|Shapes||Gordo, Robusto, Toro|
Most fans of premium cigars know about AJ Fernandez. The Cuban expatriate makes some of the hottest cigars in recent history - Man O' War, Ave Maria, New World, Enclave, among many others. But what is less known is his skill in creating new strains of tobacco, and one of his latest triumphs in breeding new leaf is prominently featured in his latest release - AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes .
The name means "fine arts" in Spanish, and the name is quite appropriate. The long-filler blend is quite complex, using tobaccos from Nicaragua's three main growing regions, plus some Honduran and Brazilian leaf as well. The binder is Havana '92, grown in Quilali, a Nicaraguan region which has been growing tobacco for well over a hundred years. Finally, the crowning touch is a hybrid of Connecticut Shade, Corojo '99 and Havana 2000, which AJ calls Rojita.
These beauties are medium to full-bodied and box-pressed Cuban-style. The medium reddish-brown Rojita wrapper is virtually seamless. Tasting notes show cedar, roasted nuts, red and black pepper and a hint of licorice, with an overall buttery/creamy character. AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes shows the full mastery of tobacco growing and construction of one of P&C's favorite blenders.