A company's name is a cornerstone to its identity. What they're about, their mission, their spirit, it's all encapsulated in a name. It's also likely that the company name is one of the first things an owner creates. Once a ton of effort is poured into a brand, the thought of changing the company name seems crazy. That's just what Abe Flores did though in the middle of 2021. He changed PDR Cigars to....PDR Cigars. Previously, the PDR stood for Pinar del Río which is a region in far west Cuba known for its tobacco. Now, the PDR stands for Puros Dominican Republic. Flores wanted PDR to reflect more of the Dominican heritage and its long history with tobacco. He joined ProCigar in 2015, which is an organization that is dedicated to maintaining the quality & reputation of Dominican tobacco across the world, and it gave him a new love and appreciation for the nation. Lucky for Abe, I don't think going from PDR to PDR is going to affect his brand recognition!
Cigar: A. Flores 1975 Serie Privada Maduro Robusto
Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: PDR Cigars - Tamboril, DR
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano, Dominican Corojo
A bold & delicious presentation on these. Clean cap, diminished veins, and excellent seams on the wrapper report card. The Ecuadorian maduro wrapper has a dark chocolate tone with accents of copper that is visually appealing. Bands were applied perfectly. I had to take a point off for a small wrapper rip/hole in each sample, but they were super minor and made zero impact when smoking them.
The previous blends I had used my standard conservative straight cut and sometimes had issues. The Serie Privada though was pretty much perfect when using a punch. The first sample I ended up giving it a straight cut about half way through, but the 2nd cigar was awesome with just the punch the whole time.
Like the story with all 6, I needed to apply a couple touchups. They were quick blasts and not much trouble. As you can see from the picture, the burn on the Serie Privada was much better than that of the Gran Reserva. No burn issues like cracks or swelling. Ash remained firm the entire session.
1/3 - Lighting the foot and starting it up I'm greeted with a rich, yet smooth earth note. Quickly emerging were notes of dried black cherries and flat cola. Half inch in and I'm served a slice of chocolate cake with the retro being a gentle mix of white & black pepper. Closing out the 1st third there is an orange peel sensation in the back.
2/3 - The 2nd third is very much like the 1st. Black tea and soft nougat are introduced. There is a very pleasant, dark roundness to the flavor profile now, even though it was a minimal transition.
3/3 - I was really diggin the cherry cola vibe from the start, but that has fizzled out. Earth and nutmeg are pushed to the front. No more orange peel either and the finish has become drier. Classic leather and natural tobacco help close out the finale.
I rather enjoy this blend. While I do wish the cherry cola & chocolate notes were not muted or absent on the final third, this is certainly a cigar worth trying. It also could have used a punch of richness. The overall profile was light+ to medium. A little more boldness would have fit my palate better, but it's perfect for a morning maduro. Fiver worthy for sure.
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 2
Well that was a nice stroll around the block with PDR. I have had a few different blends in the past from them, but it was nice to dive in a little deeper. Considering the bang-for-buck ratio, I think Abe Flores has done a nice job with the various blends. Some may strike your fancy more than others (as many brands would I wager), although there are bound to be plenty of blends that fit your wheelhouse. I do take a little bit of an issue with the burns on many. For using a more expensive and technical method of bunching, I wouldn't say they draw perfect or burn flawlessly. At the end of the day though, PDR is a solid company and I expect to see them around for a long time.