Shapely La Flors
La Flor Dominicana is known for growing strong, gutsy tobacco on its farm in La Canela, Dominican Republic. Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Litto Gomez and Ines Lorenzo-Gomez, La Flor Domincana's cigars are often described as "meaty," "ballsy," "strong," and "powerful." You get the idea. (In its early years, though, the company strictly produced mild smokes.)
While I was visiting the company's factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic during the recent ProCigar Festival, I was reminded that La Flor also produces some of the most creative cigar shapes you'll see in a store humidor. Most cigar enthusiasts are aware of La Flor's popular Chisel, which has literally been trademarked, but seeing it rolled forces one to recognize how much effort goes into each smoke.
It was while walking the La Flor rolling room that I got the chance to see all these cool shapes being made. The La Flor rolling room is unlike any I've visited before, a must-see for any cigar lover. Natural light pours in to the rolling area and bounces off the raised parquet dance floor in the middle. Why is there a dance floor in a cigar factory? Because before it was a rolling room the space was a nightclub, and Litto didn't want to remove that detail. Adding to the dancing theme was a large boombox playing merengue beats, creating a jovial atmosphere. While the room is technically a cigar rolling factory, it felt loose and not "all business."
One of the first things that caught my eye was a worker creating the bunch for The Digger, a monster of a cigar that measures 8 1/2 inches by 60 ring gauge. Just as I thought the buncher was done adding tobacco, he would reach for another leaf. And another. And another, just packing the cigar with tobacco. Check out the video below and see for yourself.
I also recorded a roller putting the finishing touches on La Flor's Mysterio cigar, or as it is now called, The Cigar Formerly Known as Mysterio. The talented torcedor has been rolling this complicated perfecto with the crafty maduro tips for three years.