A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva – Cigar Review

Pinar Del Rio Cigars had two new releases at the 2013 IPCPR in Las Vegas. The first was the new AF – 75, the second the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva. As with the AF – 75, the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva is being limited to 500 boxes of each available size, and features a 2006 Dominican Corojo wrapper, a Broadleaf binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers. It is available in three sizes, a 3½ x 46 Half Corona, a 5 x 52 Robusto, and a 6 x 54 Gran Toro. Without any more preamble lets see how the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva performs.

Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
Binder: Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Strength: Medium (Close to Medium to Full towards the end)
Body: Full
Flavor: Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Rating: 92
MSRP: $12.49

Construction and Appearance: The A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva features a single red band with gold decorations. In the center in white writing it says 1975 with A. Flores above and Gran Reserva below. At the very top “Fabrica PDR Cigars”  is written and at the very bottom “Republica Dominicana”. Below the band is a cedar sleeve which encompasses the rest of the cigar, right at the bottom of the sleeve is a red ribbon.

I carefully remove the sleeve to examine the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva before smoking, the wrapper is a dark brown with a reddish hue, almost clay colored to be exact. The veins are quite fine, and there is a slight amount of oil, it takes a bit of searching to actually find the seams in the roll. The cap is well applied and quite tight and the cigar is so firm to the touch I’m slightly worried the draw may be a bit tight.

Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva has notes of cedar (which isn’t surprising due to the cedar sleeve) and a bit of coffee. The foot has the scent of coffee, cedar, earth, and a slight spice. To prepare smoking the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva, I opt for a slight straight cut. Despite the roll being so firm, the cold draw is very open, there are flavors of spice, cedar, earth, and a little dried fruit.

Smoking Characteristics: The A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva fires up with a very smooth blend of spice, earth, cedar, and a little bit of white pepper, which lingers on the palate. The first few draws also have a nice bit of coffee bean flavor to them, which linger with the pepper. The draw is quite open, but the body of smoke is fairly full. As the first third progresses, the pepper fades from the blend, but the spice, cedar, earth, and coffee bean all remain. The draw remains a bit looser than I would prefer, but the body of smoke is full, smooth, and creamy so I can’t really complain. In terms of strength, I’d place the first third of the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva in the medium range, but close to medium to full.

Into the second third of the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva, the blend remains very smooth and creamy. The cedar is still the dominant flavor, along with the mild spice, earth, and rich coffee bean. The spice fades a bit in this third, and the pepper is completely gone at this point. Each draw leaves a bit of cedar and coffee bean lingering on the palate for a long finish. The construction holds up very well, the ash holds firmly and isn’t flaky at all, and the burn is nearly razor sharp. The draw is still quite easy, but since the volume of smoke is so rich, full, dense, and smooth and creamy. The strength in this third moves into the medium to full range, with a nice buzz setting in.

During the final third of the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva, the rich blend of flavors continue. There is still a bit of cedar, spice, earth, and espresso, but now there is also a nice rich chocolate tone which has joined the blend as well. The flavor has a phenomenal complexity and is very pronounced. The construction continues to stand up well, the burn remaining sharp and the ash holding firmly well past the inch point. The strength remains in the medium to full range in this third, not really increasing at all from the second third of the cigar. The draw is now tightening up a bit, providing the amount of resistance I prefer, and the body of smoke has remained excellent. The A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva smokes cool to the nub, remaining flavorful and firm.

Conclusion: The A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva is an excellent addition to the Pinar Del Rio line of cigars. The flavor is robust, complex, and entertains for the entire smoking experience. I’ve seen a lot of companies coming out with cigars in the price range that the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva lands in, however out of all of those companies, PDR is one of the few where the diversity in price point and quality makes sense. The PDR brand sells mostly lower priced premium cigars and in my opinion has the room to expand into this higher price range where it can offer a more celebratory cigars to its followers. Overall, I have to say the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva is worth the price and a stick I’ll be smoking again.