Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Released: May 2020
From Altadis USA:
“Made with 100% Nicaragua Tobacco. Blended by Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez, the cigar is handcrafted at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez in Estelï, Nicaragua from tobaccos grown on Fernandez’s farms.”
What else do you need to know? No skulls.
SIZES AND PRICING:
Churchill (7.0″x50) $9.62
Magnum (Gordo) (6.0″x60) $10.31
Robusto (5.0″x50 $9.08
Toro (6.0″x54) $9.35
A stout stick with no wow factor. Fairly tight seams, a modicum of veinage, and a tight body not unlike Ann-Margret in the opening scene of “Bye Bye Birdie.” The cigar is heavy in the hand. And a double cap. Funny thing about the PR photos everywhere online…they show the cigar band as nearly light blue…but my cigar band is a very dark blue. Methinks they changed up the bands at some point. The new ones have cesium implanted in them so it kills the entire RyJ customer base.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
First up is some lovely floral notes followed by the usual suspects of a Nic puro: chocolate, malt, espresso, cedar, black pepper, berries, creaminess, and buttery crackers.
The cold draw presents flavors of heavy barnyard, black pepper, espresso, Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda, some dark chocolate, some malt, cedar, and more barnyard.
The draw is spot on for this slightly behemoth sized stick. I put away my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for another time.
A nice sweetness welcomes me on the first puffs. A hint of complexity which we all know is a good sign. There is immediate creaminess, citrus, black pepper that is potent, very bready, and a nice dose of cedar.
Since I came back last week from a terrible case of the crabs…I know, I told you I had the flu. I got the little devils from a 74-year-old hooker I frequent…no more. The reason I bring this up is that I’ve basically been reviewing cigar catalog brands and leaving the boutique stuff to marinate a bit longer. Plus, I forgot to write as the crabs made their way to my frontal lobe, fucking everything up. So, catalog cigars it is. Just like today.
Character quickly builds but the black pepper is too strong and eliminates any subtleties for the time being.
This is a good cigar. It started off very nicely with a wide swath of flavors that sprang from its Nic tobacco and the hands of Ed Gein. In fact, there is a small bit of toenail in the cap.
The buttery element builds.
It’s about time that the standby brands got smart and began to blend cigars for those whose palates are sophisticated instead of the usual bland blends they tend to be happy with because they sell. They are gearing their efforts to us it seems as it’s nice to smoke an RyJ without some other blender’s name on it…forcing the price into the stratosphere for that favor.
The cigar is balanced so that nothing really stands head and shoulders above the other elements. This is good. It is going to be another blend that both the most sophisticated palate will enjoy as well as the palates that are still learning or have trouble dissecting components. Doesn’t matter for a nicely blended cigar. The end result of the cigar being tasty and all-encompassing is the goal.
Lots of nuances that pop up, run away, others pop up, and they run away. It’s just like high school and girls for me.
This cigar is densely packed and moving as slow as a glacier running from the EPA. The burn is on the money.
Watched a Reelz TV show called “Sting & The Police. Story Of Their Songs.” I believe it was the first episode of the new series.
Curved Air has been around for 50 years. A lot of musicians were members over the years and yet every time they talk about The Police, they show how Stewart was in Curved Air and they show a photo of the band. And every time, there I am again. It’s pretty cool to be surprised by seeing my furry head looking back at me from the TV screen…and then wonder where my youth went while I wasn’t looking.
Strength is medium/full. Nicotine is lying in wait for me in the second half. I shall smite it with my tampon pike and incantations taught to me by my guru, Saul Armstrong Liebowitz…who died at age 47 from incense poisoning.
Great cigar. Surprise, surprise. I’m finding through curiosity and a fever from the crabs that I’ve chosen some oddball cigars to review I normally wouldn’t touch with your dick. And by doing so, I found a few gems. The Punch Nicaragua was excellent.
