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Old 12-18-2010, 12:14 PM   #1
Mad Dawg
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Leon Jimenes Don Fernando #4

I've made no secret over the years that I'm not a big fan of Dominican tobacco. I've tried many Dominicans, from many different marcas, and they almost always leave me unsatisfied, either because they just don't have much going for them in the flavor department, or because the flavors they have don't do much for me.

The exceptions to this general rule have primarily come from the La Aurora factory, and the Leon Jimenes Don Fernando #4 is the standout. I smoked another one of these fine cigars this morning, and felt compelled to offer up my thoughts. I did a little searching first, and find that this cigar gets almost no mention on CW at all. Too bad, that.

By way of background, the Don Fernando #4 is a corona (5.5x46) with a Cameroon wrapper topping a blend of Dominican fillers and a Dominican binder. According to what I've been able to find online, it was originally made in small batches exclusively for one person: Don Fernando Leon, father of La Aurora president Guillermo Leon. It's supposedly only offered by one retailer each year.

The Don Fernando #4 sports the standard, somewhat understated, red and gold Leon Jimenes band, but there is nothing standard about the cigar. The one I smoked this morning was very typical: smooth colorado wrapper, almost vein-free, extremely well-constructed. Dense, heavy in the hand, yet perfect draw...that's what I've come to think of as "old school" construction. Slow, gentle smoking yielded dense clouds of fragrant, flavorful smoke with every draw, and a laser-straight burn that required no touch-ups.

The flavors were complex and shifted constantly as the smoke progressed. Opening notes were nutty, with a core of cedar and a light, clean earthiness. Within a few draws, the smoke took on a creaminess that remained consistent, a smooth, gentle undertone that never got harsh or bitter, and provided the canvas on which a panoply of spices painted the main picture: subtle notes of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg came and went, never overpowering, just more or less trading places over time. A couple of times I thought I detected a very subtle sweetness, but that was complimentary rather than distracting. Always close to the fore was something I could never quite pin down, just a pleasant impression of richness. I burned this one down to a nub less than a half inch long with NO trace of tar buildup or bitterness whatsoever.

This cigar, as with every other DF#4 I've smoked, had a characteristic finish that is as pleasant as any I've ever experienced, from cigars of any origin. Very long (I still have traces of it now, six hours after I finished the cigar), very clean, very nice...a lingering reminder of a great smoke.

I would rate this cigar in the 93-95 range: definitely highly recommended. It's not cheap, and it's not easy to find, but it is an exceptional cigar.

One note: There is a main production Leon Jimenes #4 cigar that has the same band as the Don Fernando #4, but beyond the band there is just about no similarity between the two. The Don Fernando #4 box is embossed with Hechos Especialmente Para Don Fernando Leon A. on the bottom.
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Last edited by Mad Dawg; 12-18-2010 at 01:33 PM.
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