--> Cigar Coop: Cigar Review: La Flor Dominicana Doomsday 2012 Meaner Digger

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cigar Review: La Flor Dominicana Doomsday 2012 Meaner Digger

La Flor Dominicana Doomsday 2012 Meaner Digger
The La Flor Dominicana Meaner Digger is a limited edition, retail-exclusive cigar for Tobacco Haven in Brookline, New Hampshire.  There are two distinguishing characteristics that have made this a cigar of interest to many.  First, it is a massive cigar - measuring 10 inches with a 60 ring gauge.  Secondly, it is a barber pole wrapped cigar.   I recently had an opportunity to partake in a four hour smoke of the La Flor Dominicana (LFD) Meaner Digger.  I found it to be a worthwhile smoking experience that delivered good flavor and more complexity than one might expect.

The Meaner Digger gets its name from La Flor Dominicana's Digger line.  The Digger line consists of a natural and maduro blend that comes in a 8 1/2 x 60 vitola.  The story behind the name is that there was a La Flor Dominicana fan that enjoyed the 6 1/2 x 60 Double Ligero DL700.  Word is he wanted an even longer smoke, so LFD owner Litto Gomez made him a larger cigar (the 8 1/2 inch size), and eventually launched a line around this size.  The man had the name "Digger".  The Meaner Digger gets its name because it is even longer than the original Digger.

Like the Tatuaje Apocalypse for Smoke Inn, this cigar ties in with the "end of the world" theme by the Mayans, thus the "Doomsday 2012" theme for the Meaner Digger.  There were 2012 boxes produced: 100 boxes of 20, and one box of 12.   The word is that this is only a one time release.

Massive box of 20 of the LFD Meaner Digger
The Meaner Digger is one of several barber pole releases seen over the past two months.  It joins the Viaje Holiday Blend 2012 Candy Cane and the 7-20-4 Hustler.   Plans are for Asylum Cigars to release a 7 x 70 cigar called the Ogre which is also a barber pole.

Without further adieu, let's look at the Meaner Digger and see what this cigar brings to the table. As a disclaimer, this cigar experience was based on a single smoke of the Meaner Digger.

Blend Profile

Ecuadorian Sun-grown wrapper is used for the two wrappers of this barber-pole.  One is a natural wrapper and the other is a maduro.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown (Dual Wrapper - Natual and Maduro)
Binder/Filler: Dominican (Double Ligero)

Vitolas Available

The LFD Meaner Digger has only been released in a single size - a 10 x 60.

Appearance

The barber pole is arranged with the Ecuadorian Sun Grown natural wrapper wrapped around the Ecuadorian Sun Grown maduro wrapper. There is a slight oily complexion to both of the wrappers. The surface of the cigar does have a slightly bumpy feel to it. There are also some visible veins. The cap to the cigar is from maduro wrapper.

Cap to the LFD Meaner Digger
The band is the classic red, black, gold, and white LFD band to it.  It is highlighted by "LFD" in gold-colored cursive font on a red background.  The rest of the band is adorned by gold designs on a black background.  Toward the lower part of the band it says "La Flor Dominicana" in white cursive font font, and below that it says" DOUBLE LIGERO" (all in capital letters).

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Given the cigar's size there was no doubt, I was going to use a straight cut to remove the cap of the LFD Meaner Digger.  Once the cap was removed, I proceeded to start the pre-light draw.  The dry draw notes provided me a mix of pepper, molasses, and leather.  Overall I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw.  At this point, it was time to light my Meaner Digger and begin what would be a four hour smoking odyssey.

Flavor Profile

The Meaner Digger did provide a little more in the way of complexity than I was expecting from such a large smoke.  This was reflected in both the flavor nuances and flavor transitions.

The start to the Meaner Digger provided a mix of espresso/coffee, citrus, and pepper with some background cream notes.  It took a little while to see what note emerged as a primary one, but it was the espresso/coffee notes that became primary early on.  The citrus and pepper notes joined the cream in the background.

As the Meaner Digger moved into the second third, the citrus and pepper notes then emerged as the primary flavors.  The espresso notes became the secondary flavors, and the cream played more of tertiary role.  Early in the second half, the pepper became the lone primary note, and citrus diminished into the background.

Later in the second third, the flavor changed significantly.  The citrus, espresso, and cream notes dissipated.  At the same time, an earth flavor emerged and joined the pepper.  The earth and pepper alternated in terms of one or both being a primary flavor.  This is the way the flavor profile held until the end.

There were some brief points of the Meaner Digger where there was some harshness.  Each time it corrected (i.e. the harshness disappeared) itself throughout the smoke.  There was some harshness at the end.   The resulting nub was soft to the touch and lukewarm.

Burn and Draw

The burn to the La Flor Dominicana Meaner Digger did require several touch-ups with my butane lighter to keep burning straight.  Each touch-up did correct the burn easily, but it required more frequent touch-ups (even for a long smoke) than I prefer.  The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color.  The ash was a little loose and prone to flaking.  The burn temperature was ideal as it really didn't show any signs of being warm until the end.   The burn rate was about what I expected.  For my pace, I expected a four hour smoke and got a four hour smoke.

The draw was outstanding for a long smoke.  There was not one point where this was tight or loose during this long smoke.  It made the four hours enjoyable.

Strength and Body

The strength to the LFD Meaner Digger took a little time to build up.  I assessed the strength as medium to full to start. It did progress to full strength, but not until the mid-way point of the smoking experience.

The pattern to the depth of the flavor notes was a little unorthodox.  The flavors start out rich and full-bodied to start.  When the earth notes emerged later in the second third, the depth diminished and the flavors became medium to full-bodied.  Basically, the LFD Meaner Digger was a flavor over strength cigar for most of the first two thirds, and then changed to a strength over body smoke in the last third.

Final Thoughts

As someone who does appreciate a big ring gauge smoke - even I was a little skeptical on whether or not the Meaner Digger could deliver a good smoke.  While the burn was short of excellent and there were some brief points of harshness, this still provided an enjoyable smoke.   There was not a point during the four hour smoke where I considered putting this cigar down.  This blend did have me curious to see how it would smoke in a smaller length and ring gauge.  It's definitely a cigar for the experienced smoker as this still has strength.  As for myself, if I am able to find this cigar again, I would definitely smoke it.

Summary

Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Second)
Body: Full (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)
Finish: Fair
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 90

Source: The cigar for this assessment was gifted by a friend.

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