AJ Fernandez is a frequent collaborator of Altadis U.S.A. and their latest project together falls under the H. Upmann brand, a Cuban cigar brand historically, but with the American trademark belonging to Altadis U.S.A. The first cigar under the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez banner was released in 2017. It was later followed in 2019 by a limited edition called Finca La Lilia 2009, and also had a few other sizes added over the years. The original used a Sumatra wrapper while this new blend, H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage, uses a Brazilian Mata Fina triple fermented wrapper, Habano Nicaraguan binder, and 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filler from AJ’s farms.
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. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
This new Heritage version debuted at TPE this year and is offered in 5 sizes: Corona 44 x 5 1/2 $9.75, Robusto 52 x 5 $9.99, Toro 54 x 6 $10.35, Torpedo 52 x 6 1/8 $10.50, and Churchill 54 x 7 $10.75.
Vitola: Toro Length: 6″ Ring Gauge: 54 Country of Origin: Nicaragua Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Nicaragua Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. Blender: AJ Fernandez Number of reviewers: 4 – Jason H.(Jokey Smurf) Alan(Eulogy) Mickey T.(irratebass) Doug S.(Unpossible_1) Price: $10.35 Age: 8 Months Release Date: January 2022 Contributed by: Altadis U.S.A.
Initial Impressions – H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro
“Very dark almost black wrapper that has an oily sheen to it. Very smooth to the touch with minimal seams and veins.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“The wrapper aroma is bold and sweet compost while the foot is significantly more subtle with a creamy sweet note reminiscent of corn.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
Flavor: 92 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“There is quite a bit of black pepper and spice which is making the strength a medium plus at the moment. There are some floral elements on the retro which is a nice change of pace. The spice and black pepper really lingers on my tongue.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“The profile has a very dry mouthfeel. Tastes great but keeps a drink close with a heavy mineral profile on the draw and retrohale. Rich notes of cedar, baking spice, mild red pepper, and tobacco develop after the powdery mineral starts to fade.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“The middle portion has the flavors shifting and becoming more bold than before. The creamy finish is gone, and the espresso has become much more prominent. I’m also getting a significant peat flavor that makes me wish I had a couple of fingers of scotch to sip on while smoking. Through the nose, the experience has not changed and the red pepper is nice!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“This full-bodied beauty is still riding high on espresso, but there’s some chocolate sweetness coming to play now.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Flavor: 93 Strength: Medium-Strong Body/Complexity: Medium
“The final portion has backed off a bit on power and the peat flavor has faded entirely. I’m left with the primary flavor being espresso with a slightly salted caramel finish, which is pretty cool. Through the nose, the smoke is sharper now and I’ve limited myself in retrohaling every other puff to save my sinuses.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The profile is the same as the last third but the strength has picked up a lot. Rich notes of cedar, baking spice, leather, red pepper, and tobacco are the same as the beginning but have changed intensity.” –Alan (Eulogy)
Overall Impressions – H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro
“No issues with the draw. I used my new cutter The Baller and the draw was great!” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“A little wavy but I never needed to do any touch-ups or relights. Nothing to complain about.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“I was really happy with the overall performance of this cigar. The ash was very strong and held on beyond the halfway point before falling off on its own. After this, I tapped the ash off one time and the remainder held until the cigar was laid to rest.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“This was a cigar of interesting finishes. From the onset, the primary flavor was espresso, and remained so throughout. What changed was the nature of the finishing flavors and the accompanying strength. Initially creamy, the finish transitioned to peat and finally to salted caramel. I thoroughly enjoyed the transitions and I think most smokers would as well. I would gladly smoke this again!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“It is a good cigar that packs a nice punch at the end with a solid flavor profile. While I enjoyed it I’m not sure it is something that I would run out and buy more of. A solid but somewhat forgettable experience.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“This cigar was not for me. It was a pepper bomb from start to finish. Lots of black pepper and spices. The only saving grace for me were the floral notes I got on the retro. If you’re looking for a strong cigar to slap you around for a couple of hours seek this one out.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“I had a feeling about this one when I first started. Dark and mysterious looking, but the cigar’s profile was definitely no mystery. Monstrous notes of espresso, red pepper and chocolate devastated my senses. This was a cigar that made no bones about what it had to offer.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
"This was a cigar of interesting finishes. From the onset, the primary flavor was espresso, and remained so throughout. What changed was the nature of the finishing flavors and the accompanying strength. Initially creamy, the finish transitioned to peat and finally to salted caramel. I thoroughly enjoyed the transitions and I think most smokers would as well. I would gladly smoke this again!" -Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)