I checked and some online stores are selling them cheaper than the MSRP shown above. I’m going to pounce on a sale next time I see one. Still, outfits like CI are selling this $9.30 priced cigar for $8 in a fiver.
Just prior to hitting the second third, the character of this blend leaps across 25 cars on a Moped. This is serious complexity my dears. Whoda’ thunk it? An RyJ?
Smooth is good. This baby has stabilized. The black pepper spiciness has now been hit on the wrist by the Catholic nuns and is sulking in the corner. It allows more interesting flavors to be exhumed. Little hints of your cigar tasting wheel. Other reviewers found all sorts of flavor points. Some match, some don’t. This is great. Palates running amok before The Blob gets them. It’s a free for all; meaning every palate will find something different to enjoy.
A bevy of baking spices and savory spices enter stage right. I won’t list them because you’ll just laugh at me…and then send a trolling comment that you’re going to kill my entire family the hard way…making them watch reruns of The Kardashians.
Still hanging loose at medium/full. I know what awaits. This lull isn’t fooling this old man. I’m heading towards the abyss in which the last third is so full of nicotine that I turn into Linda Blair.
The bready portion is fascinating. Different types of flours and seeds appear; all the while tasting like its toasted and smothered with butter and fruit spread. Yum.
Beer Nuts appear. Sweet and savory…which has been the lifestyle of this cigar since I lit up.
Going to be 72 degrees today in Milwaukee. Huzzah! But rain this evening so it’s cloudy and dark outside at 10:30a.m. I can barely see my laptop’s keyboard.
I expect Sammy the Cat running in and yelling “Hide me.” I speak 3 cat languages but seems that Farsi is their main tongue.
Oh man, I smoked all four sticks of the fiver I bought before reviewing this cigar. I bought them 2-1/2 months ago.
First sip of water and my merkin grabs the ring and demands a prize of the new goldfish that will die by tomorrow.
The slow roll and the deliciosity of this blend makes this large Toro perfect for whiling away a couple hours. No pressure. Just a smooth ride like being in the backseat of a 1957 VW Bug…with its clutch out. Remember back in the day, my fellow altakakers, how some Bugs were so dilapidated that you didn’t even need to depress the clutch when shifting?
The rain expected for this evening is happening now. In my next life, I want to become a TV meteorologist. What other job can you make a quarter mil a year and never be right?
The complexity of this blend is on the rise, pulling all those wonderful nuances with it into my giant open maw. They don’t call me Jewfish for nothing.
Clapton and Winwood are playing from a live concert. Perfect mood setting.
The fucking cigar is bursting with exuberance. Man, this is more fun that getting your schmekel pulled on by a professional milking machine. I don’t mean Charlotte. She has arthritic hands. One pull and she asks if I’m done yet? It usually takes 3 pulls.
And heeere’s nicotine. I hook up the Fentanyl/Propofol I.V. to my arm and now I don’t care.
Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” A classic. I can still see Slim Pickens sitting by his small shack bleeding out while the music played in “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Powerful scene.
Nothing linear about this blend. It started off with great promise and now it is delivering the goods. $8 or less. Win/Win.
Sometimes, I look at the flavor points I schmear my reviews with and I don’t even want tor to read them. This RyJ is a smart cigar. Not a flavor bomb. Consistently upping the dosage of pleasure. Little components of flavors move in and out like a massive ant colony busy with their assigned duties.
Took over an hour to get to the halfway point. Went by quickly. I’m in a trance…wait, that isn’t right. I meant to say I’m considering tran surgery to make me the woman I’ve always wanted to be. So, now it’s out. I prefer to be called Ms. Katman after I’ve healed. I plan on keeping my schlong in a pickle jar along with lots of garlic. The cat’s gotta eat.
Surprisingly, the strength hasn’t moved to full tilt yet.
