Don Fernando

Don Fernando Corona

Years ago, while very active on Cigar Asylum, I met Andrew Wood. He just finished high school and teamed up with an exchange student from Nicaragua and his brothers to make cigars in the small factory their family had. At least, that is how I remember the story. That small company, Guillen Diaz Wood aka GDW Cigars and the factory Guillen Cigars made two blends that because very popular very quickly on the board, Reserva Miraflor and Goviado. Popular in a way with a certain crowd that I can only compare to the decidation of the Jas Sum Kral crowd. And maybe, if Facebook would have been as big as it is now, those brands would still be around. But unfortunately they are not and Andrew has moved on to be a tobacco broker in Texas, Tabacos Mundial, and he helps quite some brands to get their goods to the US Market.

Now back in that day I helped Andrew a few times with planning, with the set up of group buys and I also arranged some group buys from The Netherlands, my country of origin, as Reserva Miraflor and Goviado became quite popular here too. And Andy appreciated it, he showed that in a very special way.

In may of 2009 I went on my first trip to the USA, with 3 other guys I did a road trip all along the east coast, we flew to Orlando, drove to Key Largo and from there all the way up to upstate New York. From there we flew to Las Vegas to spend the last few days of our trip. And about 30 other people from Cigar Asylum decided to come to Vegas too, to herf with us, including Andrew, with an amazing gift.

My nickname on Cigar Asylum is Don Fernando and Andy had a special blend made for me and gifted me a box of Don Fernando cigars with the Dutch flag incorporated on the box and on the ring. In total he had 24 boxes made, 6 boxes of Corona, Torpedo, Toro and Robusto, the other boxes were sold on the forum. I still have a few of the cigars left and it seemed appropriate to review the Don Fernando Corona on my birthday.

The wrapper feels silky but has a few veins running over the medium dark and oily wrapper. The construction feels good, and I must add that I had never had a cigar from Guillen Cigars that had any construction issue. The cigar is well capped with a triple cap. The ring is printed on shiny paper and is red white and blue colored, like our flag, with a silhouette of a cigar smoking man wearing a panama hat, as I did in those days. On the side it says Don Fernando and the ring has a double outline in black. The aroma is still quite strong, it reminds me of wood and pepper.

I cut the cigar and the cold draw gives me a perfect amount of resistance. I taste a little raisin flavor, pepper and spices all before lighting. After lighting it, with a soft flame ofcourse, I taste a nice coffee with a little bit of chocolate. I also taste some toast. After a centimeter I taste wood with toast and some sweetness. After a third it’s more of a dark chocolate flavor with a good amount of pepper in the back of my throat. Halfway it’s mostly pepper with a hint of dark chocolate and some metal. After two thirds it’s full on pepper but now with some nuts.

The smoke is thick and plentiful, just how I like it and the draw is perfect. The ash is almost white, dense and firm. The burn is sharp as can be. The evolution is fantastic. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. This cigar is medium full bodied and full flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish that was possible, I would love to have a few extra boxes.

Score: 94

Categories: 94, Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Don Fernando toro

About a year and a half ago my friend Andrew, co-owner of Guillen cigars, hooked me up with some Don Fernando cigars, a gift that left me speechless and humbled. Nicaraguan puros in four sizes, Belicoso, Corona, Robusto and Toro.
The medium brown wrapper has lots of veins and some spots and darker stripes. The size of this toro is 6×50. The barnyard smell is medium strong. The construction seems a little soft and that results in a little bit loose predraw, which is quite flavorless.
I taste a nice and warm wood flavor with some earth and soon a huge dose of pepper. The cigar is creamy, almost buttery. After an inch the flavor changes to herbs, quite spicy with some nutmeg and other spices. I even taste some chocolate.
After a third I taste more pepper. The chocolate and spices have gone. I taste herbs and pepper and the flavors are mild creamy. A few puffs later I taste a dry and quite strong wood flavor again. Halfway I taste herbs with some wood and lots of pepper with some chocolate. The flavors are still a little bit creamy and buttery. After two thirds I taste herbs, wood and sharp cinnamon. The creaminess fades and is hardly noticeable anymore. Near the end the cinnamon becomes the main flavor.
It took me two hours to finish this cigar, but I enjoyed every minute. The draw is a bit loose. I got an amazing amount of extremely thick smoke. The burn is good. The salt and pepper colored ash is frayed but reasonably firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied, I even had a little bit of a vitamin N overdose.
Would I buy this cigar again? I wish, they are all sold out

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 9 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , ,

Don Fernando belicoso

About 15 months ago I joined Club Stogie and met a lot of BOTL’s that I now call friends. When Club Stogie was sold to Jon Caputo and turned from a friendly jungle into a commercial website with posh mentality most of my friends moved to Cigar Asylum, a new forum started by the 11 moderators from Club Stogie. Cigar Asylum has been my virtual home since and the friendships that started on Club Stogie grew stronger, so strong that I decided to go on a US trip and meet as many inmates as possible. One of my new friends is Andrew Wood, owner of Guillen cigars, and he came to Las Vegas for E.L.V.I.S. (Epic Las Vegas International Smokefest) with a huge surprise, a gift that left me speechless, overwhelmed and not worthy. Andy had a small batch of cigars made in honor of our friendship, Don Fernando’s. They come, individually packed in cello, in a 20 count gray box with the Dutch flag and the band shows a picture of a man smoking a cigar while wearing a Panama hat, like I often do. Only 24 boxes were made, 6 boxes toro, 6 boxes corona, 6 boxes robusto and 6 boxes belicoso.
The Don Fernando is a Nicaraguan puro, made with tobacco from Jalapa and Estelí. The Belicoso I smoked had a 6 x 52 size and as soon as I remove the cello I smell a full barnyard aroma with some straw. The smooth oily wrapper is quite dark and has only one vein running over it. The predraw gives me the right amount of resistance and I taste some raisin in the predraw.
I can taste lots of coffee and some toast, roasted flavors and after about half an inch some cedar shows up, soon to be followed by a light chocolate flavor. The coffee, wood and chocolate flavor sticks with me for quite a while, at least for the first third of the cigar, and then the coffee and chocolate slowly fade away. They are replaced by a bit of pepper that sticks to the top of my tongue. It’s a mild pepper, not overpowering like some Oliva V, Don Pepin Garcia or El Cobre’s tend to do sometimes. The final third starts with creamy chocolate, the pepper is gone and the wood is on the background, providing a nice base for the creamy chocolate.
This full flavored, full bodied cigar produces a lot of smoke. The ash is gray and firm, the pictures clearly show that and the burn is phenomenal. Straight as a razorblade and the cigar doesn’t die if you don’t puff often. Because of that slow burn, the temperature stays low and makes the cigar fantastic nub material.
Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah, I bought 2 boxes and some singles but I want more now they are still available.
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 9 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10
Name: 10
Packing: 10
Band: 10

Disclaimer: I might be a little bias about this cigar ;)

Categories: Don Fernando, Guillen Cigars/GDW, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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