Air Bender by La Flor Dominicana
Author: Eric Brown
The long awaited release of La Flor Dominicana Air Bender is finally here; released to just four select retailers prior to its national debut. Air Bender sports an Ecuadorian Cuban seed Habano wrapper and is the brainchild of Master Blender and co-owner of La Flor Dominicana, Litto Gomez. Previous releases from La Flor Dominicana with the Ecuadorian Habana were the Habano Corona, Habano Perfecto and the 95 rated Solomon. The name Air Bender comes from Litto’s love of Kung Fu movies made popular recently with Japanese Anime and The Last Air Bender.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Matatan: 5 x 50
Guerrero: 6.25 x 54
Maestro: 5.5 x 52
Valiente: 6.25 x 60
At first inspection one would think the Air Bender is too tight; in fact the Air Benders burn quite well. The dark brown flawless Habano wrapper smells wonderfully rich with no sign of ammonia. Inspection of the foot reveals very dense yet well proportioned filler. The head is smooth with a beautiful cap.
The Drink: Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Yr Rum
The Smoke: 5×50 Matatan
It gets harder and harder to review cigars as the temperature drops, I smoked two of these beauties back to back in my recliner while the temperature outside was hovering around a balmy 15 degrees. I was very worried about smoking the Air Bender so quickly after receiving them after their voyage from the Dominican Republic. My concerns were laid to rest when after the laborious lighting of the densely filled robusto drew like a dream and I did not hear the dreadful cracking of the wrapper. Not too loose and not too stiff, just the way I like it. The first half inch was one of the spiciest yet smooth experiences I have ever had in a cigar.
Thankfully the Air Bender dropped a bit in strength revealing some nutty flavors as well as some creaminess that I’m guessing comes from the Habano wrapper. The first time I tasted while exhaling through my nose was intense but became more pleasant toward the middle of the cigar. There are distinct characteristics in Litto’s cigars that are quite noticeable but very hard to describe; very rich sweet flavors almost like a bold Cabernet. Rich creamy flavored drinks like rum, Bourbon or even a bold Porter or Chocolate Stout would complement the intense flavors coming from the Air Bender. I liked the amount of smoke I was getting and that the smoke was not too dry.
The Rum I was drinking went very well and I recommend this for all of La Flor Dominicana’s stronger cigars; it just goes so well. The Air Bender smoked very well all the way down to the nub where it started to gain its spice back. Ammonia started to show up and it got dry but I smoked that cigar for all that it was worth till burning fingers forced the end. Not to worry, I just fired up #2.
Although the Air Bender is not the strongest or spiciest cigar ever made, in the words of Litto “it is not a sissy cigar”!
I would have to agree.