Cigar Review: San Lotano Maduro by AJ Fernandez

Size: 5×52, Robusto (Box press)

Wrapper: Mexican

Binder: Honduran & Dominican

Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduran

Strength: Medium/Full

Price: $6-8

Grade: 9.0

A.J. Fernandez is the third generation tobacco blender in his family. Successfully producing cigars for a number of other makers (Diesel, Man O’ War, Padilla Habano), A.J. has created a cigar for himself that will be distributed by Cigar Express in the U.S. San Lotano originated in Cuba with A.J.’s grandfather but has not been produced in decades. San Lotano is made in Fernandez’s Esteli, Nicaragua factory, which produces 9 million cigars per year. The cigar comes in four sizes with a choice of three wrappers – a Connecticut, Habano, and Maduro. The San Latano line debuted officially at this year’s IPCPR. You can read the official press release for the new line here.

Today we review the box pressed maduro San Lotano. I have enjoyed many of A.J.’s blends and I look forward to toasting the foot on this long awaited release.

Pre-light, 1.8:
The fist thing that really catches my eye on this smoke is the dark wrapper and the great texture. The maduro wrapper is fairly rough and there is not a vein to found in the box pressed beauty. The cigar is well packed with no soft spots and has an excellent weight in the palm of my hand.  The pre-light aroma is of tobacco with a hint of sweetness at the foot. The cold draw produces notes of barnyard and spice. Lastly, the double band is a nice touch and the heavy textured paper really stands out.

Burn, 1.8:
Cut, toasted, and lit the draw is good on the San Lotano and produces plenty of smoke. The draw is perfect on this box pressed robusto and really makes this cigar an enjoyable experience. The ash holds well and is consistent in color throughout the smoke. The smoke temperature is steady and is pleasant on the palate.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first puff on the offering by A.J. Fernandez produces a nice spicy tobacco with a creamy and long finish. Moving into the first third the tobacco is somewhat earthy, but still retains the creamy, well balanced profile that I picked up on the first puff. There is a nice spice coming through as well with just a hint of coffee at times. The second third does not move a lot from the first third but I do pick up some sweetness on the finish. The cigar is still well balanced and creamy on the finish, which I really enjoy. The last third found an increase in the spice department, tons of it actually. I like it a lot, really good and a nice way to finish a very robust smoke.

Overall, 2.7:
This smoke is a winner for me. I really enjoy a flavorful smoke and this one hit that description on the nose. The price point makes it very accessible for smokers looking for a consistent full flavored stick. I will be curious how this cigar ages in the humidor as it was pretty complex out of the box. A.J. has not disappointed with his new blend and I look forward to reviewing the other two blends in the very near future.

(Total: 9.0)