still find the fourth release in stock some places. Having been released over six months ago though, a lot of stores are already long sold out.
- They say that every release has a different blend, but the fourth release has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and is 6 1/2 x 60, just like the first release.
- Each release comes in a chest of 10 factory press molds with 12 cigars in each mold totaling 120 cigars. These are the only size boxes they come in.
- The first two Factory Press releases had the old LFD band on them, with the latter two releases have the newly designed band.
- The band is actually two separate bands, although they fit so nicely together they look like one at first glance.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes.
The Bottom Line: Of all the strong, ass-kicking cigars on the market, La Flor Dominicana is one that I enjoy more than others. Their Lanceros are fantastic, the Mysterio cigars are works of art, and even their Double Ligeros (while strong as hell) still have fantastic flavors. The Factory Press was no exception but I think the seven years since it was released has taken its toll. The cigar has mellowed out, the flavors only develop a little bit throughout, and overall the signature strength of the cigar is dormant until the final third. Some might find this appealing but others won’t. Honestly I would’ve preferred it to be a little stronger if that meant the cigar was a little more complex. If you still have any of these laying around I suggest you smoke them soon. If you don’t, seek out the Factory Press IV and avoid paying a premium on the secondary market for the first release.
Final Score: 84