Posts Tagged With: 92

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Side Project 52C

I’m guessing the C in the name stands for Chisel, although brand owner Meier & Dutch talkes about a wedge, and the 52 refers to the ring gauge. Maybe they cannot use the name chisel because it’s trademarked by La Flor Dominicana, who invented the shape and to my knowledge even have the patent to the shape.


The cigar, a 5×52 figured, is made with Nicaraguan Habano and ligero tobacco in the filler, a Nicaraguan Habano under and Ecuadorian Habano ligero as a wrapper. It was released together with the Little Devil and the Phalanx in march of 2012.


The wrapper looks smoother than the other side projects, less dry with more oil. It also looks like the head is a lighter shade than the foot. The shape is great and the cigar is well finished, the rings fit the wrapper.  The medium barnyard aroma is quite pleasant.


I cut a little slice of the chisel like cigar. The cold draw is a little tight, with a spicy raw tobacco aroma. After lighting the cigar is earthy with coffee and leather. After a centimeter I taste love licorice with some sweetness. The flavors change to earthy with cumin, burner and a little cinnamon like spices. The flavors are mellow and balanced. Halfway I’m getting a very unsuspected and unusual flavor that reminds me most of thick potato chips. That flavor disappears quickly and I taste pepper and sweetness. The final third is herbal and spicy with powdered sugar.


The draw is good. The white smoke is medium thick and full. The light colored ash is firm. The burn is straight. The cigar is full flavored and full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Side Project Little Devil

Released in march of 2012, almost four years after the birth of the Man O’ War base line and together with the Phalanx and 52C was this Little Devil. The cigar, I would consider it a corona, measures 5 1/2×44 and with that it’s the thinnest of the side projects. As a fan of thinner cigars, I’m looking forward to reviewing this, it’s one of the few Man O’ War cigars I haven’t smoked yet.


The cigar is made from extra fermented sun grown Habano tobacco from Ecuador as a wrapper, an Habano binder from Nicaragua and as filler A.J. Fernandez came up with an Habano ligero from Nicaragua and ligero from Honduras.


The wrapper is clearly sun grown, you can see that from the leathery look, the veins and the tooth. The ring is great, the regular ring with the classic side projects ring. I love the closed foot and the tiny pigtail. The cigar just feels good. I smell a mild barnyard aroma.


After cutting the cigar I find a great cold draw. I taste a mild sour and peppery aroma. After lighting I taste powdered sugar, coffee and some lime. After an inch I taste lime and pepper with an earthy base flavor. Halfway I get that powdered sugar flavor again and the pepper changed from black pepper to a strong spicy red chili. The final third has done cedar, a mild sweetness, earthiness and pepper.


The draw is great and the white smoke is thick and luscious like a beautiful curvy woman. The salt and pepper colored ash is flaky though. The burn is pretty good. The cigars is full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is an hour in twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

San Lotano Maduro Lancero

A few days ago I reviewed the exact same blend, Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers, binder from Honduras with a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper so today I will smoke this lancero instead of the robusto and see what difference 7×38 makes compared to 5×52. As a lancero lover I’m expecting a lot.


I like the fact that this line has a name that goes back a few Fernandez generations, especially if you know that a few years later A.J.’s father joined him at the factory after his retirement from the Plasencia family, another big name in the Latin America cigar industry. Family is clearly very important, something we in the west sometimes forget, so stories like these make me value my family more.


When you put both the robusto and the lancero side to side you can see its the same wrapper. Same leathery look, same color, same everything. The rings are the same too. The construction on the lancero feels great and the pig tail finishes the cigar. he aroma is the same too, dark chocolate with pepper.


I used my xikar cutter to cut the cigar. The cold draw is perfect with a spicy dry tobacco and hay flavor.  After lighting I taste pepper, coffee, leather and chocolate. After almost an inch I taste a strong leather with some sweet dark chocolate and lemon on the background. After a third I taste wood, salty and spicy, peppery and earthy, very nice. Right before the halfway point a faint dark chocolate shows up too.  The cigar slowly gets stronger and more peppery, a strong Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is great. The smoke could be a bit thicker but the volume is good. The burn is impeccable. The white ash is pretty but not too firm. The dynamic and evolution of this cigar is great. The cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

San Lotano Habano Lancero

As I explained a few days ago, when I smokd the San Lotano Maduro Robusto, this cigar was named after the brand that A.J.’s grandfather created in Cuba and that is was the first cigar that A.J. Fernandez released by himself instead of making it as a private label. And it set off a lot, making him one of the hottest names in the industry.


