Top AJ Fernandez Cigars
AJ has become one of the most prolific blenders in the cigar industry. His reputation as one of the best in the business goes beyond just the work on his own brands, but also to the countless collaborations he has been apart of. This Top 5 is dedicated to, what I believe, are the five best cigars blended by AJ Fernandez. Don’t forget, there is a limited edition sampler available here.
AJ Fernandez Last Call Falquitas
This cigar was actually created for the exact purpose of watching football. When AJ would have friends over his house to watch football, he created a blend to enjoy for the last quarter and appropriately named it the Last Call. It is available in two different wrapper options: a rich broadleaf and a zesty and flavorful Ecuadorian Habano Rosado.
Although I’m known as a broadleaf guy, there is something special about this Rosado wrapper. It is flawless, flavorful and incredibly smooth.
Foundation Highclere Castle Victorian Toro
The Highclere Castle, named for the legendary castle from Downton Abby, was the big release from Foundation two years ago and he is following it up with a stronger, spicier offering. The original release, now known as the Edwardian, was known for its smooth aroma and mellow creamy profile. The Highclere Castle Victorian takes everything up a notch.
While the cigar still uses the same Brazilian Mata fina binder, but the cigar is now cloaked in a stunning reddish Ecuadorian Habano wrapper for a touch of rich spice. If you were a fan of the original Highclere, but are looking for a little more pop, the Victorian is the one for you!
AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes Maduro
The Belles Artes Maduro is a bold and rich cigar with all of the finest qualities we have come to expect from an AJ cigar. It is complex and flavorful, with its Nicaraguan filler giving it wonderful notes of pepper and sweet spice. Its Mexican binder adds in some chocolate notes as well as some zest, while its bold Brazilian wrapper finishes it with powerful notes of coffee, earth, leather, and black pepper.
If you were looking for a bold version of the original Belles Artes, your wait is now over. This cigar shows that AJ is just as committed to his name brands as he is to his collaborations and this fine new smoke shows that his skills are developing with each passing day.
Southern Draw Jacob's Ladder Brimstone
For full-bodied smokers, the most anticipated cigar of this year is the new Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder Brimstone. This cigar actually scares me and I love a strong, full smoke. It is not just the blend of tobaccos but also the name and the story behind it that makes it intimidating yet intriguing.
Like its predecessor, the Jacobs Ladder Brimstone was handmade in Nicaragua under the guidance of AJ Fernandez. White the Jacobs Ladder was considered strong, the Brimstone is next level. It uses a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, an American broadleaf binder, and three Ligero tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for its filler. It is incredibly bold, rich and flavorful but it is not a cigar to be taken lightly.
H. Upmann 175 Anniversary Churchill
To celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the brand, AUSA decided to work with A.J. Fernandez to create a special, limited-release blend. What I thought was going to be yet another solid cigar turned out to be exquisite in every way you can think. From just opening the box you can tell there is something different about this cigar.
It is a Nicaraguan puro that only uses Medio Tiempo leaves. These are the highest leaves on the plant and the hardest to come by. Add three years of age on them and you get a brilliant, nuanced blend that balances both flavor and intensity. Notes of cream and caramel are combined with a zesty oak flavor before finishing off with an earthy sweetness of which I have never tasted before. The cigar was named to several top lists, including the Cigar Aficionado Top 25, the Halfwheel Consensus, and the JR Cigar Top 25 Cigars of the Year.