Continuing with my “What I Wish I was Smoking Now” theme after I watched an interview via YouTube with A.J. Fernandez from the 2019 IPCPR cigar tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday, the realization that came as no surprise to me was Fernandez’s popularity in my current TupperDor.
I must have no fewer than 8 cigars that have his name and influence on them in said TupperDor. I’m not complaining; although it is a little counter to my search for “small batch” cigars; Good is Good to Great and I’m not going to apologize for my purchases and or preferences.
So, as I carefully placed put foot to the carpet this early morning with the Fernandez interview somewhere in my near memory, I quickly had a flashback to the memorable flavors The H Upmann by A.J. Fernandez has brought me consistently so many times over the past year since my return to the cigar hobby. I could almost taste it!
Then, I remembered the other A.J. Fernandez cigar that is a recent discovery and addition to my TupperDor, the American (Altadis and General Cigar) version/interpretation of the Ramon Allones by A.J. Fernandez introduced in 2018.
I remember well my first purchase of one of these Premium cigars from my local Brick and Mortar in Beaverton, Oregon… at $15.00! Sticker shock for sure, I must have been feeling pretty cavalier and confident that this would deliver… or was I?
A.J. Fernandez: I’ve Never Looked Back
The first time I blazed the Ramon Allones by A.J. Fernandez, it was love at first puff! The resulting return visits to the Brick and Mortar was an easy way to spend my lunch money with no regrets.
I think it was at this discovery that I also made note of the rich Medio Tiempo wrapper expertly utilized in this cigar. From what I’ve been reading, it takes tremendous skill and knowledge to extract the Medio Tiempo from the harvest so that it’s at peak aroma, flavor, and wrapper quality. This was the moment that I started to do a little more diligence with my cigar wrapper research.
So, it appears that Fernandez has become sort of a “Go-To” guy whenever some American manufacturers want or need a new take on a “classic” cigar. I’ve also read that being from Cuba, Fernandez appreciates the cultural implications when he retools one of these “classic” brands. 1