Now the Habano, which is made from a Brazilian Habano wrapper, a Honduran binder and filler from Honduras and Nicaragua, originally didn’t come in a lancero shape, that vitola was added later and I googled, I can’t find any stock online so it might be out of production at all. That would not surprise me because a 7×38 cigar is hard to sell, only a small number of connaisseurs really know how to appreciate this vitola.


The cigar has a leathery wrapper, dark brown yet not maduro dark. The cigar feels well constructed and I always like a pig tail. The ring is quite simple, black and green with golden letters and a yellow banner with A.J.’s name. A secondary, small brown ring with golden outlines and letters saying Habano. The smell is strong, ammonia and barnyard is what I smell.


After cutting I tried the cold draw and it’s perfect. The cold draw has a nice spicy flavor. After lighting I got hit by a strong espresso. Soon I taste some cedar, leather and spice too. After a third I taste a smooth floral aroma with some white pepper. Halfway I get some sugar too. The sweetness disappears, I taste leather and pepper. Near the end the cigar turns very peppery.


The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and full. The light ash is firm. The burn is flawless. The cigar is smooth, medium full bodied and flavored with a smoke time of seventy five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar but I like the Maduro a little better.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

San Lotano The Bull Robusto

After the regular San Lotano line, with three different wrappers, A.J. released the San Lotano Oval in both a maduro and habano version and because of the success of the 5 blends he released another San Lotano, The Bull. And initially it was distributed by Meier & Dutch only but got released to Fernandez’s own accounts too.


The bull is box pressed and the blend is tweaked for that vitola, it works better in a box press than in the oval shape or as a round cigar. The cigar is made out of Nicaraguan filler and binder with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and it comes in four vitolas, a 5×54 robusto, a 6×54 toro, a 6×60 gordo and a 6 1/2×54 torpedo.


The first thing that you see is that the bottom half of the cigar is wrapped in cedar. Now that’s not unusual yet there is a picture of a bull on the cedar and it has a cut out so that the ring is fully visible. The ring is the same as on the other San Lotano lines. The wrapper is dark and oily. The construction feels good with a nice cap. The cigar has a medium strong, deep, barnyard and forrest aroma.


After cutting the cigar I get a great cold draw. I taste just well fermented tobacco. After lighting I taste coffee with sugar. After half an inch I taste toast, some pepper and cedar, well balanced. Some spices show up too. Halfway it’s mostly spice, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, those kinds of flavors. After two thirds I still taste the spices but now with pepper and some minty freshness.


The draw is great. The ash is quite dark with nice layers. The smoke is thick and full. The burn is straight. The cigar is full flavored and full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah every now and then

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

San Lotano Maduro Robusto

A.J. Fernandez made a name for himself by creating cigars for others. Others like Padilla, Rocky Patel, Gurkha but mostly for Meier & Dutch, the wholesaler who’s affiliated with the biggest online shops through their parent Scandinavian Tobacco Group. And I’m talking about some of my favorite brands like Diesel, Man O War, La Herencia Cubana and more. And with the San Lotano A.J. Fernandez released a line bearing his own name and for his own company, which turned out the start of something beautiful. The name of the cigar comes from a brand dat A.J.’s grandfather started in Cuba.


The San Lotano came out in three different blends, Connecticut, Habano and Maduro and later there came spinoffs in the shape of San Lotano Oval Habano & Maduro, Requim Connecticut, Habano & Maduro, San Lotano The Bull, San Lotano 54S and limited editions. But this is one of the blends that started it all, a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Honduran binder and filler from Honduras and Nicaragua in a box pressed 5×52 robusto vitola.


