George Rodriguez owner of Rodrigo Cigars is amazing. Rob and I recently had George on CigarChat to discuss what he has been up too. We discussed the La Fortaleza in detail, he dropped some truth on us, and we discussed his prior releases including the Habano Classic, and the Boutique Blend.
The La Fortaleza is a Dominican puro, which you don’t see every day, which is wrapped in an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The La Fortaleza comes in several vitolas listed below.
“Absoluto” 5 ⅛ x 43
“Forte” 5.5 x 50
“Elegante” 6¾ x 48
“Cinco 5” 6 x 55 – Reviewed by Jason
“Cuban Type A” – Not Sure on the Size, Special Event Cigar
Below is taken from Rodrigo Cigars website. “La Fortaleza breaks the common stigma that flavor and complexity must be sacrificed in order to gain fullness. That tends to be the case but La Fortaleza offers something rare and different: full body AND full complex flavor.”
We all know that George is a truth teller and I hope the above statement also rings true.
Rodrigo La Fortaleza Forte
Size: 5.5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Dom. Republic
Filler: Dom. Republic
Beverage: Sweet Tea
Cigars Smoked for this Review: Three
Smoking Time: 75 Minutes
Price Point: $6.3 on Nice Ash Cigars
Cigar Provided By: George Rodrigo himself
Construction: Perfect. I love the pig tail cap which adds a nice aesthetic touch to the overall appearance. The burn got a little wild down the side and scorched a bit of the wrapper, but it wasn’t anything major at all. The draw was good but at some points I did have to go all “Big Bad Wolf” to get out the level of smoke I desired. I love the “liger” on the La Fortaleza band. It reminds me of the Venice, Italy flag I saw when I was recently there.
Flavor: On the cold draw I got a lot of wet grass and a ton of pepper. Right off the bat there is a ton of earth that has a sweet undertone to it. Quickly the La Fortaleza moved into a mix of nuts and earth, which was pleasant. From this point there was a very noticeable cedar flavor that went throughout the entire cigar. As I smoked into the middle of the La Fortaleza the pepper spice really kicked up and mixed with the cedar and the earth well. From here there was an underlying sweetness that emerged which paired well with the previous flavors. Also, I would say the sweet tea I was drinking added to the experience.
Strength: I think most people would find this cigar in the full category, but I don’t. I smoked the La Fortaleza in the morning so I would have a clean palette and an empty stomach, and I wasn’t impacted at all. If you can smoke a LFD Double Ligero for breakfast, then you will be just fine. Otherwise, you will most likely get quite the nicotine hit off this La Fortaleza.
Balance: I think the flavors played nicely together, except for the grass and pepper on the cold draw. It wasn’t that it was bad; it was just an odd mix that I haven’t experienced before. Overall, the pepper, earth, and cedar were in perfect harmony and made the experience enjoyable.
Aroma: There wasn’t anything that was mind blowing about the aroma, but there were hints of cedar in the air. Like when you open a cedar chest and get the faint whiffs of the cedar paneling.
Complexity: For being full bodied I would agree with George’s assessment that there is still a ton of flavor and complexity in the La Fortaleza. I wasn’t overwhelmed at all during the cigar and was able to pick up on a ton of flavors while they were delivered in full bodied format.
Finish: The finish was great. The La Fortaleza remained cool to the nub and allowed me to enjoy the flavors until the end. There was no after taste and the cigar left me satisfied.
Final Thoughts: The La Fortaleza is a good cigar, made by a great guy, and is sold at an amazing price point. I was impressed with the complexity, construction, and flavor delivered by the La Fortaleza for the price point. I could easily see this cigar easily working its way into my normal rotation.