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)


  1. Bert Atlansky

    Have just discovered the San Lotano. After years of searching for the best tasting cigar I finally found it in the San Lotano……..

  2. i have a cigar shop in west hollywood . iwant to cary this cigar i want to know nearest distribitr in california call me at 310 854-3488

  3. Stephen Thomas

    I happen to be staying at a hotel here in San Antonio and was going down to have my nightly smoke when I ran into a distributer of these fine Cigars, I had my Rocky ready to go when the gentelman asked if I’d like to try this new Cigar. I’m always open to trying a new brand and can honestly say I was pleasently surprised and have added this fine Cigrar to my favorite list!

  4. Jaan M

    Upon smoking my first San Lotano, it was apparent it would become a favorite and it has been ever since. From the solid feel and coarse , dark wrapper with an earthy, spicy aroma to the rich smoke. The burn is even and the taste is consistent through the end.. One cigar that can be smoked right to the end.. and I don’t say that about many .. or any others! Not your typical ‘ladies’ cigar like a couple men have pointed out to me but really now… why would a lady want to smoke a tiny little cigar anyway!?

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