Team Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf Toro

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Cigar Details: AJ Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf Toro

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • 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 to dark brown and has a couple of raised veins present. The seams are smooth and hardly visible. The head is finished off with a double cap. There are two bands with the first being a similar band to the original Enclave with red border instead of blue and the denoting of Broadleaf at the bottom of it. The secondary band is the familiar red and gold band that has AJ’s name on it that is being used on a few other cigars. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of dark earth and cocoa while the foot brings stone fruit sweetness, dark wood and white pepper. The pre-light draw brings a very faint mix of stone fruit sweetness and hay along with a mild spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The AJ Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf Toro has a darker medium brown wrapper. Typical of cigars coming out of AJ’s factories, construction is top notch. Well pressed veins, tight seams, even bunch and roll and well applied thick double cap. Aromas off the wrapper give cedar and hay. Foot aromas tell pungent black pepper, cedar and nuts. Cold draw reveals white pepper on the tongue and lips, cedar and hay.

First Third

Things start out with a mix of dark chocolate, dark wood and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the chocolate leaves the profile while a slight cream joins in with the dark wood and baking spice. The retrohale carries a woody note along with some nuttiness. At an inch in, a little chocolate comes back to the profile of dark wood, baking spice and cream. As the third comes to a close, not much has changed with the profile as it is still dark wood up front with a mixture of baking spice, cream and chocolate in the background. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The initial inch provides notes of cocoa and cedar. Past the inch mark, a bread/yeast note appears. Retrohaling gives elevated notes of both bread and cedar as well as introduces a fairly tame black pepper spice. The finish is medium in length with a lingering cedar and bread. Both strength and body is for the most part medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, it is a carry over from the first with dark wood up front and baking spice, cream and chocolate in the background. The retrohale also remains a mix of wood and chocolate. At a quarter inch in, a charred note joins the dark wood and the cream ramps up a bit. At an inch and a half, some bitterness joins the dark wood while the cream is still up front as well. The chocolate has left the profile and there is some black pepper in the background. As the third comes to a close, it’s slightly bitter and charred wood along with some cream and some pepper in the background. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third is essentially the same tasting profile still centered around cocoa, cedar and bread. Towards the latter half of the second third, a crushed rock like minerality comes through, yet still dominated by the aforementioned notes. The finish picks up a slight lingering soft black pepper with the same cedar and bread notes. Strength and body remains unchanged at medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the bitterness increases a bit with the wood and cream still up front. At a half inch in, the cigar begins to heat up which brings some mintiness to mix with the bitter wood and cream. At an inch and a half, the char picks up to become even with the bitterness and wood. The cigar is still pretty warm which keeps the mintiness going as well. This is how the cigar finishes out. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

The last third is a true shift in flavors due to more apparent black pepper spice coming through on the mouth draws. This is accompanied by the same cocoa and cedar notes, while the bread note becomes less noticeable. The strength also bumps to a medium-full (body still medium).

Burn

The burn was spot on. There were times where it was a bit jagged, but was always lined up. The ash held on in about inch and a quarter increments. It also burned very slow and gave me a three and a half hour smoking time.

Burn

Overall burn performance was very good. All top notch scores aside from the last third being fairly uneven, needing a quick touch up.

Draw

The draw was slightly firmer than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

Some nice chocolate and baking notes were present at times while dark wood was the consistent theme throughout. The first third was my favorite as it had the concentrated dark chocolate, dark wood and baking space at a nice, full level. I don’t remember the original Enclave that much, but this one is a good broadleaf offering from AJ. The construction was excellent as expected. It was also a very slow burner, so in this vitola you definitely get your moneys worth in smoking time. This is a good evening/after dinner cigar and one I wouldn’t mind revisiting in a smaller vitola to see how it smokes. If you’re an AJ or broadleaf fan, then this is definitely one to try.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
Very GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond ThirdAverage
SubparFinal
Third
Good
AmazingBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawAmazing
GoodOverallGood

Draw

Perfect draw striking the best balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

This cigar fell in the average to good range for me. The overall profile was a tad monotonous, especially for a large toro size, lacking in true body and spice until the last third. Knowing that it is Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, I expected more body, heat and strength (in a way expecting to taste somewhat like Southern Draw’s Jacob’s Ladder). But the notes of cocoa, cedar and bread were all distinct, just need that extra “umph” factor.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

$1.35

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$1.34

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf Toro
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: AJ Fernandez Enclave Broadleaf Toro

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