Cigar Review: San Lotano Habano

On our current contest to give away a gift certificate for $100.00 a couple of people mentioned San Lotano with one person mentioning the Habano wrapper. This reminded me I got my hands on a couple back in August and they were sitting in the bottom of my humidor. So I decided to break them out and see why they made it on to someones top 5 list of 2010.

According to a press release back in July the San Lotano is AJ Fernandez signature line. The rich history of San Lotano dates back to Cuba’s pre-Castro era where the brand was among the most popular with traditional Cuban cigar makers. Retired for decades, the line is being reintroduced by A.J. Fernandez whose grandfather first started the brand in San Luis, Cuba. San Lotano is made entirely by hand in the Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, and is available in three enticing variations encompassing Habano, Connecticut and Maduro wrappers.

When asked about the importance of the brand, A.J. says, “San Lotano has been a project many years in the making for me, and it is made to honor the tradition of cigar making that I learned from my father and my father’s father. The blends are extremely rich, flavorful and are the culmination of my family’s knowledge which has been accumulated over the last century.” The Fernandez factory is one of the largest in Nicaragua, producing 9 million cigars a year. While this is the first nationally distributed release coming from Fernandez himself, he has made cigars for many notable brands in the industry over the past few years including: Padilla, Rocky Patel, Graycliff, Gurkha, Man O War, Diesel and many more.

Cigar: San Lotano Habano
Size: 6 x 52 (Toro)
Wrapper: Brazillian Habano
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Dominican, Honduras & Nicaragua
Strength: Medium

San Lotano Habano

San Lotano Habano

Appearance and Construction: The San Lotano Habano features a wrapper that has a few thin veins and one medium sized vein that runs the length of the cigar. There is a nice amount of oils present on the wrapper and in my hand the stick feels very  dense. Upon close inspection there are a couple of soft spots but the foot is very well packed. There is a dual band present on on the cigar with the first denoting the name of the cigar, and the secondary the wrapper.

Flavor & Notes: The prelight draw reveals some notes of nuts and wood with some spice on the tongue while the foot of the cigar is very nutty. Once the cigar is lit there is a nice warm spice present from the first pull. As we continue with the first third the warm spices are joined by notes of charred wood, and a touch of earth. As we approach the second third of the stick the notes of wood and earth remain but there is an occasional coffee note that joins the mix.  The final third the spice and wood remained with a nice coffee finish. Delicious!

Smoking Characteristics: Despite the cigar feeling dense in my hands it burned a little bit faster then I would like. The burn-line was crisp and even and never once required a touch up. The ash held very well, and was medium in color. At one point I had a solid 3″ of ash holding on when I chose to ash to avoid losing it in my lap despite it showing no signs of weakness. The draw was perfect with only the slight resistance present making it just right. One draw back was the aroma of the cigar was lacking depth. It wasn’t bad, but lately I’ve gotten into the habit of taking in the aroma of a cigar and the San Lotano Habano was virtually non-existent.

Conclusion: I can see why some people included this on their list, and it is evident that AJ Fernandez is a power to be reckoned with in the cigar world. So far everything I have smoked from AJ I liked enough where I would buy them again. Definitely worth the purchase especially if you like a full body cigar.

Rating: 89
Price: $7.00

Disclaimer: I received some samples of this smoke back at IPCPR in Augusto of 2010 and used those samples to formulate this review. As always the typographical errors, grammar and spelling mistakes have been left in this review for your amusement.