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Litto Bends Elements with The AirBender Line by La Flor Dominicana

Posted by dabyrdman33 on June 10, 2010

In the words of hip-hop legend Rakim, “It’s been a long time…” but I’m finally back with another cigar review. After looking for new employment, being worried about not having a job and ultimately having my employer extend my current employment, it feels good to sit down and finally share my thoughts on a cigar. Today’s cigar of choice is the latest release from La Flor Dominicana, The AirBender. I must say that I smoked this cigar several months ago (March to be exact), but I have been awash in some many other things that I am finally putting my thoughts down. I managed to snag one in each size of the AirBender line from Jack Schwartz Importer out of Chicago as an “early-release” back in February 2010. Of course now, you can get the AirBender at most of your local tobacco shops with prices that range from $6.50 to $9.00 depending on which size vitola you choose.

For my review, I chose the Matatan, a firmly-packed robusto coming in at a 50-ring x 5″ size. The cigar has an Ecuadorian habano wrapper with a Dominican binder and filler. Here’s the tale of the tape:

MSRP: $6.50 approx.

Size: 5 x 50

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Pre-light: On the surface, I am noticing a few prominent veins running through the wrapper leaf; however, I do not anticipate any burn problems. While the cigar is firmly packed, I have noticed a soft spot just under the band. The cigar has a rich barnyard aroma with some chocolate notes on the pre-light draw.

1st third: Right off the bat this cigar hits me with notes of rich tobacco, wood & spice. While the burn is slightly uneven, the cigar is putting off a sweet aroma that is very atypical of most cigars that I enjoy, but it is very good. The cigar is also giving off lots of resting smoke and resembling the appearance of burning incense instead of a cigar. The smoke is really thick and coats my palate almost from the very start. The cigar is definitely medium to full-bodied but not really strong. The wood notes seem to be the most dominant as I near the end of the first third. The ash is beginning to flower and is a flaky whitish gray. The cigar burns slowly which means more time to enjoy it and it also allows itself to correct the previous burn issues.

2nd third: Entering the mid-point of the cigar, I am experiencing plumes of thick white smoke and loads of wood and spice especially on the retrohale. The flavor is now definitely full-bodied; however, the strength is still centered in the medium range. The sweetness I mentioned earlier is still present and when mixed with the smoked wood note really reminds me of a hickory or mesquite type of flavor. I am beginning to experience a slight nicotine kick but nothing that would sit me down or make me put the cigar down. The ash has managed to hold on to the halfway point (approx. 2.5″) before finally falling off. The spice on the retrohale has dissipated, but the smoke is still very heavy and creamy on my palate.

Final third: This cigar has “kicked it up a notch” and is now in the full range in terms of strength. The prominent flavor is still the smoked wood and really reminds me of barbeque. The flavor is definitely full-bodied. The resting smoke that was prevalent in the early stages of the cigar has dissipated as I near the end of the cigar.

Closing Thoughts: Given that this review was performed several months ago, I have had several opportunities to re-visit this cigar, but this is the first time I have looked at my notes. I must say that every AirBender I have smoked since this one has been spot on with this review and the more they have aged in just the short three month period, the better they have gotten to me. I must say that everyone’s taste is different, but I really enjoyed this cigar. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I was able to pick up a box at an event at Cigar Connection in Arlington, VA and fortunate enough to have Litto Gomez sign the box himself. For the price, this is another winner from La Flor Dominicana and definitely worth the investment in a box for immediate enjoyment or aging.

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