In April of 2022, La Flor Dominicana announced a revolutionary project—at least in terms of the premium cigar industry and the method of distribution—crafting a special variant of the company’s award-winning Andalusian Bull cigar to be auctioned off later that year in the form of an NFT.
After the announcement, LFD then showed off the project in July of 2022 at the PCA trade show in Las Vegas. The cigars are packaged in an elaborate Gold Bullion Humidor, which was displayed alongside a digital representation of the NFT at the LFD trade show booth. LFD created only seven humidors, each being engraved with a Roman numeral to identify its place from one to seven. The humidors hold 50 Andalusian Bull The Golden NFT cigars, and NFT holders have the right to purchase an additional 70 cigars (five boxes of 14 cigars) per month at a price of $15 per cigar.
On August 11th, 2022, LFD began the first of seven auctions, each lasting for two days. The final auction ended two weeks after the spectacle began, drumming up enormous viewership for LFD throughout the process. As expected, the majority of auction winners were cigar retailers, justifying the purchase by reselling their monthly allocations at exorbitantly marked up prices when the cigars eventually shipped in Nov. 2022. With the seven auctions ranging from $78k to $98k, LFD made a combined $614,779 in sales.
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Andalusian Bull The Golden NFT Breakdown
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A. (Dominican Republic)
Production: Small Batch
Vitola: 6¼? × 42 (Lonsdale)
The Andalusian Bull The Golden NFT cigars themselves are a 6¼? × 42 lonsdale based on the original LFD Andalusian Bull cigar, which debuted in 2016. This includes an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper and all-Dominican binder/fillers from the company’s Estancia La Flor de Palma farm. This size has formerly been known as Andalusian Bull Toritos (having slightly different banding/presentation), and was made available to LFD’s Fleur D’Or Club members (which required the purchase of a $16k LFD cutter to enter).
The cigars are presented in two packaging arrangements: the Gold Bullion Humidor (50-ct) and smaller boxes (14-ct) with a similar gold appearance and matching serial number. Both have an impressive aesthetic, with the humidor obviously being one of the most sought-after items in the entire world of premium cigars.
The cigar itself removes the larger band of the original Andalusian Bull, only retailing the skinny sub-band that reads “andalusian bull” in a handwritten script. Differing from the Andalusian Bull Toritos, there is a pearlescent sub-band and a gold-like sleeve that runs from band to foot. In terms of tobacco, the cigar looks about as nicely rolled as expected for the super-premium class. There’s a triple cap, fine veins, and no soft spots from head to toe. Small criticisms include slightly loose seams and occasional color mottling across the wrapper.
The cigar has a nice aroma to it, showing a distinct maple syrup, as well as touches of musk, citrus, and cedar (when combined, it reminds me of the Orange Maple Penicillin cocktail). The foot adds notes of barnyard, nutmeg, and basement must—it’s not as impressive as the wrapper, but still pleasant. With a cut, the pre-light is slightly firm, having cabinet-spice characteristics of allspice, basil, cumin, and generic vegetal notes.
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The Andalusian Bull The Golden NFT cigar starts off with a subdued spice; it’s hard to identify at first, but I eventually settled on a soft ginger. The lonsdale has a noticeably pleasant room aroma, standing out through the retrohale with a delicate pinching sensation. It’s primarily spicy in profile, hovering around red pepper foremost and lingering with nutmeg as a secondary component. While largely dry in texture, there are touches of sweetness to be found, with caramel creeping in just before the one-inch mark.
The draw is slightly firm but expected—it’s a good firm, producing a concentrated smoke through the thin ring gauge. It burns with only slight waviness, producing a light gray, flake-less ash that clings on for an inch and a half. The smoke seems to gravitate away from the dry texture passing the first third, having a chalky feel that hits just about every region of the palate in unison. It’s medium in flavor, medium-light in strength, and medium in overall body.
Entering the second third or so, the Bull seems to come into its own. Sourdough tanginess fills the nostrils, being clean and refreshing through the finish. There’s a lingering spice in the retrohale as well (a reminder of the cigar’s earlier profile), which bites without being overwhelming. The sourdough leads to citrus tang, having maple syrup underneath and finishing with raw peppercorn on the palate. This pattern holds for a good portion of the cigar’s midsection, having a nice complexity overall but not necessarily evolving from the start to finish of each individual puff. Other noticeable flavors include sweet florals, a musky pinch through the retro, and an overriding nutmeg character.
