Smokeasy Shorts - A. Flores Gran Reserva Half Corona
Country of origin: Dominican Republic
Length: 3 1/2"
Ring gauge: 46
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo 2006
Filler: Dominican Corojo & Nicaraguan Habano
"Good things come in small packages" - "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" - "A small leak can sink a great ship" - "A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark"...OK, I'm certain that you've heard every cliche about all things "small"; however, in the case of this cigar, which I affectionately refer to as "little bastard", they are all appropriate.
The A. Flores Gran Reserva is one of the two small-batch signature lines from PDR CIgars that debuted at the past 2013 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) trade show in August. After the show, I received a great package of samples from the company which included two of the three vitolas available. In addition to the Half Corona (which is packaged in 5-count tins), the cigar will be available as a Robusto (5" x 52) and Gran Toro (6" x 54). The two latter vitolas will be limited in production to 500 boxes per size; however, the Half Corona will be in regular production.
The A. Flores Gran Reserva Half Corona is presented beautifully with a cedar wrapping from the band to the foot. It's a very well constructed stick with a triple cap and a gorgeous colorado wrapper that's uniform in color - not oily, but rather silky to the touch with small veins and barely visible seams. The aroma of the wrapper is of the cedar it is wrapped in, but the aroma from the foot is leathery. Cold draws produce heavy sweet cedar woodiness.
This stick is a medium-bodied cigar with full strength. So why do I affectionately refer to the Half Corona as "little bastard"? This miniature cigar is quite the deceiving powerhouse - from the start, the flavors are extraordinarily robust with great cedar woodiness with notes of dark roasted coffee. There are some serious blasts of chili pepper and spices that keeps the palate on constant tingle (be careful retrohaling - my first retrohale made my eyes water just a bit). The flavor profile is very bold and sharp, but surprisingly smoothes out with some nice earthiness and a graham cracker-like toastiness which is truly appreciated as the intensity of the spiciness diminishes once you get to the final third through the finish. The cigar leaves a pleasant oaky aftertaste once done. Again, this stick is well constructed and produces an even burn line and firm ash. Total burn time ~45-50 minutes.
Novice smokers beware: You ain't ready for this cigar - you gotta get your weight up for this kick-ass smoke. The A. Flores Gran Reserva Half Corona is an awesome cigar that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some tins once available.