Blind Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez | Bellas Artes Short Churchill

Cigar Info

| was a new line at last year’s’ IPCPR trade show. The cigar features a hybrid wrapper Abdel Fernandez has named rojita, a cross between: Connecticut 8212, corojo 99 and Havana 2000. This wrapper covers a Nicaraguan Havana 92 binder and a mixture of Brazilian, Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers.

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.

The come in at a slightly higher price point than recent previous releases. The name translates directly to Fine Arts, which is appropriate looking at the wrapper and band.

Guest Panelist

William Cooper

We welcome William Cooper of Will Cooper is best known for founding Cigar Coop – the cigar industry’s leading daily online news and review site. In August 2013, the partnership of Stogie Geeks and Cigar Coop was announced and Will can be heard each week on Stogie Geeks. Will serves as a Cigar Rights of America Ambassador for the State of North Carolina. He has also been a contributing writer to The Cigar Lounger magazine and was one of the founders of the Cigar Media Association.

Will was born in Brooklyn, NY and after some stops in Orange County, New York and New Jersey, Will and his family now call the Charlotte, North Carolina area home. Will loves cigars and always welcomes the opportunity to enjoy one – especially in the friendly confines of a cigar lounge. His goal is to smoke a cigar in each of the 50 states in the U.S.A.

Blind Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez | Bellas Artes Short ChurchillVital Stats:

Vitola: Corona Gorda
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 48
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Rojita (Connecticut 8212, corojo 99 and Havana 2000 Hybrid)
Binder: Nicaraguan Havana 92
Filler: Brazilian, Honduran and Nicaraguan
Factory: Tabacalera
Number of reviewers: 4 Matt C. (Big Matt) Stefan (Stefan) Kyle (kaleehb) Coop (Cigar_Coop)
Price: $7.00
Age: 7 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: AJ Fernanez Cigars

Blind Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez | Bellas Artes Short ChurchillInitial Impressions

Appearance: 91

“Light brown wrapper with visible seams coats this corona size cigar. Cap is well applied and upon inspection of the foot, cigar seems to be a little under-filled. Cigar has a slight box press to it and no soft spots were detected upon inspection.” –Kyle (kaleehb)

Aroma: 91

“Notes of leather and wood chips with hints of bourbon.” –Stefan (Stefan)

First Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“I barely nick the cap of this premium cigar offering and I have been rewarded with a great draw. Winning. Exhale is cream, espresso, cinnamon, nutmeg and natural tobacco sweetness; pepper keeps jumping back and forth from whole peppercorn and white pepper. Construction is impressing me thus far.. Strength is medium but the body is medium-full. Right off the damn bat, first puff is straight flavor county.. Retro is cream and raw sugar cane. Smoke output copious, finish is about as clean as it gets.. a little spice remains on the palate but is never a nuisance. ” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

“Excellent natural tobacco sweetness to start. I particularly liked how the sweetness was not overpowering. There are also some nice baker’s spice and white pepper in the background.” –Coop (Cigar_Coop)

Second Third

Flavor: 92
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“I am really digging this cigar. This cigar has fantastic mouthfeel and is full of body, but at the same time strength is medium and finish is clean making it a damn cinch to derive flavors from. Excellent cigar. Sweetness builds in the second third but never is generic. We have cream, natural tobacco, cane sugar, mild varying doses of pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg on the exhale. Retro is heavy sweet cream. Smoke output remains copious. ” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

“The second third still has a nice natural tobacco quality. It is slightly less sweet than the first third. I also picked up some additional pepper on the tongue.” –Coop (Cigar_Coop)

Final Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The dark cocoa notes become even more concentrated during the last third, while still being light on their feet. Nicotine finally becomes perceptible as well.” –Stefan (Stefan)

“Cigar regained some life in the final third but remained light to medium bodied. The creaminess I originally experienced returned and was accompanied by a light caramel taste. Aroma was pleasant and lingered throughout the room.” –Kyle (kaleehb)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 91

“The draw was a little open, but it didn’t effect the burn rate and combustion. Overall, an easy cigar to derive flavors from.” –Coop (Cigar_Coop)

Burn: 92

“This cigar only needed an occasional touch-up. This was a low maintenance burn from start to finish.” –Coop (Cigar_Coop)

Construction: 91

“Great construction, bravo to the highly-skilled torecedor.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

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

“This was an excellent cigar start to finish. I am not usually into sweet cigars, but this one is special. The exhale is full of flavor and easy to derive flavor from. Medium strength that builds, and a cigar that starts out not messing around with the medium-full bodied profile. I dug the cream, natural tobacco sweetness, various peppers, raw cane sugar, espresso, nutmeg and cinnamon. This cigar was very AGANORSA-esque. I would recommend this cigar to anyone who enjoys premium cigar offerings from the novice to the seasoned cigar smoker. The blender knew what he/she was looking for.. and just straight damn nailed it. Bravo.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

“A smooth, easy-smoking stogie that can be had any time of the day. This is not a cigar that will keep the smoker’s attention through overt shifting of flavors, but, rather, a stogie which, in its understatement, might just lead one to experiencing an appreciation for the eventless passing of an hour.” –Stefan (Stefan)

“This was a good cigar but not something I would look to purchase in the future. I tend to enjoy more full bodied cigars and this was just too light for my liking. This stick may be entirely appropriate for someone just entering the hobby or a stick to share with a friend who wants to join you for a smoke but does not have the palate to handle something bold.” –Kyle (kaleehb)

“This cigar was a steady performer. It wasn’t flashy about the flavors delivered, but the ones delivered were excellent. This cigar maintained a nice balance of sweetness and spice. The finish was a little longer than I prefer, but otherwise I’d smoke this cigar again.” –Coop (Cigar_Coop)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 80

  • Appearance 91% 91%
  • Aroma 91% 91%
  • First Third 91% 91%
  • Second Third 92% 92%
  • Final Third 90% 90%
  • Draw 91% 91%
  • Burn 92% 92%
  • Construction 91% 91%
  • Overall Experience 91% 91%

Total Score - Very Good


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To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

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