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This week another stogie from A.J. Fernandez’s new San Lotano line of cigars, the San Lotano Habano arrived on our receiving dock, much to my delight. Of all of the cigars I’ve reviewed in my time here, the San Lotano Oval was definitely one of the tastiest, so I was eager to check out another offering from Mr. Fernandez’s latest venture. I chose the Robusto (5 ½ x 54) size to spark up for today’s evaluation.
The blend of the San Lotano Habano consists of a Cuban-seed Brazilian Habano wrapper, along with Nicaraguan binder and a mix of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican filler tobaccos. The cigar had a slightly sweet scent to its dark brown wrapper, and appeared to be solidly constructed with a nice triple cap firmly in place. Pre-light tasting gave off notes of sweet cedar and earthy spice through a wide open draw, and I commenced the toasting.
Right away, this cigar was spewing tons of thick, chewy smoke with a rich and earthy taste. Notes of coffee and black pepper were present, and about an inch or so into the smoke, a malty sweetness started to trickle through. There wasn’t a lot of flavor transition in this portion, but this stick had started off with an even, slow burn, and a super-smooth taste despite the full, rich flavor and considerable body of the cigar.
By the time I had reached the second 3rd, the peppery spice had dropped out and was replaced by a creamy/bready note. Although less spicy, the stogie was still pumping out plenty of robust flavor in every puff. By now, I was getting a little bit of hay character, and some semi-sweet anise on the finish.
As I burned into the final third I didn’t see much drastic change flavor-wise, but the San Lotano Habano maintained its heavy-yet-balanced taste and even burn. The flavors in this portion were deep and savory, similar to an earthy baking spice. When I got down to about an inch remaining I started to get a little of that old “last third funk,” and after about an hour or so of smoking I finally decided to call it quits.
Admittedly, thanks to the delicious Oval, my expectations for the San Lotano Habano were a bit high, and while it didn’t exactly meet my expectations, it didn’t fall too short either. This stick had an effortless draw, burned great, and to call it full-flavored would be an understatement. It had great, bold flavor and character from start to finish, and decent complexity, though not nearly as layered and nuanced as what I experienced with the Oval. Overall, it was a hell of a smoke, one I’d easily recommend, and smoke again. For today I’m going to give the San Lotano Habano a grade of B+, but I’m really curious to hear what you think. If you’ve had a chance to sample this cigar, leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it, or of any San Lotano you’ve tried for that matter. Is this brand here to stay? Let’s hear it from your perspective.