Cigar Review: H. Upmann AJ Fernandez

  • Cigar Reviewed: H Upmann AJ Fernandez
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic?
  • Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez (Nicaragua)
  • Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
  • Binder: Corojo ‘99
  • Filler: Criollo ’98 / Piloto Cubano
  • Length: 6”
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro

I have heard much talk about the new AJ Fernandez blend by H. Upmann and that AJ Fernandez can do no wrong in general. From my limited experiences thus far and based mostly on the this H. Upmann blend, I am obliged to agree. The label is what first stood out for me. It’s a pleasant blue and cream color with gold highlights. The wrapper is not toothy nor oily, the color is soft brown like suede shoes. I cannot readily see any veins and the seams are tight. It is uniformly packed to my feel.

It smells of chocolate, sweet cream, and vanilla. It easily lights evenly and the draw is spot on. It opens with ample smokiness. The first third is a rush of flavors: milk chocolate, creaminess, nuts, and malt. As it develops there’s an earthiness to it, sweet, with a background of black pepper notes. Yet it retains a medium bodied feel to it. The burn is sharp and even. I am greatly pleased by my experience so far.

The second third, the ash has not yet dropped, even for me, who notoriously cannot smoke without getting ash all over herself. It settles into an incredibly smooth experience. The creaminess becomes distinctly buttery. There’s a tanginess almost to it though, which is perplexing yet pleasing. This morphs into an almost cherry flavor, like pie almost. However, the buttery delightfulness never leaves the stick.

Earthiness dominates the final third. The creaminess turns into caramel and savory flavors, a touch of spice. There’s an end note of charred wood and cedar and pepper. Yet, it somehow retains all its smoothness from the first two thirds of the cigar. The decadent chocolate flavors return, with notes coffee and a glimpse of vanilla.

All in all, I would say that this is one of the most delightful cigars I have smoked since discovering Opus X. I would recommend buying these by the box and using them for every day smokes with a cup of coffee, introducing your friend to cigars, or for special occasions. In face, I can’t imagine a time or place where these would be inappropriate. I think I can easily say that I love this cigar and highly recommend it.

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