A.J. Fernandez was the cigar man of the year in 2017, with numerous collaborations across the cigar industry including both big box and boutique lines. One of those collaborations was with General Cigars to re-introduce the Ramon Allones brand, the US trademark of which is owned by General Cigars. The company moved the line under the Foundry portfolio in 2015, but it remained a lackluster performer for the company.
Enter A.J. Fernandez, who collaborated with General Cigars on other “Cuban Heritage ” blends like Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch. The company once again contacted Fernandez to re-blend the Ramon Allones cigar for them. That cigar was released to the market in June of this year and I have taken the opportunity to procure a couple of them to see what all the buzz was about.
For those not familiar with the Cuban brand of the same name, a short trip to Wikipedia explains, the original Cuban Ramon Allones brand was,
“…created in Cuba by brothers Ramón and Antonio Allones (no relation to the Antonio Allones of El Rey del Mundo fame) in 1845 and is supposedly the first cigar brand to have utilized colorful lithographs for box art, the first brand to utilize bands on cigars, and the first to package cigars in the “8-9-8″ style (though there are several rival claimants as to who first made box art and bands).”
Today I would like to present the review of the AJ Fernandez Ramon Allones cigar.
- Wrapper: Ecuador – Habano Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua – Corojo 99
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Corojo 99 Jalapa
- Criollo 98 Condega
- Hybrid Estelí
- Pueblo Nuevo
The Pueblo Nuevo tobacco one of the primary fillers in the CAO LX2 cigar. The leaf is grown on the 140-acre “Pueblo Nuevo” farm located just outside of Condega, Nicaragua.
The AJ Fernandez Ramon Allones started shipping in June of 2018 and is available in 4 vitolas and comes packaged in 20-count boxes.
- Robusto (5 1/2 x 50) – MSRP $12.00
- Toro (6 x 52) – MSRP $13.00
- Churchill (7 x 50) – MSRP $14.00
- Torpedo (6 1/2 by 54) – MSRP $15.00
For this review, I enjoyed two of the A.J. Fernandez Ramon Allones toros which I purchased at my local Brick & Mortar – Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge in Melbourne, FL.
The A.J. Fernandez Ramon Allones is a beautiful cigar to examine, with its dark brown and oily wrapper. It it expertly finished with a triple cap. The cigar has a decent weight to it and is solid to the touch from head to foot.
There is a bold band on this cigar along with a cedar sleeve, all of which makes it “pop” on the shelf. The band is bright and uses a multi-colored motif including: gold, red, yellow, and blue. The name “Ramon Allones” is prominently displayed across the top and `and “AJ Fernandez” below. There is a secondary band that uses gold and red that also displays the name “”AJ Fernandez” in gold on a red background, just in case you did not know who was behind this creation. The cedar sleeve runs from the foot to the bottom of the secondary band and states “Ramon Allones” along the side.
The pre-light aromas offers notes of earthiness and a lightly pungent note off the foot while the barrel was void of much aroma.
I used a punch to open the cap and took in some cold draw puffs which delivered enticing notes including earth, fruit, and pepper. The draw had a perfect restriction to it and it took me little time to ignite this specimen up.
Cigar Review Notes
- Peppery start with a white pepper note hitting the throat
- Caramel sweetness enters quickly
- Pepper recedes and gives way to a few shakes of cinnamon spice
- Medium grey ash medium char line
- Draw is snug but the smoke is fairly full in volume
- Mouth watering Lemongrass notes entered after an inch of solid burn
- Floral and spicy fruit aroma
- Fairly smooth on retro-hale
- Ash fell after an inch and a half revealing a slightly off-centered cone
- The burn cone shows a bit too much of a point
- Smoke is getting fuller and creamier
- Cedar and nut notes entered by the secondary band
- Wrapper has oiled up well
- Natural tobacco sweetness begins to fill in the under-body of the smoke
- Burn is much better in the second third
- Cocoa and earth notes appear near end of the second third
- Hint of raisin builds with a gentle spice takes it to the end
- Medium to Full in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, I rate the an 94. The A.J. Fernandez Ramon Allones is a terrific rebirth of this famed brand. The full body of flavor was delectable and ebticing to the palate with unigue notes of lemongrass, nut, caramel, and cinnamon. Although the burn was a bit off during the first half, it did correct on its own and performed flawlessly in the second half. As a result I chose to deduct only 1/2 of the impacted points for that.
I will say I smoked the first, without thinking too much about a review, but it turned me on enough that I purchased another for the review and it performed just as well. This is a pricey smoke, but I feel it is worth a fiver at least – keep a few to age and enjoy the rest. .
(-1 )Medium Grey Ash;
(-1 ) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) bit too much of a point [divided in half = -1]