Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro ScherzoCigar Info

This year at the IPCPR , Boutique Blends showed off it’s latest Small Batch Blend, | Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo . Pelo de Oro is a difficult, temperamental tobacco to grow. It’s susceptible to disease, the yields are low and most farmers want nothing to do with it—but A.J. Fernandez isn’t most farmers. Translated to “golden hair” in Spanish, Pelo de Oro was once a popular tobacco in Cuba, but was eventually phased out on account of its susceptibility to the blue mold disease. The seeds have since migrated out of Cuba, and the tobacco is occasionally grown in small amounts.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro ScherzoThe Small Batch Pelo de Oro, a new limited release that is being made by Abdel Fernandez at his Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. in Estelí. In addition, Fernandez is also supplying the central tobacco in the new blend.

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro ScherzoThe Small Batch Pelo de Oro consists of a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan Pelo de Oro filler. It comes packaged in 10-count boxes and will be offered in only one size: Scherzo, which measures 5 1/2 inches by 55 ring gauge. It’s rolled with a Cuban-style triple cap and pigtail head.

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro ScherzoThe Scherzo, which is set to retail for $13.90, continues on Nodal’s recurring theme of musically-named cigars within the portfolio. It measures 5 1/2 x 55. In musical terms, a scherzo is a faster, light-hearted, playful movement found within a larger symphony. The Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo is the first cigar that A.J. Fernandez has made for Boutique Blends. Like all Small Batch brands, it will be made in limited quantities and eventually retired once the main tobacco is gone.

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro ScherzoVital Stats:

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5.5″
Ring Gauge: 55
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan Pelo de Oro
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
Number of reviewers: 4 (A Huge Nerd) () (Bushboy) Barry (Barry2Guys)
Price: $13.90
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro ScherzoInitial Impressions

Appearance: 91

“This is a really beautiful cigar. I don’t measure the review sticks, but this looks like about a 5 1/2×54 stick. The wrapper is beautiful and rich, with a deep dark chocolate color. The seams are hidden so well, I have to really look closely to find them. There is a noticeable sandy tooth, but not much of an oil sheen on the surface. It is evenly packed and feels heavy for the size. The rounded cap is nicely formed into a sharp point.” – (A Huge Nerd)

Aroma: 88

“For the most part, the pre-light aromas are subtle and a bit muted. Some cedar and sweet tobacco on the outer wrapper with some cocoa and pepper at the foot. The cold draw is a bit tight, with flavors of molasses and white pepper.” – (A Huge Nerd)

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo

Blind Cigar Review: | Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo

First Third

Flavor: 92
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Notes of black pepper especially on the retrohale are joined by notes of leather, coffee and nuts. The coffee and nuts are the focal point along with a slightly floral component on the finish. The retrohale is important on this cigar as it adds to the complexity of the smoke.” –Barry (Barry2Guys)

“Started off with a kick of pepper mid palate that dissipated quickly. As the flavors settled in I tasted a mix of bread and toasted nuts with a coffee finish. Flavors work together well so far. Burn has been sharp and ash held on for just under an inch before falling off in a chunk that held form in the ash tray.” – (Bushboy)

Second Third

Blind Cigar Review: Aging Room | Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo

Blind Cigar Review: | Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The ash is holding wonderfully and is a very light color. There isn’t as much tooth evident in the ash as the wrapper seemed to have indicated. Vanilla flavors are continuing and picking up along with the bakers spice spiciness. The strength has also diminished considerable. What seemed to be a great big powerhouse of a smoke has settled into a nice bundle of well behaved goodness. Tapped the ash around the mid point as it seemed likely to end up in my lap. No further issues with the wrapper, holding well at the point where it separated. Toward the end of the second third the vanilla notes are hardening a bit, there’s less sweetness and a trend toward more of a liquorice flavor.” – ()

“The second third sees the development of some bakers spices like nutmeg and cinnamon with a touch of clove. The coffee and nuts remain from the first third, but the cigar is much more complex at this point. Through the nose there are hints of mocha with continued black pepper.” –Barry (Barry2Guys)

Final Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“This final third really started to sing. Some of the dryness is subsiding, and a deep cocoa and espresso note takes over. Hints of the charred wood and molasses are still there, but more in the background. The retrohale smooths out with less pepper and more cedar and earth.” – (A Huge Nerd)

“The cigar keeps getting better the more I smoke it, notes of cinnamon, coffee, cedar and nuts are all working together in unison. There is continued pepper on the nose, but its more of a white pepper at this time. The finish is rich and flavorful.” –Barry (Barry2Guys)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 96

“Never had a problem. Quality of construction is obvious. From prelight draw to nub, air flow was perfect.” – (Bushboy)

Burn: 93

“The burn line was great throughout the smoke. Bright white and solid ash the whole way, too. I never needed a touchup or any relights.” – (A Huge Nerd)

Construction: 96

“From initial inspection to last puff, never doubted the quality and construction of this cigar. No problems with the draw, burn or smoke output. Very nice.” – (Bushboy)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 91

“I was pleased with this cigar overall. Although I usually don’t love profiles that are earthy in nature, this one surprised me. It had just enough sweetness to keep me happy. The flavors had some nice transitions, and the cigar was made with care and performed beautifully.” – (A Huge Nerd)

“Interesting smoke, maintained my attention throughout.” – ()

“Overall this cigar was very nice and I would definitely smoke again. If I had to put a cap on what I would spend, it would be in the $9 range. I would have preferred a touch more flavor drama, however the construction, burn and experience was extremely enjoyable. From my herfing experience with larger ring gauges, if you enjoy the first few puffs… you will probably enjoy the last few. The fillers tend to take center stage and compete with the flavors provided by the wrapper. In this offering, all the tobaccos worked together well and it was appreciated. Aroma was inviting and thrilled the senses thoroughly, and was one of the highlights of the smoke. The pig tail cap added the character that I look for in premium smokes.” – (Bushboy)

“A truly flavorful cigar that delivers. I want to buy a box as soon as I find out what this cigar was.” –Barry (Barry2Guys)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 82

  • Appearance 91% 91%
  • Aroma 88% 88%
  • First Third 92% 92%
  • Second Third 88% 88%
  • Final Third 88% 88%
  • Draw 96% 96%
  • Burn 93% 93%
  • Construction 96% 96%
  • Overall Experience 91% 91%

Total Score - Great



To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: | Small Batch Pelo de Oro Scherzo