San Lotano Requiem Habano Gran Toro. Even though A.J. Fernandez was already blending and producing cigars for years, he was only producing for others. And a lot of his blends were hits on the market. So it was time to release a brand for himself. Drawing inspiration from his family’s past in Cuba, Abdel Fernandez came up with San Lotano. That’s the name of the brand his family had before the revolution. Since the release in 2010, San Lotano has seen many offsprings in different blends, and even in oval sizes.
The San Lotano Reqiuem comes in a Habano, Maduro, and Connecticut version. For this review, we picked the Habano in a 6×60 size. Fernandez names it Gran Toro, others call it a Gordo. But the name doesn’t matter, it is a monster of a cigar. The cigar consists of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. The binder is Nicaraguan with a Brazilian Habano wrapper. San Lotano is also the name of a farm and a cigar factory in Nicaragua. Both are owned by A.J. Fernandez, but the San Lotano factory isn’t the large factory in Esteli.
This cigar is a monster with its 6×60 size. It feels heavy. And for a Brazilian wrapper, it actually looks good. Often Brazilian tobacco looks a bit rough, but there are only two veins here that attract the eye. And they are not even that thick. The construction is good with a perfect triple cap. The green and beige ring is beautiful, the secondary ring matches the top ring. The cigar has a strong aroma of forest smells, wood, and dark spices.
The cold draw is good with a flavor of wood, spice, and pepper. Once lit it is raw wood with cinnamon toast on the palate. The sweet toast is very nice. There is some leather in the retrohale. Slowly but surely pepper shows up. Black pepper. The cigar has balance, but due to the filler wrapper ratio, it misses a bit of character. Halfway wood gets stronger with a hefty dose of Nicaraguan pepper. This is the kind of pepper that both Nicaragua and A.J. Fernandez are famous for. The sweetness is more powdered sugar now. But there is also a roughness in the back of the throat. Wood gets stronger again with some leather and hazelnut. The final third is all pepper, pepper, and pepper.
The draw is a tad easy. The smoke is thick and there is a good amount of it as well. The ash is white and dense. The burn is straight. This is a cigar that is medium-full in body and flavor. The signature of A.J. on the inside of the ring is a nice touch. The smoke time is two hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? In a smaller vitola yes, in this 60 ring gauge no.