Team Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial Toro

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Cigar Details: AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial Toro

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
  • Blender: AJ Fernandez
  • Price: $9.00
  • Release Date: July 2017
  • Source: AJ Fernandez

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is medium brown with a very fine grit sandpaper feel. There are a couple of medium sized veins present that carry a slightly lighter color. The seams are easily visible due to the thickness of the wrapper, but are smooth. The head is finished off with a well applied double cap. There are two bands, the primary being a fairly standard New World band with the word Puro Especial across the bottom. The second band is a strip band that carries the AJ Fernandez name and is similar to the ones on other cigars he makes for other brands. The aroma from the wrapper is a very dark and dank wood and earthiness with a bit of pepper note. The foot brings a slightly sweet wood note with a very full white pepper. The pre-light draw brings more of those dark earthy notes with some stone fruit sweetness. There is also a medium level pepper tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial Toro is quite a beast of a cigar coming in at 6.5 x 52. The wrapper’s color is a uniformed medium brown. Veins are well pressed, seams tight and barely visible. Bunch and rolls feels on the tighter side and the cigar feels weighty on my hand as it is packed full of tobacco. The head is finished off with a thick double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives a mixture of cedar and floral notes. Smelling the foot tells white pepper, spicy cedar and mixed dried nuts. Cold draw gives white pepper, cedar and mustiness.

First Third

Initial draws bring some heavy and dark wood notes along with earthiness and a slight black pepper while the retrohale brings a slightly creamed coffee note. At a half inch in, the profile lightens up so it’s not so dark and heavy. At an inch in, the primary flavor note is a dirty, gritty earthiness with some wood and coffee notes in the background. At an inch and a half, the wood note comes closer to the front to tone down the earthiness while the coffee is still in the background. The retrohale is now a slightly creamy wood. The strength in this third was medium-full.

First Third

First third creates familiar AJ style of flavors centered around spicy cedar, dried mixed nuts and sweetened bread. Through retrohaling, strong black pepper is front and center, followed by spicy cedar and dried roasted nuts. The finish is fairly long, hitting the rear palate with earthy grittiness and black pepper. Towards the tail end of the first third, additional notes of a dry barnyard and wood transitions from a cedar type to a charred oak. Strength and body is for the most part medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, it is a nice mix of earth and woodiness while the coffee has left. The retrohale is now a distinct oak note. At an inch in, the gritty dirt note returns while the wood is still up front as well. At an inch and a half in, some coffee returns to the profile of earthiness and wood. The retrohale gains some earthiness to go along with the oak. The strength in this third remains at medium-full.

Second Third

The second third loses out on some complexities as it is namely comprised of spicy cedar and sweetened bread. Retrohaling gives amplified black pepper, cedar and sweetened bread. The finish is still fairly long with earthy minerality and dry wood. Strength moves to medium-full, while body stays medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, some bitterness becomes present in a mix of earthiness and wood. At a quarter inch in, the bitterness subsides some and a chocolate note appears to mix with the wood and earth notes. At an inch in, the cigar begins to heat up which amplifies the bitterness and the chocolate note goes away. A slight chocolate note does continue on the retrohale. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third remained medium-full.

Final Third

Moving into the final third, the profile changes once again such that the sweetened bread is almost entirely lost and is namely spicy cedar and earthy minerality. Retrohaling is where spice is found in both black pepper and spicy cedar. The finish is still the same lingering earthy minerals and dry wood. No changes to strength and body as it is still medium-full and medium, respectively.

Burn

Can’t find anything to complain about on the burn as it stayed very tight the entire way. The ash held on in about inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

Nothing but the highest remarks for burn. Slow and cool burning with rock steady ashes averaging 1.5 inch self-tapped increments. Burn line was razor sharp the vast majority of the smoking experience.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

As I was hoping, AJ brought a stronger game to a blend under his own brand. The profile started very heavy which is how the pre-light experience was, but after about an inch, things settled down a bit. An abundance of wood and earthiness with some coffee and chocolate supporting notes. Construction was perfect which is an AJ Fernandez trademark. Strength is a bit up there, so fans of AJ’s stronger blends will be right at home here. This would be a great evening/after dinner cigar and I’m sure would stand up to some nice brown spirits. I could definitely see myself smoking more of these and it would be an easy one for me to recommend to others.

Aaron
Jiunn
Amazing Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Good
Good Second Third Average
Average Final
Third
Average
Amazing Burn Amazing
Amazing Draw Amazing
Good Overall Average

Draw

Perfect draw. The draw had just the right amount of resistance.

Overall

By now I’m sure I sound like a looping alarm clock tone, but this is a classic, typical AJ cigar loved by many, especially Americans. Spice and mineral driven through and through with just enough transitions to keep the smoker engaged throughout the long 6.5 inches. I’m still waiting for AJ to create a different profile with the abundance of tobacco variations he possesses. One thing that he has nailed down (and should never alter) is quality control over construction. That aspect never fails to amaze.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$1.32

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.10

Cost/Point

$1.48

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial Toro
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez New World Puro Especial Toro

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