This is a cigar I’ve reviewed a couple times on other blogs. And I would be remiss to leave it out on my current blog. And since the cigar was released in 2010, I am late to the dance….So here goes.
First, I want to thank Spence Drake and Clay Roberts of AJ Fernandez for the samples.
This is from the AJ Fernandez web site:
“The San Lotano Habano by AJ Fernandez is specially blended for the full-bodied cigar fan. By using only premier fillers fermented to perfection, the Habano is strong yet perfectly balanced with a rich and robust flavor leading to a long and memorable finish. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Habano blend is its rare Cuban seed and ligero wrapper grown only in Brazil by the Fuego family. Containing extremely limited Cuban seed only offered to two factories in Central America, including Tabacalera Fernandez, the Habano is truly an exceptional experience.”
Here is a nice description from Atlantic cigars:
“San Lotano Habano is made by rising star blender and tobacco grower A.J. Fernandez. His cigars are known their bold rich flavors. The San Lotano Habano was blended to satisfy the full-bodied smoker, but made in a way to be balanced between strength and flavor. Constructed using a rare Cuban seed ligero wrapper grown only in Brazil by the Fuego family and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, these cigars result in a full-bodied cigar with rich flavors of tobacco and spice followed by a long enjoyable finish.”
The cigar has a slightly rustic look. Seams are tight but visible. Lots of veins. A perfect triple cap. A reddish tint to the medium brown wrapper. Some oiliness and very smooth to the touch.
I clip the cap and find aromas of cocoa, leather, sweetness, cinnamon, cedar, and earthy tobacco.
Time to light up.
A lot of sweetness starts the cigar followed by a huge dose of pepper. In addition, there is cocoa and cedar. Then comes some leather. Oddly, for any cigar, it has a very long finish from the start. My lips are smacking.
The flavor profile has hit flavor bomb status before starting the second third.
And then I start the second third. The profile changes only are the pepper calming down a bit. And a very earthy richness appears that balances the cigar out perfectly. The leather becomes stronger. The cocoa begins to move towards the front of the line. The finish continues to be very long.
I make no bones about it. I am a dedicated AJ fan. His blends are my most often purchased cigars. I have reviewed every single stick he has blended. Even when they come in different shapes.
A luscious caramel enters. It props up the sweetness. And then some creaminess appears making the whole flavor profile even bolder but smooth and rich.
This is one of those rare reviews where I keep forgetting to take photos as I smoke and review. I am so engrossed by the cigar that I space out.
While I consider this a slow burner, in reality, it burns too fast for me because it is such a good cigar I don’t want it to end. Really.
Here are the flavors in order: Rich earthiness, creaminess, cocoa, sweetness, caramel, spice, cedar, and leather.
The char line has been near perfect. And the cap does not let loose of a single piece of tobacco.
At the halfway point, I must remove the secondary band. It comes off perfectly. I had to buy a curved carving X-Acto blade to remove the bands on more than half of the cigars I review. I am always surprised when an expensive cigar’s cigar band is a struggle.
The price point on this cigar is ridiculously good. And I posted the MSRP. So the cigar can be had cheaper online.
The last third begins. The nuttiness is much stronger. The caramel and sweetness and creaminess are pumping out bold flavors. The cigar is so toasty and nutty. There is now a peanut quality to the nuttiness.
The flavor profile just goes nuts now. I have a huge smile on my puss. It is such a good cigar. Such a great blend.
AJ blends are the only brand that I never buy the robustos. I like the big sticks. They always turn out to be flavor bombs.
The main cigar band is removed easily. Strength started out as medium bodied. By the halfway point, it was medium/full. By the last third, it hit full bodied. But it is so smooth it just creeps on you without any sudden jolts. And not a hint of nicotine kick.
The sun is shining on this windless day. And so the 5° temp doesn’t seem so bad. The sun really brings out the oils in the wrapper.
The cigar finishes out beautifully. Bulging with flavor. Fat with rich earthiness. A perfect balance and a wonderful long finish.
And now for something completely different:
Here I was…..dressed like a rock star-in-training on a locomotive, in first class, seeking its way to Leeds, England. I think the destination was the same place The Who played at their “Live at Leeds” album. I remember being excited about that. Rock and roll history.
Sonja loved to dress in boas and beads…a real Hippie. She was also very attractive. A looker. As I made small talk with the Parliament Minister sitting across from us at the parlor table, I began noticing something out of the corner of my eye. Sonja was twitching.
We hadn’t been on the train 30 minutes with 7-1/2 hours to go, and she was going through morphine withdrawal. I didn’t know how to deal with this.
The minister’s wife was definitely staring at Sonja. I laughed and said “She’s a junkie going through withdrawal. Pay no mind.” And laughed again. I hoped some reverse psychology would work…It did for another 30 minutes until she began to convulse.
Her arms began to flail. So I grabbed them. She had the strength of someone on steroids. I could barely contain her. Her eyes rolled up. She started to make animal sounds. She got one arm free and began to claw at her other arm with her fingernails, taking layers of skin with them. This would continue for 8 hours causing bloody red arms.
Now mind you, I sat in a full first class parlor car with maybe 40 rich people. All were staring and not a single goddam one asked if they could help?
Not even the two douche bags sitting across the table from us.
I was on my own. I thought of finding the other members of the band, who were in a different car, but then I was told they would bolt and the band would collapse. And I’d be out of a job. A has-been before my time.
The band had gone through this with her several times and they only agreed on the comeback tour if she was clean. So it was a secret that was laid on me because I was the only new guy of the original crew. Thanks a lot.
So, I sat there all day long, fighting with her while trying to conceal it and no one coming to my aid. It was like a Twilight Zone episode.
I had some Dramamine on me for motion sickness. I started emptying the bottle into her mouth and it helped a little. She would fall asleep after I popped 6 pills in her mouth. Occasionally, the band would walk through our car on the way to the club car to drink or eat and they’d wave with big smiles on their faces, glad that they weren’t the ones stuck dealing with Sonja. They were effete snobs because of their classical training as musicians. And she was a hippie who just happened to star in the original London production of “Hair.” I smiled and waved back. Sonja was unconscious.
We got to Leeds and then to the hotel where Sonja and I shared a room. I plopped her on the bed, tied her to the bed, and ran down to the pharmacy…maybe half a block away. I got her prescription of methadone and needles and I ran back to the hotel.
She was gone. I panicked and ran into the hallway. Nothing.
I found her in the closet, laying in the fetal position and making moaning animal sounds.
I dragged her to the bed and tried to revive her. Her eyes were rolled back. She was delirious. She was about to convulse.
I straddled her. I screamed at her while I began to prepare her injection. Now I have never given a person a shot in my life, let alone an intravenous one. So all I could see were tomorrow’s headlines. “Jew Bass Player Kills Beloved Singer.”
I broke the methadone glass ampule and guessed how much should go into the syringe. I tied her off with those giant rubber tubes.
I was unable to get her arm to be still. So I put all of my weight on her, and I began to bitch slap her while yelling her name. Over and over and over. Finally, she came to her senses from me slapping her.
“Sonja…please….you have to hold still and help me. I don’t know how to put a syringe into your vein.” It took several minutes but she finally guided the syringe into her vein perfectly on the first time and she pushed the plunger.
Then there was silence. Was she dead?
It took almost a minute but her eyes opened with lots of sparkle and she smiled at me.
I fell off of her, sideways, and fell to the floor next to the bed. I lay on my back, breathing hard.
Sonja sat up and asked how I was doing? She had no recollection of the day. Nothing.
“So Phil….you want to go find the roadies and play poker?”
“No, thanks. I think I will just lay here for a while.”
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS