The name A.J. Fernandez is one that needs no introduction in the cigar industry. Abdel Fernandez has made his mark on both his own brand and that of many small and large brands across the industry. So when A.J. Fernandez comes out with a new line under his own name the industry stands and takes notice. This year, at the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) trade show, Tabacalera Fernandez unveiled the AJ Fernandez Días De Gloria, a cigar that pays homage to the pre-Castro Cuba. The name translates to “Glory Days“.
The A.J. Fernandez Días De Gloria was blended to mimic the cigars once smoked by Abdel (A.J.) Fernandez’ father Ismael when he used to live in the island country. Although it was officially released this year, the company did have a soft launch back in 2017.
The A.J. Fernandez Días De Gloria is a Nicaraguan puro that uses aged leaf from his four oldest farms in the country; La Soledad, La Providencia 1, La Lilia and Finca Los Cedros.
A.J. noted in a press release:
“I’ve been setting aside tobacco from my oldest farms to create a blend that pays homage to the glory days of Cuba”
The blend is expressed in 4 vitolas and come packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Short Churchill (6 1/2 x 48) MSRP $9.00
- Robusto Extra (5 1/2 x 52) MSRP $10.00
- Toro BP (6 x 56) MSRP #11.00
- Gordo (6 x 58) MSRP $12.00
For this review I sampled two Días De Gloria Toro BP vitolas that I purchased at my local brick and mortar, Jimmy’s Cigar Lounge, in Melbourne FL at an A.J. Fernandez event.
The A.J. Fernandez Días De Gloria is a soft box press cigar which has a milk chocolate brown wrapper, is light on veins, and smooth to the touch. With a solid weight in the hand, I gave it a few presses between my fingers and found it to have no soft spots. The cigar is finished with a well applied double cap.
There are three bands that adorn the cigar. The primary is quite ornate, with the phrase “Días De Gloria” boldly printed on the front and “NICARAGUA” printed on the bottom. The secondary band is placed just below and uses a gold and red motif and declares this as an A.J. Fernandez product. Finally there is a red satin footer band that holds the cedar sleeve on it. The footer band and sleeve are easily removed with a simple tug.
Running the Días De Gloria along the nose, I picked up a mildly sweet and pungent well fermented leaf aroma along with delightful cedar and cocoa notes off the foot.
After giving it a straight cut with my double blade Xikar cutter, I took a few cold puffs which were properly restricted and offered notes of crushed red pepper, earth, and sweetness. This is another one of those cigars you want to just roll about and enjoy the pre-light experience.
I finally got to the point where it was time to warm the foot, which I did with a double flame torch lighter, bringing it to an even orange glow and took in the first few puffs of rich pepper notes that opened my nasals on the retro-hale. Follow along as I burn the Días De Gloria to ash and take a journey back to the glory days of Cuba.
Cigar Review Notes
- Peppery spice to start
- Medium grey ash forms on top of a medium char line
- Spicy floral aroma
- Slight off-burn developed
- Ash drops in a small chunk revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Heavy cream notes enter
- Sweet nut joins the profile starting the second third
- Spice has made its way back at the midway point
- Coffee notes enter with a light cream and spice undertone
- Slight wave in the burn
- Strength ratchets up to medium-full
- Spice increases deep in the second third
- The final third delivers dry fruit notes that mix with the spice well
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
Overall, the A.J. Fernandez Días De Gloria was a cigar that offered the spicy and floral notes which I imagine hark back to those glory days in pre-Castro Cuba. The cigar developed additional flavors and aromas like coffee, cream, and fruit, even a slight sweet nut appeared for a moment. There was a slight off burn in the beginning that never required a touch up and bit of a wave later in the burn. The cone was flat but centered and the ash medium in color. Pick up a five pack of these and enjoy a journey. I rate this a 92.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off-burn; (-1) Wave in Burn; (-1) Medium Grey Ash; (-1) Flat Burn Cone