The cigar is dark, with a dry, leathery wrapper. The ring is quite simple, black with a green square and golden letters saying San Lotano, then a yellow banner with A.J.’s name on a red backdrop. A secondary black ring says Maduro. The cigar is well constructed with a beautiful cap. The aroma is strong and reminds me of dark chocolate with pepper. Near the end the cigar is earthy again with lots of pepper.


The cold draw is a bit loose, with a sweet and sour, spicy flavor. After lighting I taste an earthy, coffee flavor with some pepper. Bold and strong. After half an inch I taste soil with pepper. After a third I taste some dark chocolate, earth and pepper. The final third starts leathery, peppery and with some cocoa.


The ash is light gray, firm and with nice rings. The draw is great, the smoke is quite thick and full. The burn is decent, not perfect but no touch up needed. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Ave Maria Reconquista

The packaging only made me very curious about this cigar, a cigar that is quite expensive compared to what the A.J. Fernandez and Meier & Dutch combination is known for. Most cigars that A.J. makes for Meier & Dutch are good yet from budget to medium priced, yet this one vitola blend has a premium price tag, but also a premium packaging with individual coffins  that actually push the cigar up when you open de coffin so there is no risk of damaging the cigar while trying to take it out.


The cigar, a 7×54 torpedo, is a blend of Cuban seed tobaccos, all well aged and all from three of the major tobacco growing areas in Nicaragua: Jalapa, near the Honduran border, Condega, in between Jalapa and Esteli, and then Esteli, where most of the tobacco factories are located. The wrapper is a dark Habano Oscuro from Brazil, Brazilian tobacco is usually sweet, add the oscuro part and I’m expecting quite some sweetness, the blend sounds amazing.


The wrapper is dark, its dry, its toothy and combined with the big, yet beautiful ring in medieval knight, crusader style , very detailed and very well printed this cigar just makes my mouth water. The construction feels good, the head of the cigar is very pointy.  The cigar has a strong aroma of barnyard, manure but also of some very dark, bitter, chocolate.


Since it’s a torpedo the only option is to cut the cigar. The cold draw is quite loose, and I taste spicy dry tobacco. As soon as I light the cigar I taste spice, dirt and tobacco, all strong and unrefined. After a few puffs the cigar finds more balance with dirt, some caramel sweetness and spice. After an inch I taste gingerbread with some sweetness. After a third I taste coffee with spices and some caramel. Halfway I taste the gingerbread again, a little sweeter this time but also with some white pepper. The final third starts peppery with dark chocolate.


The draw is good, a slight bit tighter would be better though. The light gray ash is dense and firm. The burn is straight and the smoke is medium in volume but quite thick, although the volume picks up along the way. The cigar is medium full in strength and full in flavor, with a lot of dynamic and evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Without a doubt.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Ave Maria, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

El Original Maduro Robusto

Another house blend, I have smoked a few before and with very different results but I know that this house blend is a good one. Every time I’m in Florida I take the time to drive to Key Largo to have a smoke at the Island Smoke Shop where my buddy Bill used to work. And every time I bring home at least a box of their El Original house blend, usually in the lancero vitola but I got myself a sampler with different vitolas of the maduro line too and I decided to review the robusto.


I asked several times but Bill or his employer wouldn’t disclose where the cigars are made, only that they are American made so I can’t tell anything about where they come from or what the blend is, all I know is that its a mighty tasty cigar for less than 5 dollars. If you are curious after my review, they do ship within the USA.


The dark wrapper has a leather look and feels like it too, the wrapper looks smooth. The ring is simple, white with a burgundy circle and silver letters saying El Original and Santiago Cabana, which could be a huge hint to where the cigars are made as Santiago Cabana is a master blender who has a little factory in Little Havana, Miami. The construction feels good, the cigar is well finished so thumbs up on construction. The cigar has a manure/barnyard aroma which is medium strong.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is great, quite spicy, peppery and with a hint of dried sultanas. After lighting I taste a lemony espresso and a little icing sugar. After a few puffs I taste a mild coffee, with some salt and licorice. Halfway I taste wood with honey, spice and pepper. The pepper grows stronger with a little floral background.


