San Lotano Oval Habano Limited Edition Pigskin Super Smoke Figurado XLVIII released in November 2013. Just in time.
Yep. That is the name of the blend. Back in the day, I used to play charades and when we did songs, I picked the longest song title in the Beatles catalog. Any idea what it is?
OK. You give up: “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.” Off the “White Album.” I always won that.
And that is what AJ has done with this blend. Eleven words. And of course, the glaring omission is the two words: Super Bowl.
Clearly, one does not bandy about that set of words without paying a gazillion dollars to the NFL. But close enough.
I was surprised when I saw this was a 6 x 60. The cigar is so flat that an illusion takes place. And I’m all about illusions.
From Atlantic cigars:
“The San Lotano Oval Habano Limited Edition Pigskin Super Smoke Figurado XLVIII is a special release from the A.J. Fernandez Cigar Company made especially for the Super Bowl. This unique limited edition cigar was produced in a small batch run of only 500 boxes of 10 cigars with each box numbered from 1 to 500.
“The cigars are blended by A.J. Fernandez, a cigar maker who makes some of the well-respected Nicaraguan cigars on the market. The Limited Edition Pigskin Super Smoke Figurado XLVIII is constructed the same way as the standard offerings in the San Lotano Oval Habano line with the cigars’ unique oval shape enhancing the smoking experience.
“The flattened “oval” shape helps bring out the richness of the premium aged tobaccos, which are selected from vintage years, varying in age from 4 – 7 years. The cigars are then finished with a rich 4 year old Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper. Bold flavors of rich tobacco, hints of spice and pepper are also present on this full-bodied smoke. Get yours while you can!”
I want to thank Garland at Atlantic for gifting me a couple of these.
First, the cigar’s wrapper is gorgeous with that dark chocolate brown with a mottled appearance. The construction is very close to perfect. No seams visible at all. Only minor veins. An exquisite triple cap. And oodles of oiliness while the wrapper is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Like me.
I should note that in place of advertising the Super Bowl, the only thing that really delineates this from another Oval Habano is the secondary band with the two letters: AF.”
And the foot has a 3/8” opening big enough for lighting.
I clip the cap, using a small V cut so as not to blemish the look of the cap, and find aromas that flood my palate such as cocoa, spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, cedar and leather.
Time to light up.
The draw is perfect as my dining room/work station fills with white billowy smoke. The cigar starts out very smooth. It has a nice rich earthiness along with some dark cocoa. Spiciness builds slowly from nothing to something quickly.
The leather and cedar components make an early entrance.
The spice goes from black to red pepper in short order and my tongue tingles by the first half inch.
Creaminess appears with the same alacrity as the other flavors. So far, this is an enjoyable, expectedly, cigar blend. It is the same as the regular Oval Habano but shape is everything. Ask my wife. Please.
The char line goes a bit awry but I wait it out. And then it goes AWOL so I have to touch it up.
Sweetness enters the picture. Here are the flavors in order: Cocoa, red pepper, creaminess, sweetness, raisin, cedar, and leather.
Time to remove the secondary band. Easy Peasey.
A strong dose of espresso opens the second third. The perfect accompaniment.
The ash is rock hard. So do I show off or not take the chance of it falling into my lap? I am not sure yet. The long ash trick is like one of a magician’s staple of tricks.
I let it fall on my photo shooting surface. It was beginning to wobble. In the nick of time.
I reviewed the regular AJ SL Habano yesterday. And while it has a different wrapper, the basics are all there. Of course, using the word, “basic” is not the proper word for this blend.
This stick has its own quality and richness that is different due to the size and shape from the standard Oval Habano.
The second third begins with such depth of character that I a marvel at AJ’s mastership of blending. The cigar was very close to flavor bomb status by the first inch…but now, ladies and germs; It is an official flavor bomb with explosive and bold flavor.
The balance goes beyond perfect. The finish is very long. The flavors are going crazy on me.
I read a couple of reviews just now and they don’t agree with me. Yes, I am an AJ whore like Joseph Talotta called me on FB.
The char line is dead nuts now as I begin the second half. Actually, due to the odd shape, I am having trouble discerning the thirds.
No changes are perceived. There is no need for changes. I have a blossoming flavor bomb. Perfect balance. A deep and rich earthiness. And a long finish. If it stays like this with no changes until the end, well…I’m a happy guy.
Now. The price point. I had trouble discovering the true MSRP. Some were as high as $12.50. But I used Atlantic Cigar’s which is $10.00. and then they charge $8.00 by the box of 10. And they are going fast as Atlantic always shows how many are left.
More online stores should show that. I know these people and it ain’t a scam to get you to hurry up and buy some. Why do I know that? Because many times, I’ve bought something where it says: “One Left.” And at the end of my purchase, I went back and sure enough, it said “Backordered.”
