In conjunction with Groupo De Maestro, AJ Fernandez was asked to re-imagine several key blends for Altadis. Made in Nicaragua at
the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, this cigar consists of Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and filler from Nicaragua and Honduras.
Romeo Crafted By A.J. Fernandez comes in five sizes: Churchill at 7 inches by 50 ring gauge; Robusto, 5 by 52; and Toro, 6 by 52, Belicoso, 6 by 52,
For this review, I smoked the Toro. When I first picked it up, the cigar felt heavy and full of quality tobacco. Medium chocolate color wrapper. Fruity on the cold draw, like plums or raisins. This is a really different Romeo, more robust than any other blend of theirs. It begins with heavy wood and black pepper. Cedar notes along with fruit on the back end of the exhale show up as well.
After the final third starts, the tone of the cigar changes and I picked up warm cinnamon spice with slow wisps of smoke. The cigar also sports notes of yeast and bread. Those become prominent flavors along with mellow red pepper until the cigar finishes.
Tuesday, June 27th || Join us for a very special rendition of Spirits and Stogies featuring @johnniewalker scotch and @ajfcigars. With special guest @ajfdon representing A. J. Fernandez cigars. You won’t want to miss it!
Another new blend to me, suggested by the folks at Highland Cigar Company.
Mombacho Liga Maestro cigars were originally created in limited
edition to celebrate the boutique cigar company’s 10th Anniversary. These Nicaraguan puros are the product of Mombacho master blender, Claudio Sgrio, and Italian celebrity cigar enthusiast, Stefano Bertini. Now a regular production cigar made at Mombacho’s factory in Granada, Nicaragua, the blend is a medium-full recipe of ligero & viso fillers from Jalapa and Condega, plus a Condega binder, and a lustrous, mouthwatering wrapper from Jalapa.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to make of this cigar at first. The band looked classic in black and gold. A 6X54 toro would do me for a few hours if I smoked slow, which I always do, as you know.
The wrapper was a soft milk chocolate brown and I imagined either heavy spice or smoother, supple flavors when I did my pre-light draw. Cigar, coffee, slight raisin notes as expected.
Upon lighting up, the cigar’s draw was good, producing a plethora of off gray smoke. (It was dark in the bar!)
Notes are floral and medium, along with a good dose of cedar. Over the length of the cigar, mild black pepper joined a classic earthiness. When I say classic, I mean it’s very distinct, as this cigar was.
The draw remained solid and the burn line even. Value for your buck? Solid.
The Holiday Keg – The theme stemmed from Quesada’s mastery of cigars blended to pair perfectly with popular beer styles with the introduction of the Quesada Oktoberfest in 2011. In 2015, Quesada moved from Märzen-style beers to Irish Stouts, unleashing a dark, Nicaraguan blend packaged in miniature, wooden kegs.
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I’d grabbed a five pack from Cigarplace.biz and decided to take a few to Highland Cigar Company. The cigar’s size is an easy 6X50. Firm feel in the hand, medium brown wrapper with little to no veins and a pleasant, yet pungent cool draw greet the smoker.
The first bit I’d noticed about the cigar was the stronger profile. Yes, it was definitely something I’d pair with a stout but it didn’t hold on with an overpowering flavor profile which would normally drown out a beer or be drowned out by one.
Naturally I chose whiskey…High West American Prairie to be exact. (Thanks Clifton)
It worked out actually because the cigar’s taste had lots of cocoa and spice, along with copious amounts of smoke. It remained consistent the entire hour and ten that it took me to smoke it. Definitely medium in body, it was quite tasty with an equally pleasing medium finish.
This is definitely another hit for Quesada that has me anxious for what they’ll come up with for 2017!
As we get further into the year and start digging in at newer releases, I find myself wanting to expand my regular rotation.
The LFD Reserva Especial was different from the start.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
Filler: Dominican Republic (Estancia La Flor de Palma)
The Gran Robusto is 5 1/2X60.
I know I’m a bit late to the party but taking this blog more seriously means rerouting energy previously unspent. I’m glad for it.
The usual plum notes from a cold draw are interesting in that pepper is present as well. Rich earth also.
This cigar starts off with much more mellow spice and flavor than most LFDs I’ve smoked. Not weaker, just less. The leathery pepper taste is present, along with softer, almost rosado-like flavors of cotton candy.
Light mocha flavors join the leather and spice but all flavors are softer than normal.
At first glance, this dark cigar looks like it’s going to be a powerhouse. The band has a very old world Cuban feel to it in design and because it matches well with the darkness of the leaf, it makes it harder to see.
But for a cigar with such a hefty price tag ($2,500 per cigar), I have my suspicions. Yet, the website (Yamantaka Global) says the cigar is the same vintage tobacco as the 1950s Cubans. It’s obvious that this cigar is also rolled entubado like everything else ACC does. What that means is that the cigars are rolled in a tube-like fashion, and require a higher skill level of roller, else the attrition rate of production becomes really high since older tobacco is more susceptible to damage.
I’ve smoked enough ACC cigars to know the quality behind them has always been top notch, but this is hands down, the most expensive cigar on the market, and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever smoked to date.
Cutting the cigar and doing a pre-light draw reveal really smooth flavors that are a little hard for me to identify, and I’m drinking water with this cigar. Upon lighting, the cigar has a smooth taste, with mellow notes of sherry and oak, as one would expect, from a cigar with this name. (Reminds me of the style used by Drew Estate to make their barrel aged cigars.)
The cigar has a beautiful draw, sending a plethora of almost sweet, white/gray smoke into the air. That trademark ACC scent isn’t present on this cigar though, but that’s okay. The feel of the cigar in my fingers suggests plenty of tobacco in the blend and at first puff, one would think, would have a tight draw. But no, the draw is excellent as I mentioned earlier.
Medium bodied, but full flavored, the oak becomes soft vanilla notes across the palate. If I searched hard enough, I tasted the lightness of sherry, making me wonder what style of sherry they used for the casks.
Solid cigar all the way through though. And a great start to me getting into higher premium cigars!
Raices Cubanas 1941 starts with a medium-brown Honduran wrapper that’s glistening with oils. A careful blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers lies just beneath, encased in a Nicaraguan binder.
The review: This is the 6X60 size and normally I shy away from that large a ring gauge (with the exception of Padron) but this cigar definitely didn’t disappoint.
Pre-light draw is very raisiny. The initial puffs are nutty and semi-sweet Black pepper features prominently up front once the cigar gets going. A good amount of smoke plumes from the foot.
The cigar has a very easy draw for being packed so full of tobaccos. The burn line started off uneven but I chalk that up to my lighting technique, and a touch up fixed that.
Flavors at the second third include cocoa spice and red pepper. The cigar becomes mellow at this point while maintaining softer flavors wth hints of wood and black pepper. By now I’m really enjoying the complexity of the cigar.
The final third of the cigar is where it gets interesting. First, we had that red pepper bit, then black pepper, and finally? Vanilla Coffee Bean! YES! ha!
This is definitely a medium to full bodied smoke though.