The draw is perfect. The white smoke is good, not super thick or full but enough. The salt & pepper colored ash is firm. The burn is straight. This cigar starts out medium but grows to full bodied & flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Every time I’m in Miami I drive down to the Island Smoke Shop for a box of El Original.

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, American cigars, El Original | Tags: , , , ,

Rocky Patel Summer 2008 Lancero

About a decade ago Rocky Patel decided to launch a limited release every season of the year, and the Summer 2008 series came with a lancero, that’s the only lancero made for the seasonal collections, which were discontinued in 2009, except for a one time return in 2012. I must have gotten this cigar in a trade or a bomb of some kind, but I couldn’t tell you with or from whom if my life depended on it.


The Summer 2008 collection was rolled at the old factory of A.J. Fernandez as Rocky didn’t have a Nicaraguan operation back then, and A.J. didn’t have the huge factory that he runs nowadays. The other offerings, next to this 7×38 lancero, were a robusto, toro and toro grande.. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler, a binder from Cameroon and a Sumatra wrapper grown in Ecuador.


A nice, latte colored, toothy wrapper with a sandpaper touch and an unique ring make this cigar stand out. The ring looks like a piece of diamond plate with a golden strip with red outlines and a red round RP logo. The secondary ring is golden with black lettering and a red outline. The construction feels good, no soft spots and the pig tail is a nice detail. I smell a mild yet dark barnyard aroma, almost like a freshly ploughed piece of farmland with natural fertilizer.


After I cut the cigar I taste pepper and some blackberry with the perfect cold draw. After lighting I taste the blackberry with cedar. There is also some sweetness and the mix is perfect. On the background I taste some pepper. Halfway the cigar gets spicier and stronger.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick, full and good in volume. The light gray ash with dark smears. It’s reasonably firm. The burn is good, pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The evolution isn’t spectacular but the flavor is very nice. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

Nestor Miranda Special Selection Danno 2012

In 1989 Miami Cigar & Co was founded by a few people including Daniel Miranda and his father Nestor Miranda.  They are distributers of several brands, including La Aurora, and also own some brands like Tatiana and the Nestor Miranda cigar brands. Unfortunately in 2005 Daniel got diagnosed with brain cancer and in 2008 he passed away. So in 2009 Miami Cigar & Co released a memorial cigar, in both rosado and oscuro, a limited edition not only to commemorate Daniel but also to celebrate their 20 years in business.


In 2010 another double edition of the Danno was released but in 2011 there was no release. In 2012 the Danno returned as a 7×56 Double Corona made at the My Father Factory in Esteli. The blend consists of Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a Nicaraguan binder and a Mexican San Andres wrapper. In total 30.000 cigars were released with a MRSP of 10 dollar. As far as I know only one more Danno was released, in 2015, but in a maduro, habano and Connecticut version so that can count as three.


The wrapper is beautiful, dark, almost black with some thin, flattened veins, a nice shine, some sparkles from the minerals. The construction feels good and I just love pig tails. The rings are simple yet of high quality and they match. The foto ring is black with a quite dark, almost copper like, gold edge and a Danno 2012 instricption while th normal band is black & gray, with the same golden edge, a small font in red saying Nestor Miranda Collection and in bigger, white, letters Special Selection. The cigar has a mild, almost fresh, smell.


I cut the cigar with my Xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is good, a little spicy and peppery. After lighting with a single jet I taste a nice, sweet, coffee.  After an inch I taste a beautiful mix of pepper, sugar and a nice cinnamon roll. Slowly the cigar becomes more spicy, even though the sweetness and the cinnamon still stick around but now with more spices and some green herbs. I also taste a mild acidity to keep everything balanced. The final third starts with wood, a hint of vanilla, some herbal freshness but it’s not minty, and some pepper. Near the end I taste more vanilla and some powdered sugar.


The draw is great. The burn needed correction a few times. The light gray ash is beautifully layered. The smoke is thick enough and enough in volume. The balance is great just like the subtle evolution. This cigar is medium to medium full bodied and equally flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish, this cigar is a great tribute.

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nestor Miranda, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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