My buddy, Rene Cardona, sent me a bow wow bag of nice cigars. This was one of them and it has some nice humidor time on it.
The AJ Fernandez web site does not yet acknowledge this cigar. They are sort of famous for lagging way behind their releases.
The other new blend from AJ is the El Mayimbe which is quite a bit more expensive running in the $14+ range per stick. Methinks, the cigar will never meet these lips. I can’t get on the Fernandez reviewer’s list if I danced naked in front of him.
Interesting note: The most informed reviewers are cigar insiders. They usually work for a cigar store, or work in the cigar industry, so they get their hands on all the new stuff first. It is very difficult to keep up with that sort of access.
I was only able to find out a bit about the cigar. First, it is rolled at the Tabacalera Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Also the PR machine really pushes the 7th Cut aspect of the cigar. From CI: “The Seventh Cut is one of the last primings to be removed from the plant and thus packs an incredible amount of flavor and strength.”
There you go. Now you know everything I do.
The cigar is gorgeous. It has that San Lotano box pressed look to it. Seams are surprisingly visible and only a few spider veins. The chocolate brown wrapper is oily and alternates from being very toothy to very smooth. The box press is close to flawless. The single cap is expertly constructed. In my opinion, the cigar has the perfect amount of tobacco. It is not hard as a rock and has the proper give to it.
There seems to be some confusion between CI and Cigar.com. CI, and other stores, say it has the Ecuadorian wrapper. Cigar.com says it has a Mexican San Andres wrapper. C’mon guys. Are you telling me that there is so much competition within the same company that they can’t even get the facts straight? Ridiculous.
The cigar band is very “Twilight” in appearance. Sort of spooky.
I clip the cap and find aromas of chocolate brownies with pecans. A potent amount of spice makes my eyes water. I smell coffee the way it smells when you pop the lid on a new canister. I smell raisins. The brownies aroma is so strong as to overpower anything else.
Time to light up.
Yum. A meaty cigar to start off with. Smoke pours from the foot like farts from my dog. Except, the cigar smoke is much more aromatic. It is impossible to hold the cigar in my mouth as I type. My eyes water up from the smoke as much as they do from the spicy pepper flavor. Black pepper, I believe.
This is, by far, the smokiest cigar I’ve smoked in a very long time. But, of course, my cheap camera won’t pick it up.
Flavors that are arriving are sweet gooey caramel, cedar, wood, and rich tobacco.
While the cigar is not jam packed, it does smoke slowly. Been on it for over 10 minutes and barely half an inch has passed.
The first third ends. The dominating flavors are caramel, sweetness, butter, creaminess, spice, wood, leather, with a perfect balance and a long finish.
This stick is nothing like AJ’s other blends. It isn’t a San Lotano or Pinolero. This stick is in the same category of quality, but totally different in flavor and character. And much cheaper than the other two blends.
A nutty flavor shows itself. A sweet nut like hazelnut, raw cashew, or raw almond. Or maybe all three. The heat makes the cigar bloat a little and the seams become even more visible. But they don’t seem to be in real trouble of unraveling.
The last third begins. The cigar is advertised as full bodied. But it is not. It started off at classic medium. And now, as the last third begins, it moves up to medium/full. There is a little bit of nicotine, but not much.
The cigar just explodes with flavor now. The creaminess is powerful. The caramel is extremely potent. The spice has slowly moved to the middle. The flavors of nuts, wood, leather, and smooth butter are more prevalent now.
This cigar was a total surprise. I had my preconceptions about what an AJ cigar should taste like, and it is nothing like I expected. It has its own personality, devoid of any coincidence with his other successful blends.
I am a little disappointed that the sweet spot did not come until the last third. Clearly, this cigar needs a couple months’ humidor time…not a few weeks. But if all I taste is potential; then this cigar will be very impressive after it rests properly.
I checked Cbid and these cigars can be had for at least a couple bucks cheaper than the retail price. Apparently, word has not gotten out yet so this is a good time to snag yourself some. At the moment, the winning bids are half the price that CI sells them for.
I’m sure my problems with the burn line in the beginning, were just quirks. As they did not repeat themselves.
I highly recommend this cigar. While it didn’t have a cornucopia of big time flavors, it is a very satisfying smoke. Considering how intense the cocoa smelled during the cold draw, I am a little dismayed that the aroma did not translate into flavor.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS