The Pinolero is the newest offering for A.J. Fernandez, maker of the popular Man O’ War brand. A.J. Fernandez is very popular among cigar smokers. Their San Lotano line has really helped introduce them to B&Ms across the nation, and is easily becoming a very well established line. I’m not at all shocked when I ask a smoker what they smoke and I get a San Lotano line such as the Oval, San Lotano Maduro, or San Lotano Habano. This year A.J. Fernandez is releasing the new Pinolero which will utiiize the “finest tobaccos from diverse regions of Nicaragua”, and be available in six sizes that are diverse enough to appeal to any smoker. The sizes will include a Corona, Robusto, Figuardo, Toro, Gran Toro, and Churchill and manufactured at Tabacalera Fernandez in Nicaragua. Pinolero is a colloquial term for Nicaraguan and I am reviewing the robusto today. You can check out A.J. Fernandez’s website here and follow them on twitter (@AJFcigars)
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Filler: Cuban Seed Nicaragua and Fernandez Family Secret
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez has a very colorful band which depicts what seems to me to be Central American women, one with a child on her back, working in a village near a river. I’m not quite sure what they are suppose to be doing honestly, but the scene gives you a quaint sort of feeling. The wrapper is a medium golden brown in color with moderate veins and plenty of oil to it. The Pinolero is topped off with a tight cap that ends in a very small pigtail.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez has notes of honey, grass, and nuts. The foot had a scent which is a combination of earth, leather, grass, and cocoa. To prepare smoking the Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez, I decided to try simply twisting off the pigtail and taking a cold draw. More often than not when I try this on a cigar which features a pigtail, the draw seems to tight for me and I opt to use a straight cut, but in this case it was satisfactory so I decided trying to smoke it as intended. On the cold draw there were flavors of grass, earth, leather, spices, and a bit of honey.
Smoking Characteristics: The draw on the Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez actually starts out a tiny bit loose despite the fact that I only twisted off the pigtail. Now I’m glad I didn’t opt for the straight cut. The first few puffs treat me to a blast of pepper, spices, wood, leather, and hay. The spices and pepper warm the palate a bit while smoking. The pepper starts to fade out of the blend and suddenly I’m a little blow away by the Pinolero. The smoke takes on this very smooth, warm, creamy tone which I am enjoying immensely. Now I am treated to notes of honey, cocoa, nuts, wood, grass, and some mild spices. The smoke is just a little dry and is causing a bit of salivation as I smoke, creating a nice savory feel.
Into the second third of the Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez, the draw becomes ideal for me. The smoke still has that very smooth, creamy, and rich feel to it that developed near the start of the cigar. In this third. I am detecting notes of earth, wood, honey, light spices, cocoa, mineral tones, a leathery undertone, and a slight pepper which fades in and out of the smoking profile, teasing the tongue. The ash on the Pinolero holds very firm, well past the inch point, and is a beautiful light grey. The burn also performs well, staying nearly razor sharp, requiring no attention.
During the final third of the Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez, most of the sweetness starts to fade out of the smoking profile, with the notes of honey and wood fading. The pepper that was teasing the palate also seems to no longer be present at this point. The notes of wood, earth, and the mineral tone all remain along with a little leather and nutty flavor that join the blend. The smoke is still just as smooth, but it has lost some of its creaminess. The strength is in the medium range, as it has been the entire time. The construction still performs well, the ash holding firm, and the burn remaining sharp. The Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez smokes cool to the nub without any issues.
Conclusion: There is just something about the Pinolero by A.J. Fernandez that I love. It’s not quite the flavors, or the profile of the smoke, but how the two combine. The rich, smooth, sweet, creaminess, pairing with the deep woody, earthy, honey, mineral, cocoa, and blend of flavors just came together really well. To top it off, the construction was excellent, no issues with the draw, ash, or burn. I will be grabbing some more of these as soon as they hit store shelves, this is one release I am going to enjoy.