La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet No. 5

Hello everyone, I’m back from my cross-country roadtrip (didja miss me?), all rested and ready to tackle another cigar for my new Wednesday review time slot. Today I’ll be taking a good look at the La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet.

I was introduced to this cigar at a small La Flor Dominicana gathering one evening at RTDA. (A special thanks to Jim from Blue Havana II for sneaking me in and recommending I try it!) In spite of a day brimming over with a wide variety of cigars, this one stood out as one I definitely needed to revisit once my palate recovered.

The Cameroon Cabinet isn’t very easy to come by, as only 500,000 of them will be made. So when I happened upon a selection of them while showing an buddy from out of town through a local B&M’s humidor, I knew that now was the time.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50 (robusto)
Other Sizes: No. 1 (6 1/2 x 44) and No. 4 (6 1/4 x 54)
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/4 Hours
Beverage: Water
Price: $7.80

The Pre-Smoke
The first thing you notice about this cigar is that it is completely without band or other manufacturer marking. And because it’s un-cellophaned, you run a real danger of forgetting what it is if you leave it in your humidor very long. In my case, this hasn’t been a problem, as I’ve polished all these guys off since I bought them this past weekend.

Spot near head

But getting beyond the very superficial, this unpretentious cigar isn’t the smooth beauty that some cigars are. It sports a rustic, leafy appearance, with prominent veins that remind you of the cigars natural origins. I’ve also noted that the smart money is on finding minor wrapper discolorations on these cigars. Taking this evening’s smoke for example, I found two prominent spots on the wrapper, one where you’d normally expect to find a band, and the second, bright white near the foot.

Spot near foot

This cigar also felt a bit softer to the touch than I’d normally prefer, though this feel was consistent throughout the stick. I’ve noticed a similar feel in previous cigars, and without giving too much away, I will say that I wasn’t concerned that there’d be any issues arising from this.

Given the relative softness of the cigar, the cap was surprisingly difficult to clip. But the extra effort paid off with a very even, photogenic cut. For this particular smoke, I used my flamboyantly-red Xicar, but I think actually prefer smoking this cigar with a punch cut.

Nice cut!

The Burn
I decided to put a new toy to work in lighting up this cigar. At the Alec Bradley booth at RTDA/IPCPR, I discovered what is basically a butane Bunsen burner for cigars. You turn the nob, push a button and you have a healthy, hands-free blue flame that’ll burn until you turn it off or use up all your fuel. The pyromaniac in me just loves it, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for my semi-reliable cheap single flame torch. I’m noting it here because it seems like a handy thing to have around during a herf, if overkill when smoking alone.

Alec Bradley tabletop torch

You couldn’t ask for a better burn than I’ve had with this cigar. The burn line was nearly perfect the entire length of the cigar. And while the ash didn’t achieve noteworthy length before dropping, it didn’t ash prematurely either. The ash itself was was solid and darker gray in color. (The final picture may indicate a crumbly ash, but that’s only because I missed the ashtray once. My wife just loves that.)

The draw was likewise flawless, and no touch-ups or relighting was required.

The Flavor
After an initial earthy, roasted nut flavor that resulted from the lighting, the cigar opened up with a great sour-sweet tart flavor. It’s a flavor I had to really think about, but I believe it’s a combination of citrus, sharp cedar and a little pine that creates the flavor. It reminded me of the sweet and sour hard candies I used to eat as a kid.

This combination of flavors modified a bit throughout the cigar, but that tart flavor was almost always present. In the second third it became a little peppery at points and finally a bit leathery and earthy in the final third. Shortly before finishing it, it developed an interesting herbal flavor that I think was due to build up of the chemicals in the head.

Though the potency picks up a bit in the final third, the cigar struck me as having right around a medium body.

The Price
I think the price I paid for this cigar is reasonable. Weighing in at just under $8 it may not be an everyday smoke, but it is a likely candidate for an every weekend cigar. Of course if you pick up a box instead of buying singles like I did, you can expect them to be even more reasonable. (Though you better really enjoy them, they come in boxes of 50!)

The Verdict
I really like this cigar, and am not at all bothered by its blemishes. As I mentioned before, it was one of the few cigars that really stood out in the high volume smoking days of RTDA. That’s really saying something. And I have a good feeling that it’s a cigar that will improve with age, even though the Cameroon wrapper is already four years old. That is, if you can keep yourself from smoking it! (I haven’t had much luck in that department.)

Of the available sizes in the Cameroon Cabinet line, I think I actually prefer the No. 1 (6 1/2 x 44) to this one. The No. 1 gives the wrapper more of an opportunity to shine, which makes for an even better smoke. But either way, you just can’t go wrong here. If you like Cameroon-wrapped cigars, this is definitely one you should try!

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

The Cigar In Action