Cigar Review: A Fernandez Signature Series

 Cigar Review: A Fernandez Signature SeriesSize: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan Ligero

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 20, $95.95

Grade: 9.1

We detailed the impressive resume of AJ Fernandez a while back on our review of his Diesel (here). The short of it is that he has risen to incredible notoriety in the cigar industry, blending for some of the top dogs, and releasing his own blends to critical acclaim. Today we are reviewing the A Fernandez Signature Series, which is the first cigar released under his name.

This blend comes from his impressive Esteli, Nicaragua factory, where he oversees all of the production. The Signature Series is also available with a Maduro wrapper, which also features Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, though modified slightly to complement the sweeter wrapper.

Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.7:
The Signature Series was an elegant looking smoke with a nice, simple band. The toothy wrapper had the texture of fine sandpaper and it seemed to be well constructed with no soft spots. The cigar had a good weight with a well constructed cap. The pre-light aroma was of tobacco and leather with a hint of spice at the foot. The cold draw sent a blast of spice through the nose with some cedar notes on the finish.

Burn, 1.7:
Toasted and lit, this cigar produced tons of smoke with a draw that was somewhat loose – I enjoyed this characteristic, as the temperature of the smoke was still very pleasing. The ash was white but did not hold well until I got into the second third; at that point it held on longer but did flower a bit. The cigar consistently produced mouthfuls of smoke and the draw remained consistent from start to finish. The robusto did not require any touch ups or re-lights.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first third of the A. Fernandez was of ligero tobacco, some leather, and spice on the medium finish. About three fourths of an inch into the smoke, the spice became a bit richer or deeper in profile. The second third produced a noticeable increase in spice, with continued notes of rich tobacco, which provided a solid finish. I also picked up a note or two of sweetness at this point that I would classify in the caramel category. The final third saw another increase in spice and it became more evident with a deeper draw on the cigar.

Overall, 2.9:
The value of this smoke was outstanding in my opinion. The flavor profile was pleasing and complex and the construction was top notch as well. The strength for me was a solid medium but it could lean toward full. Coming in at around five bucks a stick, this cigar was worthy of a box purchase and will provide a lot of smoking pleasure as we are rounding the corner into warmer weather.

(Total: 9.1)

Question of the Day: Did you adjust your smoking habits for the winter? Frequency, smoke size, etc…

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6 comments

  1. Tony

    Nice review, I may have to pick up a sampler in the near future.

    My smoking habits don’t change in the winter due to mild winters here in Florida and a nice cigar lounge close by when it does get a bit too chilly. I probably smoke less during the summer do to the sweltering heat but then again, I can just head over to the lounge where it is always comfortable.

  2. nice review. I’ve got to get my hands on one of these.

    Dan

  3. The price point is awesome on these. I had a maduro, and need to buy a box. I smoked the maduro.

    I tend to smoke a bit more than normal, until it gets really hot here…

  4. Jason

    This will be my first summer to smoke so I have no comparison yet!

  5. Anthony

    Thanks for the review! I tried an AJF Signature Salomon on the way home from work last night. The Salomon is HUGE (7.1 x 58), and I didn’t come anywhere close to finishing it, though I plan to. I noticed what I would describe as “splotches” of oil on the wrapper rather than a consistent sheen throughout. Construction and draw were both very nice.

    I found the smoke to be quite dense with a very long finish. There was a spice to it that I could not at first identify but later decided was very similar to clove. As the smoke went along the first third I noticed a little pepper, but the flavor was predominantly the above mentioned spice.

    I also noticed that although the cigar was medium in body, the strength was right up there. I definitely detected a nicotine buzz. This could have been partly due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten much before sparking up and also the size of the smoke and unbelievable amount of smoke it produced.

    I look forward to finishing this stick and the four other AJs resting in my humidor.

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