Welcome back to another episode of Smoke Rings. On this installment, I sat down with Tyler Caldwell, our Sales Associate at Low Country Pipe & Cigar, to discuss some of our favorite cigars from the powerhouse manufacturer AJ Fernandez. Tune in as we talk a little bit about the brand and dive into the characteristics of these wonderful cigars. Any AJ fans out there? What's your favorite Fernandez smoke? Feel free to share you thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Note: The following transcription has been edited for clarity and brevity.
[Tim Vanderpool]: Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Smoke Rings. I am Tim Vanderpool, the Cigar Specialist for Smokingpipes.com. I've got Tyler Caldwell with me today. Tyler's our Sales Associate over at our brick and mortar store, Low Country Pipe & Cigar, in Little River, South Carolina. Today we're gonna be talking about AJ Fernandez Cigars. I personally chose the AJ Fernandez Last Call. And Tyler chose the...
[Tyler Caldwell]: Dias de Gloria.
[T.V.]: So the reason I chose the Last Call, is I think it's got a little bit of a great story besides being a great cigar. It's called The Last Call, because it was originally given out as a factory exclusive cigar when people came down to watch football games on Thursdays and Sundays; it was the last cigar that they got for the evening. They usually gave it around the fourth quarter, so they just named it The Last Call, since it's the last cigar of the night.
The cigar's pretty simply stated. It's the first cigar that was released out of their Portfolio series, which is AJ's little playground for hand-picking limited or select filler tobaccos that he can experiment with. So this has got an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper on it, as well as a Nicaraguan binder and hand-picked Nicaraguan fillers. So AJ just wanted to play around with stuff, so he started the Portfolio series. That's where The Last Call comes in. This cigar's been on numerous "best buy" lists. For the price point, they all retail under $7. And for that, in the price-conscious market, they're simply great cigars. The cigar is upper medium, low to full, with a little bit of red pepper notes to it, along with some cedar. Surprisingly enough, I'm tasting oatmeal with this thing. So it's a really interesting thing, because I dig oatmeal cookies, so that was a fun little surprise to have. The Last Call is also available in a Maduro wrapper, and then Tyler you have...
[T.C.]: Again, the Dias de Gloria. It's an homage to AJ's father Ismael.
[T.V.]: Who is the originator of the brand, AJ's dad born in Cuba...
[T.C.]: Correct. It translates to the "Glory Days," and is a nod back to the Golden Days of Cuba, the brand's Cuba era. It's simply a fantastic smoke. I would put it, right now, at my favorite in the AJ line. It's an all-Nicaraguan puro, with a Nicaraguan wrapper, binder, fillers. You can definitely taste those kind of Cuban-esque notes, and you can see why it gives that honor to the Cuban days. A lot of like citrus-y notes, plus a little white pepper. A little bit of like a sweet hay on the palate. Plus some slight black coffee notes to it.
[T.V.]: It's got a real natural tobacco taste to it.
[T.C.]: Very much so. Very much so.
[T.V.]: I smoked a couple of those cigars recently, actually. So you said that it was your favorite in the AJ line. Dias de Gloria is among AJ's high-end or upper-end cigars. They still retail around the $10 to $12 price point, so it's not out of the realm of affordable, but it's definitely a lot different when it comes to taste and flavor profile than some of those other products.
[T.C.]: I would say it definitely has a unique taste compared to his other products for sure.
[T.V.]: I agree. So check out Smokingpipes.com for more AJ Fernandez Cigars.
[T.C.]: Absolutely. Thanks.