Pre-Release Review: AFR-75 by PDR Cigars

The AFR-75 is one of two new blends released by PDR Cigars at IPCPR 2013.  I was able to sit down with Abe Flores to talk about his new blend at the IPCPR show (video is below).  The AFR-75 is available in three sizes favoring the larger ring gauge.  For this review I smoked the Sublime, which was 5 x 56.  I’m not a fan of larger ring gauges, but I didn’t mind the size on this one.  The Edmundo (6 x 58) and the Inmenso (7 x 60) are the two additional sizes.  The thing about the AFR-75 that caught my eye was the packaging.  The box, as you can see at the 4:00 mark of the video, is actually a humidor!

 

AFR-75 by PDR Cigars

Size: 5 x 56

Vitola: Edmundo (robusto)

Wrapper: San Andres Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo 98

Filler: Dominican Habano, Connecticut Broadleaf, and Nicaraguan criollo 98

MSRP: $14-$16 per stick

Release Date: Mid-September 2013

Samples for review provided by PDR Cigars

 

Pre-Light:  The AFR-75 has a clean and (somehow) aggressive look to it.  The band features black and gold artwork on a white background with a three-leaf logo in the center.  The white band provides contrast from the dark chocolate wrapper and the black and gold artwork.

The San Andres Maduro wrapper was a deep chocolate brown (almost black) and, while it looked very smooth, it had a toothy texture.  The construction was solid with a pigtail cap and no soft spots.  The wrapper smelled strongly of cedar with undertones of leather, while the foot offered a doughy, sweet baking spice note.  The cold draw was a little snug and tasted of cedar and a sweet fruit note that reminded me of a ripe plum.

Beginning:  There is a seldom talked about phenomenon in the cigar world that I like to call the “First Puff Double-Take.”  It occurs when you take the first puff off of a freshly lit cigar and it’s so good that you catch yourself looking at the cigar in your hand.  The AFR-75 prompted a “First Puff Double-Take.”  In that first puff, I was hit with a beautifully earthy, molasses sweetness and undertones of oak.  That sweetness reminded me of ginger snap cookie dough and came from the San Andres Maduro wrapper.

The sweetness ran the show as I progressed through the first few inches of the AFR-75.  There were some earthy notes of leather and wood in the background and a very mild spice on the retrohale.  All of these flavors combined to create a rich and balanced beginning to the AFR-75.

Middle:  The strength of the AFR-75 picked up as I reached the middle portion.  Heat developed on the retrohale, while a mild black pepper spice built up on the back of the tongue.  The earthy and sweet notes carried over and, with the added pepper, provided a unique balance of sweet, earth and mild spice.  As I approached the final portion of the AFR-75, the strength was at a medium-plus and the burn remained precise.

 

End:  I found very little change as the AFR-75 reached its nub.  The black pepper spice, which never got past the point of mild, began to die away.  The sweet molasses notes took on the doughy flavor that they started out with and the notes of oak returned.  The flavors basically returned to where they started, which I can’t say I have experienced before.

Click through for pics, Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Views: 78

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on August 27, 2013 at 3:41pm

Worth the $15 dollar price point?


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Comment by RobbyRas on August 27, 2013 at 4:03pm

Logan -  I had a feeling you'd stop reading the review once you got to the MSPR...  Below are my Final Thoughts on the AFR-75

Final Thoughts:  You know you’re in for something good when you have a “First Puff Double-Take!”  Everything about the AFR-75 is attention grabbing – from the beautiful presentation and impeccable construction to the thick smoke and bold flavor profile.  I’m not even mad at the price point.  It’s tough to compare any cigar to a Padron 64 Anniversary Maduro or a Liga Privada No.9, but you’re almost forced to do so because of the price.  While they are different cigars, I would put the AFR-75 on par with the Padron and Liga Privada.  If you don’t believe me, try the AFR-75 and tell me I’m wrong.  They may be slightly different forms of luxury, but they are luxury nonetheless.  To put it in the simplest of terms, I am seriously considering buying a box of the AFR-75 Edmundo when they hit the market.

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on August 27, 2013 at 4:07pm

Actually read the whole review but didn't want to click thought for your final thoughts. Bold statement you are making comparing this to a Padron 64.


Brand
Comment by RobbyRas on August 27, 2013 at 4:10pm

yeah, hitting that one button can be tough... it's a really good cigar man... try it... I know you have one


Brand
Comment by RobbyRas on August 27, 2013 at 4:14pm

and, to be clear, I am no necessarily comparing the two sticks... they are different cigars, but they are in the same price point (for the most part)... What I am saying is, I will happily smoke either one for the price... example: if I went down to my B&M and had to decide between a 64 Anniversary Maduro and an AFR-75, i'd probably flip a coin

Comment by Cigar Coop on August 28, 2013 at 1:24pm

Abe gave me a Corona Gorda of one of these.  He told me he is keeping it as his personal cigar.  I can see why - it is simply awesome in that format. 

Rob, I agree with you on how good this cigar despite the high price point.  It is one of the best cigars he has done.

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on August 28, 2013 at 1:37pm

Looks like I am going to need to smoke it then.

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