PDR A. Flores Gran Reserva 1975
PDR Cigars released two cigars this year that both “honor” master blender Abe Flores. The A. Flores Gran Reserva 1975 and the AFR-75 were introduced at IPCPR 2013. Both allude to the year Flores was born, 1975. On a side note, I was also born in 1975 and agree that is a year worthy of honoring with cigars.
The A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva is available in three vitolas: the Robusto (5×52), Gran Toro (6×54), and Half Corona (3.5×46). According to the press release, the Half Corona will be available in tins of 5 as a regular production offering. The rest of the sizes, however, will only have 500 boxes produced. So, if you want to try this cigar (and I suggest that you do), you might want to pick some up soon!
Like the Costa Fuerte, we received this cigar along with the Half-Corona and AFR-75 as part of a sampler from Victoria Buczynski of PDR Cigars. Again, we greatly appreciate the samples, but this will not have an effect on how it is reviewed.
This is the third cigar in a row that I’ve reviewed that had some type of sleeve covering the majority of the cigar. In this case, the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva is housed in a cedar sleeve up to the band with a red ribbon at the foot. The sleeve is not attached to the band, so it slips off easily, leaving the band in place. The band is a very classic red and gold with white print.
Once the sleeve is off, a beautiful, yet rugged looking wrapper is revealed. It is chocolate brown with small veins, slightly visible seams, and a rough looking triple cap. Unlike the Costa Fuerte, the cap seems to match the ruggedness of the whole cigar. All of this combined makes for a rustic look that is very appealing.
While the appearance is somewhat rugged, the wrapper feels slightly oily and smooth, almost as if there is a layer of dust on it. There are a few “bumps” here and there, but no soft spots. The foot also looks to be well packed. It feels perfectly firm. Off the foot, I get the aroma of earth, hay, and cocoa. Down the barrel are cedar (no surprise there), earth, and cocoa. To be honest, I’m starting to want to take a bite out of this cigar, but decide it might not be a very good idea.
I clip the cap to prepare to smoke it. The pre-light draw reveals a bit of resistance, but still provides decent airflow. The notes I get are hay, sweetness, and earth.
I tried to light the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva with matches, but it was a bit too windy. I switched to the triple flame torch and it lit right up. Like on the pre-light draw, there was some resistance but it still gave off enough smoke. A little massage of the barrel (insert sexual joke here) and it opened up a little bit. It opened a little bit more during the first third as well.
The ash is white and gray and starts out strong, holding on for an inch before falling off. After that, it becomes somewhat flaky and a bit ugly. The burn is mostly even in the first third, but becomes a little wavy for the rest of the smoke. Despite that, no touch-ups or relights were required.
As mentioned, the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva looked delicious and had some enticing aromas. I was eager to light it up and see if those came through in the flavor. Let’s hope so!
Off the bat, I am greeted with a robust, aged tobacco flavor mixed with a very spicy black pepper. A few puffs later, earthy, tangy, and sweet notes join in the fray. The sweet tanginess is almost like BBQ sauce without the smoky flavor. Throughout this section, the retrohale reveals a very fragrant pepper.
The next third sees the pepper take a step back and the savory, sweet, tangy flavor take the drivers seat. There is also some earth and cedar coming through, as well as a meat flavor. The retrohale is still spicy pepper. Towards the end of this section, there is also a creaminess that develops.
The final third is very savory, woody, creamy, and mildly peppery. As it progresses, it becomes more woody and nutty with a touch of salt and cinnamon making an appearance. As it does in the other sections, the cigar thoroughly coats the palate with a smorgasbord of flavors.
Though billed as a “medium bodied” cigar, I felt the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva was medium-full in strength and full flavored. Smoke time was 1 hour 40 minutes, which is impressive for a robusto.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, despite being rather pricey for my blood.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Not for me. I would save this one for after a nice meal. Also, I can’t afford to smoke cigars that are over $10 on a daily basis.
Would I Buy a Box?
No, but only because of the price. I would definitely consider a 5 pack or tin of the Half Coronas.
The A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva is a delicious cigar that provides a roundhouse kick of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavor that was worth the somewhat high price tag. Having not smoked a whole lot of PDR Cigars, if this one is indicative of the quality of their other lines, they have just earned a new fan.
My only issues with this stick were the high price and the somewhat flaky ash. I’m not saying they need to lower the price just to make me happy, but it might put it out of reach for some smokers. Otherwise, this one is a solid 10 in my book. If you can, be sure to give it a try and see if you agree.