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Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 15 March 2004

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What a fight! Two of the niche market favorites exchanging tobacco to fight it out for space in your humidor!

Christian Eiroa (Camacho) and Litto Gomez (La Flor Dominicana) sent each other enough tobacco to make 50,000 cigars under each other’s labels.  Eiroa would make La Flor Dominicana cigars and Gomez would make Camacho cigars.  Each cigar maker was allowed to blend in some of their own tobacco with the tobacco shipped from their competitor.   What a fight! Two of the niche market favorites exchanging tobacco to fight it out for space in your humidor!  We decided to smoke these cigars back to back and see who came out the winner.   

The La Flor Dominicana “Face Off” made by Christian Eiroa.
Christian Eiroa is no newcomer to the tobacco industry.  He is the son of Julio Eiroa the Cuban tobacco grower who immigrated to Honduras in the early 1960’s.  Together they produce tobacco and manufacture cigar brands such as Camacho, Baccarat and La Fontana to name a few.  Their cigars are sold through Caribe Imported Cigars, which markets the Camacho brand.   

The Camacho “Face Off” made by Litto Gomez
Litto Gomez and his La Flor Dominicana are relative newcomers to the cigar industry compared to the likes of the Eiroa family.  Yet Litto and his wife Ines have done a remarkable job of establishing their company, competing with industry giants like Altadis (Consolidated Cigar) and Swedish Match (General Cigar).  Starting in 1994 with 5 rollers, they survived the shortages of the cigar boom, started their own tobacco farms, and are now part of the Dominican tobacco establishment. 

The LFD is a nice looking toro with a medium brown wrapper free of large veins or blemishes.  Bandless, the cigar’s uniform color and smooth wrapper looks nice, but appears rather plain.  However LFD wisely designed a beautiful, bright red double band that makes the cigar look very special.  The cigar is hard to the touch.  

The Camacho toro has a uniform, dark brown wrappper that is nearly veinless with a slightly oily appearance.  The dark oily wrapper makes the cigar appealing without the band.  This is a good thing since the Camacho has a rather plain band design, which adds little to the cigar’s appeal.  The cigar has a little “give” to the touch, but is not soft.   

The appearance of both cigars was nice, but for different reasons.  The Camacho was appealing because of the cigar itself, the LFD because of the band. But then again, looks aren't everything.

The La Flor Dominicana had a pretty good draw despite the cigar’s hard feel, just a little tight. The La Flor Dominicana produced lots of smoke and had a very nice cedar aroma. Some of the reviewers noticed an uneven burn throughout the cigar, but it was by no way unanimous.  

The Camacho’s draw was just about perfect.  The light was easy and the cigar burned a little unevenly with a soft white ash. The light floral and cedar aroma was pleasant. Like the LFD, some folks noticed some burning issues, in this case tunneling. At the same time others claimed it burned perfectly. We won't dwell on it.  

When you get to taste, the general consensus was that the LFD was a smoother and slightly more palatable cigar.  Many of the reviewers noticed a spice and cedar flavor. The Comacho was a bit rough around the edges, and yielded a stronger and slightly bitter taste. While the construction was good, it seemed to lag a hair behind the La Flor Dominicana when it came to tobacco blending. Even though our reviewers differed on many of their opinions on these cigars, in the end there was a general agreement. While neither cigar is going to make anyone forget about past smokes, the La Flor Dominicana, and Christian Eiroa's blending of their tobacco seemed to produce a better cigar.




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