Rolando Reyes, Sr. is tireless. The man is over 80 years old, widely acknowledged as the best blender alive, and he still works like a horse day in and day out. Actually, it's probably more like night in, night out: his work habits are legendary - he sleeps during the day, wakes up late in the afternoon, and then stays up the entire night sorting cigars until rollers arrive the next morning. He inspects every cigar rolled in his factory. Yes, every single cigar. Amazing. Most people think that's some made up myth....but it ain't. My last trip to Honduras in July, I popped in on his factory late in the afternoon thinking he'd be up. Unfortunately he was asleep in his house, which sits about a pitching-wedge away from the front door of the factory. They woke him - damn, I felt bad about that - and we sat down at his kitchen table. On the table were 3 things - a pile of unbanded cigars, a bottle of rum, and a giant box of Twinkies. Twinkies! Forget that Atkins diet or South Beach crap - the "Rolando diet" is my kind of regimen. Rolando is an old school, no-nonsense guy who isn't really into bells and whistles. Which is probably why you don't see any glitzy packaging, slick marketing, or tons of publicity on his flagship Puros Indios or Cuba Aliados brands. But to me, "no pretense" is exactly what Flor del Todo is about, so while it's certainly not his finest blend it's a tidy personification of the man himself.
So on to the cigar: at first glance, Flor del Todo is certainly not winning any beauty contests. It is however one of Keith's top five knockaround cigars...cigars I burn when I'm putzing around the yard, on long car rides, playing golf, stuff like that. The Churchill is a meaty 7.25"x53 vitola packed to the brim with fillers. It feels like there's 2 cigars worth of tobaccos in here; in fact it takes a solid hour+ to burn it down to my knuckles. The draw is not effortless - not that it's a tough draw - but there's a little bit of resistance to it which I especially like in a knockaround cigar like this. The wrapper is a thick, double-fermented Ecuadorian leaf with a sort of marbelized appearance and rustic, chewy texture to it. The body is medium, the flavor smooth, slightly creamy, a little gritty on the tongue with a nutty character and pleasant aroma. The finish is very clean and crisp.
I give this one extra credit in the ratings category because of the enormous value - each stick costs around a buck each and that my friend, is unbeatable.
Words To Live By…"A cigar, my good man, I cannot give you. But any time you need a light, just come around; mine is always lit."
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