Rob and I caught up with Abe Flores of PDR Cigars at IPCPR this year. Abe has launched two cigars during the summer and many people are calling the best PDR Cigars to date. These include the AFR-15 which Rob reviewed and the AF 1975 Grand Reserva which I will review today.
Here is the video from the interview with Abe at IPCPR.
Here is a little about the AF 1975 Grand Reserva from the PDR Cigars press release this summer.
Accompanying the AFR-75 this summer as a new release will be the A. Flores Gran Reserva. As is the AFR-75, there will only be 500 boxes of each size of the A. Flores Gran Reserva made available. Replete with a delicious Corojo 2006 Domican wrapper the Gran Reserva delivers a rich, creamy, medium body smoke. The filler is a complex blend of Corojo Dominican and Habano Nicaraguan tobaccos. The A. Flores Gran Reserva will be made available as a Half Corona(3.5×46), Robusto(5×52), Gran Toro(6×54). The Half Corona will also be available in a 5-count tin as a regular production line.
Time to kick it!!
Abe Flores 1975 Grand Reserva
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: 2006 Dominican Corojo
Binder: Not sure
Filler: Dominican Corojo & Nicaraguan Habano
Beverage: Sweet Tea
Cigars Smoked for this Review: One
Smoking Time: 85 Minutes
Price Point: TBD
Cigar Purchased: Got from Abe at IPCPR 2013
Setting the Context
Other than the BOTL 2013, I haven’t smoked much PDR stuff. I know Daniel Barry sent me some of the PDR Oscuro’s a long time ago and I remember liking them. I am reviewing this in my garage since we had a cold snap in Texas this weekend, and it is like 55 degrees right now. :)
Visually the A Flores 1975 Gran Reserva has a great presentation. I really like the cedar sleeve the cigar comes with and love how the red and gold band pops off the dark corojo wrapper.
Overall the construction is solid. There are a few dimples on the wrapper but nothing to get all worked up about. The roll seems a little tight to me, and is void of any soft spots.
When I nosed the foot of the Gran Reserva I smelled pepper and pick up a nice sweetness. When I started my cold draw I was really surprised how well air moved through the cigar. By the feel of the cigar I would have assumed that the draw would have been tight, but it wasn’t. I get the same black pepper through the nose on the cold draw, but the sweetness is not present. I also picked up a few faint note of earth.
The first several puffs are all black pepper. I loved it. I smoked the A Flores 1975 Grand Reserva in the morning while doing some work, and it was just the blast to wake me up. The burn got a little wild at first on one side of the cigar, but it was easily corrected.
There were then notes of what I would describe as a very aromatic coffee with sugar and some whole milk creamer. I know it sounds strange but the cigar tasted just how I used to drink my coffee, before I became half Indian and starting drinking hot tea.
The coffee notes quickly faded into a nice cedar leather which was a great change from the earlier coffee notes. With the leather came the sweetness which I picked up during the cold draw. The leather was the most pronounced note throughout the first half of the cigar.
It took me almost 40 minutes to smoke into the second half of the cigar. This cigar was burning slow which allowed me to savor every bit of it.
The sweetness really picked up in the second half. I could swear the undisclosed binder being used is Mata Fina, but this is just my educated guess.
The cedar notes from before were replaced by an oakiness which paired really well with the sweetness. The leather came back the more I smoked but was more refined and clean then it was in the first half of the cigar.
It remained cool and let me enjoy it all the way until the end. The leather was the dominate flavor and I saw hints of the sweetness and cedar as well.
I haven’t smoked the AFR-15 yet, but the A. Flores 1975 Grand Reserva is easily the best PDR Cigar I have smoked hands down. I agree with the Smoking Greek and think this cigar will end up on many COTY lists.
I am sure this cigar will command a high price point because it is limited to 500 boxes, but regardless of the price, I think it is something you should try. I know if I can get my hands on some more I will be for sure. I have reached out to PDR to find out the MSRP, but am still waiting to hear back.
Great work Abe for blending such a good cigar.