Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Size: Churchill (7 x 52)
Price: $6.00-$7.00 Thanks to my good friend, Elissa, at www.charmedleaf.com
A.J. Fernandez’s San Lotano line of cigars was introduced in its pre-release form at the 2009 IPCPR trade show.
This is a great looking smoke.
The Brazilian wrapper is a dark tan and looks very much like a maduro. The stick I selected for this review has a couple of significant veins running the length of the cigar. But it is a very solid stick. Just a touch of give and consistent with no hard or soft spots…..and a nice oily sheen
I sniff the wrapper and at first, I smell barnyard and earth. But at the foot, it is all chocolate.
This is a giant stick. It will take some time to nub it. So I imagine the flavor profile will be divided in fifths rather than thirds. But who knows?
I light up and it starts with rich buttery creaminess, sweet cashews and spice.
The burn line is perfect at the moment.
Barely into the stick, the flavor profile expands. The sweetness becomes more of a caramel. Very decadent.
An inch in, there is coffee bean, pronounced chocolate, spice and a manly meatiness to it. Very rich and full flavored. The flavors are tiny nuances that compliment each other well. No flavor overwhelms the others.
I’m not a big ring gauge lover. I find the 60 gauge very annoying as I like to chew on my cigar. The 60 makes me feel like I’m at the dentist with one of those rubber things in my mouth to keep it open. This 52 is about my limit. And with its 7” length, is a very heavy object to hang out of your open maw.
I stop writing to enjoy the cigar and let it get to its second third.
During that second third, the creaminess stands out. The cocoa and coffee gets pulled in by the creaminess. It is lip smacking buttery.
Like I said, this is a big fucker. Smoke time is a solid 2 hours.
The final third intensifies. The body ramps up to full. The spicy pepper appears in strength. The creaminess and chocolate turn it into a candy bar.
Fernandez makes 3 versions of this cigar….the Connecticut, the Maduro and the Habano. The Maduro is my favorite. But the Habano is a close second.
I highly recommend this line of cigars. And the price point is excellent for the quality.
And now for something completely different:
As a young man, I played in a band called Homegrown. Very appropriate for the 1960’s and early 1970’s. We were a great 5 piece. Our lead singer could mimic anyone and we were known for our ability to do Led Zeppelin dead nuts.
So we found ourselves playing at all the military bases all over Southern California. It annoyed the bookers that we were so popular because we were in great demand. They wanted to book bands that could play “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” instead of us. We were considered raunchy.
Most of the bases around us were for guys and gals that were already out of boot and doing their specialty…like El Toro in Santa Ana. Those guys loved us. To the point that we learned the names of hundreds of guys.
Our lead singer was not particular about the source of his drugs which worried us. Marines would walk to the front of our stage and place pills and shit in the hands of Mark, our singer. And then Mark would pop the whole handful. We would stare at each other in wonder and fear. But no matter how high Mark got, he performed beautifully.
One of Mark’s best suppliers was named Shorty. While we set up one early evening, some of the Marines approached us and asked if we heard what happened to Shorty?
In horror, we said no.
“Shorty took a bunch of drugs and went up to the roof of the 4 story barracks. He tripped and fell off!”
We all grabbed our mouths. We were about to wail when one Marine said, “But don’t worry. He’ll be here tonight.”
He was so out of it that all he did was sprain everything on his body. He came in that night limping with a big smile on his face.
We were asked to play Camp Pendleton near San Diego. This was boot camp for Marines being trained to do one thing: Pull a trigger and be shipped off to Viet Nam.
This gig was huge. They even provided us a dressing room. We played our first set to really drunk, really appreciative Marines. MP’s had to be stationed at each side of the stage to keep the guys from trying to get on stage and sing or play.
But it was a great time….until our first break. We retired to the dressing room because it was to rowdy out there…and we had long hair and were afraid of punitive action.
A whole shit load of Marines followed us back stage and hung out with us. It turned ugly. In droves, they began drunken crying. Wailing that they were going to die in Viet Nam. Warning us to never join the Marines. Wailing!
We got really freaked out. We tried to comfort them but these were indoctrinated soldiers who had just finished their boot training. And were only days from being shipped out.
By the last break, we asked that the MP’s not allow anyone in our dressing room. We were super bummed out by this and knew that God only knows how many of the men we played for that night would die shortly.
We were asked back many times but refused each time. Our nerves couldn’t handle it and neither could our humanity.