Published on November 14th, 2013 | by Siz0
PDR AFR 75
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. The AFR stands for Abraham Flores Rosario. On a side note, I was also born in 1975 and agree that is a year worthy of honoring with cigars. (Wait, I made that statement in the last review. Sorry!)
The AFR-75 is available in three vitolas: the Sublime (5×56), Edmundo (6×58), and Inmenso (7×60). Only 500 boxes of each size are being released this year. Obviously, PDR is pandering to multiple categories of cigar fans with this one: the large ring gauge, the limited release, and the high-end premium bases.
Like the Costa Fuerte and the A. Flores 1975 Gran Reserva, the AFR-75 was 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.
Finally, a cigar that is not mostly covered in some type of sleeve! The PDR AFR-75 is rolled in a beautiful, dark chocolate San Andreas maduro wrapper that has a few small veins and slightly visible seams. It looks like a rolled up dark chocolate bar! The triple cap is flush and comes to a twist at the top. The entire cigar looks smooth, but has a slight tooth to it that gives it a bit of texture and character.
The band fits the cigar perfectly, as it is very classy and elegant. It is white with black and gold designs, including three golden leaves in the center. It is reminiscent of the Cohiba Behike, and subsequent, intentional copy, the L’Atelier. The only complaint I have about it is that it was just a bit loose, sliding up and down the barrel to easily. At least I don’t have to worry about it tearing the beautiful wrapper!
After giving the PDR AFR-75 a thorough squeeze test, I discover it is as well constructed as it appears. I found maybe one semi-soft spot in the otherwise firm barrel of the stick. Though it is smooth and oily, you can feel the toothy texture as well. The foot also reveals well-packed tobacco.
Upon sniffing the foot (insert kinky fetish reference here), I detect earth, grass, and meat/savoriness. However, the barrel is mostly cocoa and earth.
I decide to go with a punch cut, something I prefer on larger ring gauge cigars (not that I prefer large RGs). The draw seems to be about perfect. On the pre-light draw, I get some of the savory and earth notes that I got from the foot. It is now past time to light it up!
Though I was sure it wouldn’t work, I was able to light the PDR AFR-75 using just a few matches. I did need to touch up the edges with my torch lighter. As was the case on the pre-light test, the draw was damn near perfect. I was getting ample amounts of smoke throughout the cigar. The burn is a little wavy for most of the cigar, but only required a slight touch-up near the end. It also stays lit the entire time.
The ash is pretty impressive as well. It is very solid and hangs on over an inch at a time, even after the first drop. It is white and gray with just a bit of black, mostly from where it was lit. No complaints there!
I believe it is obvious that this PDR AFR-75 has performed well in the other critical areas. Now it’s time to see if the PDR AFR-75 is the real deal or just blowin’ smoke (blowin smoke in a well constructed manner I must add).
Just like I noticed on the pre-light sniff, I get savory meat notes right off the bat. With that came some black pepper and earth as well. As the first third concludes, some coffee, chocolate, and butter notes appear. All in all, everything is smooth and very well balanced.
The second third continues with butter, black pepper, earth, cocoa, and savory notes, adding a touch of maple to the mix. Again, it is extremely smooth and savory thus far.
Not much changes as it enters the final third except that the savoriness becomes sweeter and the pepper becomes very mild. As I reach the end, some wood and charred meat flavors take the stage. The consistent smoothness of the cigar continues until the very end.
The PDR AFR-75 is hard to nail down in the strength category. The smoothness makes it seem more like a medium strength cigar, but it is probably more medium-full in reality. It is definitely a full flavored stick. Smoke time was just under two hours.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, though only when I was in the mood for a higher priced stick.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
No, but only because of the price and size. If it were a little smaller and cheaper, then absolutely!
Would I Buy a Box?
If I could afford it, but I can’t.
The PDR AFR-75 is a limited edition cigar that really showcases the blending prowess of Abe Flores. It is full of rich flavors that are extremely smooth and balanced. I really enjoyed smoking it and am glad I had the opportunity to try it. Most cigars with this size ring gauge, in my opinion, are bland and lack complexity. Not the case with the PDR AFR-75! If you can find one (and have the funds for it) I suggest giving it a try.
Like the Gran Reserva, I think my only issue with the AFR-75 is the price. Of course, if that’s your target audience, then my issue is personal and not really a problem at all. Last time I checked, no one is asking me for input on what cigars to produce or how much they should cost. So, that aside, go try it already!