Sam & Dave. “Soul Man.” Better version than The Blues Brothers. I did see them live once in L.A. I remember Belushi coming out and doing cartwheels with his enormous body. Everyone held their breath but Belushi didn’t allow a minor heart attack to prevent him from performing at a very high level.
OK. Here they are: Bread, butter, creaminess, espresso, cedar, berries, citrus, baker’s chocolate, malt, licorice, ferret fetus, nuts galore, Gruyère cheese, and hints of Jeffrey Dahmer’s spleen.
Strength enters the arena of full tilt causing a faux brain aneurysm. Doesn’t seem to affect my thinking. What was I saying?
I increase the I.V. drip.
Clearly, this cigar is meant for women with hair on their chest. Men, too. The new strength is causing LSD flashbacks.
But flavors are not impacted. They blossom and flourish. Everything is on point with the addition of a mind-altering substance.
Ever take acid and go to Disneyland with friends? Those long lines. In the early 70’s, my kid sister and her friends went over to Tom Sawyer’s Island and pulled out a doob. Naturally, the Disney folk were hip to this practice and placed plain clothes cops everywhere. My sister ended up in Disney jail. They really have a jail. My dad had to come get her and that’s all I heard for a month…all the while shaking my head in disbelief. My dad didn’t know I was a regular user of weed.
The complexity drives the bus. A nicely well-rounded blend.
The michegos of the soul killing nicotine does not prevent the flavor profile from shining.
This is a good stick for rotation. Probably better to smoke with a full belly instead of what I do for a review.
I like this cigar. So, will you.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
From a newbie smoker, how do you determine the strength of a cigar as you smoke it? I can only tell the strength when I’m green-faced on our bed and my wife is shaking her head as she brings me a spoonful of sugar down the hall.
You need to do your homework.
Google the cigar blend and read what it tells you about the strength and body…BEFORE you buy it.
If you’re smoking cigars blind, this is a good way to be on the path of not liking cigars.
I get that, I’m not a complete green-horn… I just wonder how you can tell the strength as you smoke it. Does you feel more relaxed or do you get a bit light-headed?
Depends on nicotine levels in the cigar. A strong cigar tends to have a lot of nicotine. A very mild cigar, less nicotine.
According to mentalhealth.org.uk:
“Research has shown that smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation, so people smoke in the belief it reduces stress and anxiety. This feeling is temporary and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings.”
Because of you, because you have shared your knowledge, experience and wisdom, I smoke some pretty damn tasty cigars these days. Without you, I would be smoking some moldy ass cattle cabbage dog missiles purchased from a vending machine in the subway. Much obliged.
-Great Big Fawkin Yeti
You’re a funny fella, copper. When you come out of your shell, you’re really human.
Well, I get darn sick of tryin’ to pick up after a gang of fast-talking salesmen dumb enough to sell over priced cigars to a guy who sleeps in the same bed with four rattlesnakes.
What’s the matter? Dames chasing you again? Or still?
There will be epidemics of greed, hate and ignorance. We must fight them in life as we fought syphilis in the laboratory. We must fight, fight. We must never, never stop fighting.
I want no legal advice. This is a question of truth. I’m only trying to help readers understand the real nature of these bad cigars.
Now, just relax, copper. Nothing to be jittery about.
I’ve had over a hundred readers face the electric chair. I’ve never been jittery.
Thanks for your kind attention, copper.
I have almost always avoided the NC versions of RyJ, Bolivar, Montecristo, H. Upmann and the like that are produced by General and Altadis. In my opinion…allowing American companies to basically pilfer traditional Cuban Cigar trademarks because of the embargo is weak sauce. It also allows them to pump out garbage that the uninformed cigar smoking masses will hoover up based on the cachet associated with the name alone. It just feels wrong and as a consumer I refuse to support it.
P.S. Your new picture on the site makes you look serious and slightly grumpy…not as light hearted and jovial as the old one. I still love u but it’s a little harder to bop the schmekel to 😉