The cigar remains cool as it closes in on the band—an impressive feat for its thin size. Though darkening in profile, citrus remains alongside a host of spices; this makes for a concoction along the lines of Christmas pudding. Anise moves to the forefront in the finale, with an increasing bitterness reminiscent of Campari. The cigar gradually intensifies from start to finish, rounding out at medium-plus in flavor and strength, while body sits back at a solid medium.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
This could better be broken down into two parts: would I (yes) and will I (only if you’re buying ). It’s a very enjoyable smoking experience, and I appreciated the fact that it built to an overall better experience (rather than dwindling in the second half). In this way, it’s actually kind of the opposite from the original figurado. I’d say the OG has more upfront flavor, while the lonsdale is more nuanced and has better evolution.
While LFD wasn’t the first to the NFT game (that title goes to United Cigars with their launch in the spring of 2021), I’d consider them the first to do it right, adding real-world utility in a way that actually gives purpose to the NFT component.
The NFT portion of the project was facilitated by UREEQA, who will also be handling the sale of Smoke Inn/Tatuaje’s upcoming Anarchy NFT Edition, which has a similar overall approach.
During the span of writing this review, the first auction for the Tatuaje Anarchy NFT Edition has now gone live, with the current highest bid at $54,500. The sale with end on Aug 23, 2023 at 10:00 am.
The only other notable cigar NFT project thus far is from Casdagli Cigars, who partnered with The Blockchainsmoker (clever name) and The Ape Society for a different approach. This project is more in line with NFT collections that you’ll find outside the cigar-o-sphere, where there are thousands more NFTs, each granting tiered levels of access to a Discord group. NFT holders are then granted access to special events and limited-edition cigar projects, etc.
The next level of cigar NFT would presumably be some sort of DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), where you’d have a cigar company built/managed by NFT holders. The number of NFTs you hold (or the dollar amount spent on your NFT) would grant you a certain level of voting power in the organization, with NFT holders appointing the heads of the organization and making the business decisions, voting on cigar concepts/blends, etc.
For those having a hard time seeing the need for NFT involvement in this project, compare it to the Padrón 50th Anniversary humidor from 2014. It was a similar concept, where retailers were the primary target to buy the actual humidor (priced at $5,300), giving them the right to purchase refills of the exclusive cigars for the next five years. The retailers justified the cost by selling the included cigars, first at dramatically inflated prices, then gradually coming down with subsequent humidor refills (and the competitive nature of good old-fashioned capitalism). The way it was billed at the time (if memory serves me right), the humidors could be sold, transferring not only ownership of the unit itself, but the right to purchase refills of the exclusive cigars. It’s a great concept, but this would be clumsy and hard to verify (is there paperwork involved? Do you remember where you stored the certificate of authenticity? How is Padrón made aware of the legitimacy of the transfer?) without the NFT.
I find it interesting that an industry known for its slow adoption of modern technology has moved so quickly into this space. It was years (maybe decades?) before cigar companies got on board with halfway decent websites (many are still seemingly reluctant). Cigar Dojo made our mark in 2012 with one of the first apps on Apple and Google, which was four years after Apple launched the App Store (although, Apple and Google have since put an end to cigar-related apps). Meanwhile, NFTs are arguably a MUCH higher barrier to entry both technologically speaking and for the general public to grasp.
In these NFT projects, it’s often mentioned that the NFTs can be re-sold (that’s one of the main NFT features, after all), but there’s usually little mention of an added perk for NFT creators: royalties. NFTs are often programmed in such a way that the original creator (in this case it’s either LFD or a combination of LFD and UREEQA) gets a cut of all re-sells in perpetuity. If I’m not mistaken, I believe it’s 10% of the sale in this case.
Five of the seven Andalusian Bull The Golden NFT auctions were won by retailers, including: Jack Schwartz Importer (Chicago, IL), Son’s Cigar & Lounge (Exton, PA), Cigarz On the Avenue (Orlando, FL), Cigar Country (La Romana, DR), and online retailer Unicorn Smokes.
In order, the NFT auctions sold for these amounts:
When the cigars first became available to consumers, they were generally listed for $200/cigar. Prices seem to now range from $54–$200 (box price / 14), although there are generally significant price breaks for box purchases. In terms of purchasing a single cigar, Jack Schwartz seems to be the most affordable, at $60/cigar (however, there is a waitlist currently).
As of this writing, the Andalusian Bull The Golden NFT cigar has a “100% Smokable” rating on Dojoverse, only being checked into 13 times thus far.
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15-Year | Nikka from the Barrel Japanese whisky | Flor de Caña 18-Year rum
Purchase Recommendation: Only try it if you really love both lonsdales and the Andalusian Bull blend (and perhaps you’re in need of a true celebratory smoking experience)
Chalky texture and cool smoke temperatureBuilds in enjoyment from start to finishStellar construction
Quick burn in first halfThe finish is not as long and lingering as you’d expect for the price rangeFirst third is lacking
Originally posted on August 22, 2023 @ 6:17 am