RIP Carlos Fuente. As you probably know, one of the founding fathers of the cigar business passed away in August. He left behind a collection of some of the most popular, loved brands in the business today. Jose Padron, another one of the patriarchs of the cigar business recently turned 90. This month’s blog will feature an up and comer that perhaps we will look back on someday and find that he has left his own mark on our beloved cigar business.
A.J. Fernandez is another story of a man that simply loves the business. I will leave it to you to read his resume, but after making his mark by creating cigars for the internet cigar companies, decided to start making a line carrying his own name. This month I will talk about the newly released Bellas Artes by AJ Fernandez.
Sometimes a guy just wants a good cigar. Not too strong, not too mild. A cigar that smells good and tastes good. The Bellas Artes is a cigar that qualifies for all of the above. I was sitting in the lounge at lunch when our rep handed one to me for the first time. I don’t usually like a heavy cigar that early in the day, so wasn’t sure what I was about to encounter. The wrapper sported a rich deep tan oily smooth wrapper that just looked like it was going to be good. I remember him telling me that I needed to be prepared for a special experience. He was right.
After straight cutting this box pressed beauty, toasting the foot, and lighting it, I took my first draw. Right away I could taste a creamy, buttery flavor. It stayed that way through the first 1/3 of the cigar. After that, I noticed some other flavors kicking in….some cinnamon, cedar, and a really unique flavor that I learned later was orange peel. AJ likes to mess around with wrappers and fillers to obtain unique flavors, and the smooth rich Rojita wrapper gives this cigar a wonderful flavor to go with the mix of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Brazilian tobaccos that make up the filler. As I made my way through the last 2/3 of the cigar, I picked up a little bit of a peppery taste, which other than that, the flavor remained the same through the finish. The draw was easy and it burned in a straight line like any great cigar. I smoked a Robusto and was disappointed when it came to conclusion. It comes in a Robusto, Short Churchill, Toro and Gordo. This cigar compliments the fuller flavored cigars offered by A.J. Fernandez and is perfect for an all around stick. The “New World” was a highly acclaimed and rated cigar, so don’t be surprised to see this stick come in with high ratings as well. If you are not in the AJ Fernandez fan club, you will be soon!
We will be hosting an event November 6th at our Smoking Hot Cigars lounge, so be sure to mark your calendar for that. Until then, keep