If you’ve ever tasted a D’Crossier cigar, you know the brand prides itself on its strict quality standards. And if you’ve read our previous D’Crossier reviews, you know how much we appreciate such standards. It never ceases to amaze, the sight of opening a fresh box of D’Crossier – unlatching the gold metal clasp, peeling away the sheet of fresh, Spanish cedar and silk tissue, finally revealing a perfectly laid row of aromatic beauties – this is what I like to call “the D’Crossier experience”.
For the new L’Forte, D’Crossier’s second release of 2014, brand owner Santana Diaz has gone above and beyond; creating the most elaborate presentation for for a D’Crossier release (or any cigar, for that matter) to date. The box used for L’Forte, according to Santana, is the first of its kind – a completely solid cedar wood box, comprised of aged Cedrela odorata cedar. The boxes are then coated in 18 layers of black lacquer paint and gloss, making for one of the most attractive presentations on the market (think Cohiba Behike).
L’Forte, which is French for “strong”, incorporates Santana’s finest tobaccos, going through a rigorous sorting process, in where only the finest leafs from every bale are selected. Using specially aged double ligero leafs, L’Forte will be D’Crossier’s strongest cigar to date and, according to Mr. Diaz, the strongest he’s willing to go.
With a planned release for September of this year, L’Forte is being rolled in four sizes, Santana’s personal favorite vitolas – consisting of the Robusto (4 7/8″ x 50), Bullet (5 1/8″ x 58 Santana’s famous size), Trabuco (5 1/8″ x 60), and Genio (5 1/8″ x 55). The cigars will be sold in the premium market, with prices ranging from $18 – $22.80 respectively. Limited to 24,000 cigars per year (2,000 boxes of 12), L’Forte will be created a year prior to its release, aged for one year while the following year’s batch is created, and finally released with its year marked on the box (2015’s batch is being aged now and 2016’s will soon be rolled, etc.).
D’Crossier L’Forte Breakdown
- Vitola: Genio
- Ring Gauge: 55
- Length: 5 1/8″
- Package Count: Box of 12 Cigars
- Profile: Full Body
- Wrapper: Costa Rican Corojo Criollo Especial
- Binder: Unknown
- Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
This release is without question one of the nicest and most attractive cigar presentations I’ve seen, from the box to the cigars themselves, a masterpiece through and through. But they really must be seen to be best described, so I’ll allow the photos to speak for themselves. The cigars are banded in an alternate “blacked out” version of the D’Crossier seal, similar to the Presidential Diplomacy Series. The cigar is solid and looks very well rolled, with a consistent, firm and springy feel. The Costa Rican wrapper is dark and oily, glistening with gold flakes in the sunlight. The smell is clean, with notes of aged tobacco, leather, and hints of pepper.
There is a slightly tight draw after cutting, but it is certainly manageable. The first few puffs show a distinct black pepper quality to the cigar, barely anything else is noticeable, but it is clear the cigar has strength! It’s immediately apparent this is a slow burning cigar with a complex and full bodied profile. Allowing a stack of ash to form, the cigar begins to reveal the flavors behind the black pepper – caramel, spice, and an aromatic muskiness, similar to the profile of a Cuban cigar. While not exceptionally creamy, like some Cubans, it was more on the darker side of the Cuban profile, reminding me of a Bolívar.
At one inch, the cigar has already reached the full strength mark, and with its slow burn, I can tell I’ll need to pair it with a full glass of water. Dark and toasty flavors abound, with a full mouth feel that is no doubt complex; at times it is difficult to fully absorb the full profile. The flavors are spicy (especially through the retrohale), peppery, toasty, musky, cedar-y, and notes of complex, aged tobacco. The ash is dark gray and brown in color, closely resembling that of a Cuban. Throughout the L’Forte, I couldn’t help but feel that if this cigar was un-banded, many would assume it to be a Cuban cigar.
Nearing the midpoint and beyond, the cigar did need a couple relights, which could be due to the current humid climate or it could possibly use more time to acclimate. But with the relights came darker, charred flavors – not my personal favorite, but still worth fighting through. An added sweetness gradually formed in the background and the strength pulled back a bit, making for a nice second wind of thoroughly enjoyable flavors. The smoke never swayed too far from the profile described earlier, only showing different sides of the flavors, trading leverage throughout. This is a smoke that stayed with me, leaving that unmistakably Cuban musk in my nostrils long after the embers were gone.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Like all D’Crossier cigars – yes! This is a cigar that may be difficult to find, due to its limited nature, and even then, a bit of an investment, but I highly recommend it to all cigar enthusiasts and hope many get the opportunity to try this special, aged treat.
- Intense, full flavors
- Construction & overall appearance are 2nd to none
- Multiple relights
- Very expensive