At the end of last year I made a call that an AJ Fernandez product, or collaboration product, would be picked as the CA number 1 cigar of the year. I was wrong, even with all the great products that he had his fingers on, he did not get that honor. Well, it is another year and another chance to be honored. I would make another call for this, but it is not in my hands, so instead I will continue to smoke and review more AJ Fernandez products like today’s review – the Last Call Maduro – which kind of fits my opening theme about making the call for AJ to be numero uno.
The Last Call Maduro is the followup, to the widely accepted, original Last Call Habano cigar that introduced in April 2016. The maduro quickly followed, just in time for the 2016 IPCPR. The Last Call brand was originally intended to be a lower cost, short smoke, that you would enjoy as the last cigar of the evening. The popularity of the brand said otherwise as they were enjoyed by many enthusiasts regardless of the time of day or night.
The Last Call Maduro is a Nicaraguan puro that has a blend described by the company as:
- Wrapper – Nicaragua (Pennsylvania Broadleaf-Seed)
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua
They are available in five vitolas each packaged in 25-count boxes:
- Geniales – 4.5 x 48 (MSRP $5.90)
- Pequeñas – 5 x 46 (MSRP $6.00)
- Corticas – 4 x 52 (MSRP $6.30)
- Flaquitas – 6 x 46 (MSRP $6.80)
- Chiquitas – 3.5 x 50 (MSRP $4.70)
I love the choice of names for these vitolas, with translations to English like brilliant, little, short, skinny, and tiny. Don’t let the size or names fool you, the AJ Fernandez Last Call Maduro is great and as in the translation of the Geniales – a brilliant concept.
For this review I sampled the Flaquitas vitola which I picked up at the Smoke Inn Great Smoke 2018 back in early February.
The Last call Maduro Flaquitas is a small torpedo vitola that has a pencil tip finished cap and a closed foot. The wrapper is enticing just by looks, with a dark espresso bean brown color that has a fine oily sheen and a light grit as you run your finger across it. This is broad leaf, AJ style!
There is a single band on this cigar, simple and to the point, with the golden words Last Call centered on a bright white background. The white and gold is a sharp contrast to the dark brown wrapper.
Giving it the sniff test, my nose picked up a sweet fermented leaf along the barrel and not much extra off the foot.
I cut this just like I would any other torpedo with a diagonal slice across the tip. I just like doing that, it helps to direct the concentrated smoke from the torpedo, to the top of the palate. The draw is nicely restricted with hints of pepper and earth.
I used my single torch lighter to warm the foot and ignite it to an even orange glow.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial notes were peppery spice and butter
- A medium grey ash develops resting on a thick char line
- Natural tobacco sweetness enters to join with the butter note
- Baking spice and fruit aromas fill the air around me
- Mild cinnamon and dry fruit evolve on the palate
- Pepper fades after an inch
- Ash falls early with a fairly centered and protruding burn cone
- Very delicious creamy smoke
- Pristine burn
- Maple syrup aroma develops
- Butter maintains with added coffee near midway
- Spice moves in at the end of the second third
- Spice is blending well with the coffee and ever-present buttery notes
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was a pleasant and amazing 1 hour and 10 minutes
Overall, the Last Call Maduro by AJ Fernandez is just another reason he has been so successful with his offerings. Even with a cigar priced low, the quality ingredients and exemplary craftsmanship were evident in the journey from foot to nub. Though not overly complex the pristine burn delivered palate enticing flavors and aromas to make this a most enjoyable cigar. Even if they were priced higher I would still say you should consider a box buy on this.