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Stogie Reviews: La Flor Dominicana Ligero L-500 Cabinet

17 Jun 2009

As far as I’m concerned, the centerpieces of La Flor Dominicana’s extended lineup have to be the Coronado and the Double Ligero (the latter of which is especially tasty in the Chisel format). The company, operating out of the Dominican Republic and holding an office in Miami, has several other fine blends—including the Premium Line, LG Diez, and Reserva Especial—but those are the two that immediately come to mind when I think of La Flor.

LFD Ligero L-500 CabinetMaybe that’s why I had been subconsciously avoiding the regular old Ligero blend before I embarked upon this review. Or maybe I was simply confused by the fact that this line includes two different varieties (three if you count the Double Ligero under the Ligero umbrella, as some do): an Ecuadorian Sumatra-wrapped “Ligero” and an Oscuro sun-grown “Cabinet.” According to one online retailer, both include an “extensively aged blend of Dominican ligero tobaccos to create a peppery, full-flavored smoke.”

I sampled two Ligero L-500 Cabinets for this review, a vitola that sells for around $5-7 apiece and measures five and ¾ inches by 60 ring gauge. Smaller sizes, specifically the L-250 and L-300, have scored ratings of 90 in Cigar Aficionado and Cigar Insider in recent years.

On the color scale, the L-500’s clean wrapper ranks between a natural and a maduro leaf. And that’s about how it smells pre-light, too—deeper and richer than a natural but not as sweet or chocolaty as a maduro.

Given the wrapper type and the use of ligero tobacco—leaves known for their strength and peppery taste—it comes as no surprise that this cigar hits the ground running. After establishing a thorough light, which takes some work, and after the gray ash starts to build solidly and evenly off the wide foot, the initial flavor includes lots of black pepper, earth, and spice.

The finish at this point is better-rounded than you’d expect. Still, the taste is as advertised: medium- to full-bodied and fairly powerful.

Either the profile mellows after the first few inches or my taste buds simply grow accustomed to the flavor. Regardless, I notice a significant decrease in spice. But don’t let that fool you; this stick still packs plenty of that ligero punch that many seasoned cigar veterans crave.

And that leads to my main complaint: the LFD Ligero L-500 Cabinet is too one-dimensional to earn a spot in my regular rotation. Although I’m guessing many of you may disagree, I just can’t find anything that exciting here. Maybe more balance—some sweetness or subtlety perhaps—would win me over.

For now, I’ll hang onto this for occasions that call for a cigar with plenty of flavor that doesn’t necessarily merit my full attention. An evening barbeque, perhaps. I’ll save the Coronados and Double Ligero Chisels as after-dinner companions. Slightly disappointed by what you get for the price, I give the La Flor Dominicana Ligero L-500 Cabinet three stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

12 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: La Flor Dominicana Ligero L-500 Cabinet”

  1. dmjones Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 3:01 am #

    Cigar tasting is all subjective, but I respectfully disagree. The L-500 Cabinet has been my favorite smoke for over a year now, owing to its wonderful flavor throughout the length and having plenty of power without having the gut-wrenching ability of the DL line.

  2. Patrick A Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 3:35 am #

    I knew there would be at least a few readers who would disagree with my conclusions about this stick.

    I'm glad, dmjones, that you've found something you enjoy. But if, as you say, this has been your favorite for over a year, you and I likely have different tastes and expectations when it comes to cigars.

    Thanks for your input.

  3. Robert Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 5:40 am #

    Thanks for the review, Patrick. I've found the same – good overall flavor, but lacking complexity. I think my taste buds adjust to the flavor and by the end, it tastes pretty bland to me, like charred wood. I think if the blend had more dimensions to its flavor, I would find it more interesting and those little changes in flavor would keep my taste buds from habituating. I ended up doing exactly what you suggest in the review: smoking them in the evening when I wanted a cigar that didn't really demand my attention but still had some pop to it.

  4. dmjones Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    I am curious about the pricing you listed. When I lived in California I couldn't find these sticks at less then $10 each. Here in east Tennessee, the price is about $8. I'd love to be able to find them for the $5 you mentioned–I'd buy a whole box!

  5. Patrick A Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 7:29 am #

    Tinderbox currently has them listed at $140 for a box of 24 (with free shipping). And, until they went out of stock, Cigars International sold them for $125 per box.

    Otherwise, the price varies by B&M and location.

  6. Mark Bresky Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    To me, once you have filet mignon you don't care much for chopped beef. The Double Ligero is just so complex. Starting off with the spice bomb and settling into some oak wood flavors. For the price I think you get an "E" ticket ride with the Double Ligero. Just my humble opinion.

  7. Dan Cale Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    Nice review, but I must also respectfully disagree. I have been smoking these since they first came out. In fact I asked the owner to leave them unpriced hidden away just for myself and him. He did with the first box, but as other saw them they had to be out. Yes it is a full bodied cigar, but it has a wonderful complex flavor, not a kick you on your butt flavor. I have even recommended to friends who are medium smokers, all of them agree it is an awesome smoke. Keep up the good work Litto.

  8. charlie cee Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    Yes, full bodied, lil complexity on flavor though, overall its a pretty decent cigar, 3 out of 5.

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