I am at the thickest portion of the cigar and the burn slows way down.
Caramel enters stage right. It perfects the flavors. The dark espresso turns to cappuccino. The creaminess tamed the espresso notes.
There is so much chocolate, I grab a Diet Coke for the NYC egg cream experience.
The two reviews I read experience none of the notes I am experiencing. And they had a 5 pack to smoke before reviewing it. I don’t get it. Did they smoke them all in one day?
I’ve had mine for around two weeks. Clearly, plenty of time to get to the blender’s intent.
Generally speaking, most San Lotanos only need three days before they are ready to smoke. I hedged my bets and let them rest two weeks.
The cigar is cruising now. The caramel has a big effect on the other flavors. Everything pops.
I guess because of the shape of the cigar, the flavors seem to be brighter and bolder than the regular Oval Habano. I’m spit balling here.
The strength started out immediately as medium bodied. In the last third, it ups the anty to medium/full. I begin to feel the nicotine kick. Nothing I can’t handle.
The only change to the cigar in the last moments of life is that the strength moves on up to full bodied. The nicotine isn’t that bad.
The spiciness returns in force. And the wonderful creamy and sweet flavors are bold and full of life.
Yes. I recommend this cigar. It is a novelty. But AJ didn’t forget to make it another masterpiece of blendsmanship.
Halloween was a big day for my project. For our first Halloween, the record company, Rocshire Records, arranged to take over the Hollywood Palladium. Throw a huge party. And give away a big trip to Transylvania. A ski resort in Romania.
I hired “Grandpa ( Al Lewis ) Munster” to officiate the proceedings. Al was a marvelous old codger who I had met several times through Butch. He even yelled at me once at a famous deli in Hollywood…in front of all the patrons. He liked to make sure that everyone in the room knew he was there.
I was whining about the record company and he slammed his fist down on the table and warned me that maybe I’m not cut out for this business. Of course, he was right, but back then I protested. We got into a heated debate in front of a hundred patrons who were staring at us. You could hear a pin drop if not for Al’s voice.
Al Lewis was a big deal and everyone loved him. I could feel my face get hot from being turning red.
We settled down, talked about the Jewish holidays, etc., and finished our meal; and for the first time, Al picked up the check. He must have felt guilty about yelling at me.
Anyway, back to topic; I paid Al $2000 to be the MC of the party. And he did a marvelous job from the video I watched later.
Butch and I did a short 4 minute video welcoming people to the event that was played on a loop in the lobby of the Palladium.
Rocshire Records, Tiger Beat Magazine, and Life Magazine collaborated to make the party a big deal. There was a country-wide raffle and the winner got to go to the Transylvania in Romania…Dracula’s Castle. Yes. There is a Dracula’s castle. And sight see and ski for two weeks for one person. I never understood that reasoning. Only one person? What if they wanted to take someone with them? I would.
Meanwhile, Butch and I couldn’t attend because we did Saturday Night Live. That, too, is a whole story in to itself.
Well, the raffle went completely hay wire.
The winner was notified and it was a girl who actually lived in Hollywood. Since Tiger Beat was a sponsor, they had a national participation for the raffle. What are the odds that a young pretty girl from Hollywood would win? I smelled a fish in the Kevlar vest.
The girl wanted to take her boyfriend with her. She was told no. She was assured a supervisor would come along. And a still cameraman, and a video crew. No need to worry about her safety.
But she was stubborn. She wouldn’t go if her boyfriend couldn’t go.
Everyone threw up their hands and canceled the whole thing. They wanted nothing to do with the runner up or picking another winner. The trip was off. So the whole thing was a bull shit scam.
All that free publicity in the wind.
Our friend, the photographer who did our sleeve cover, had already been paid by Life and Tiger Beat upfront for the gig. And guess what? He spent the dough on nose candy and he couldn’t pay it back. That was the end of his career.
My second in command was my recording studio partner who was more concerned with embezzling and sticking coke up his nose. So he never called and told me what went on during the week we spent in NYC doing lots of talk shows and then moving west to hit other cities in the country.
I got home and visited my PR guy and he told me the whole ugly story. I went ballistic. He calmed me down by telling me he needed $2000. No. That did not calm me down.
He said he had the senior programmer for the biggest radio station on the line for $2K to put our song into regular rotation. And the meeting was for this afternoon. I rushed to the bank.
When I returned, the slime bucket was already there and promised me medium rotation.
We shook hands and the song was never played once. Not once.
It turned out my PR guy grabbed a friend to pretend to be the program director so he could pocket the dough I gave him. Yeah, real nice.
This guy was such a crook, that at one point, near the end of the project, I grabbed a .38 pistol and got in my car and drove to his office. I took my friend, Rick the ex-con with me.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS