We just got home from a big Greek dinner at Niki’s in Melbourne FL. We were sending my step daughter off to her junior year of college and the celebration took us all the way through dessert. I told my wife I needed a good after dinner stick after that meal. When we got home, I maneuvered through my humidor and lifted out a New World Navegante (5 1/2 x 55) cigar from AJ Fernandez. The New World is a tribute to Christopher Columbus’ discovery of tobacco during the 1492 expedition.
The New World comes in 4 sizes:
- Gobernador (6 1/2 x 55)
- Navegante (5 1/2 x 55)
- Virrey (6 x 58)
- Almirante (5 1/2 x 55) Belicoso.
The New World is a magnificent box pressed blend of Ometepe, Condega and Estelí filler that is bound with a Jalapa binder and wrapped in a Dark Chocolate brown Nicaraguan wrapper. The wrapper has this felt-like feeling to it, as if I could shoot pool on it. It had crisp box lines and virtually no veins.The New World is the first cigar AJ and his father, Ismael Fernandez created together.
One other aspect of this stogie, is the meticulously applied label. The front shows Christopher Columbus with the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria in the background. Small gold medals further beautify one of the best looking labels this year.
If you turn the cigar over you get the promise of AJ himself, where he guarantees satisfaction. I don’t think I have ever seen that on a cigar label!!
Running the stick past my nostrils, I pick up the scent of sweet tobacco, nuts and a little earth. The foot gives off some pepper. I take the New World to the outside patio, ,just off the preserve here. It is a cool summer night here in Florida, with the frogs croaking and the crickets chirping. There is a light breeze blowing A perfect evening for stogie. I wonder if Columbus experienced this feeling when he first smoked the leaf in the new world?
As I sit on my rocker, I clip the cap, and the cold draw gives me sweetness and earth. I gently heat the foot with a 4 flame torch lighter to get it started, and then take my first few puffs. Yes, sir, AJ Fernandez, there is some pepper on the front. It basically cleared my nostrils on the first retro-hale. I like that in cigar, because without scent you will not be able to taste.
About a half-inch into to my smoking satisfaction, the spice is greeted with citrus notes. This is a delightful combination, like finding a new world with tobacco and new citrus fruits. What a great start for a cigar! As the burn continued there were hints of nuts blending into the profile and the draw was spot on with a nice full smoke and an ash that was nothing but perfect at this point. I watch as the slightest blemish in the burn is quickly erased and caught up with. This baby wants to burn and burn correct.
A little over an inch in, the spice mellowed and the citrus was coming in on the top. Makes me want to have a margarita, but I shall wait and drink just water to taste what AJ has prepared for me. The ash fell just about an inch plus.
As the New World approached the end of the 2nd third, there was a hint of floral and hazelnut with a touch of coffee. I used to love Frangelica and coffee and that is what I was tasting here. I have to say though, the New World will not win me any “long ash” contests as the ash fell about every inch or so. That does not detract from the experience, it only means the stick educated me.
The flavors pretty much stayed until the finish; where into the final 3rd, there was an increase of spice and the strength picked up. I smoked this to the nub and enjoyed every part of it.
AJ, I am satisfied.