Video review HERE.
This blend was developed by AJ Fernandez, the Cuban expat cigar maker best known for producing highly-rated cigars in Nicaragua.
Named for the camaraderie forged when creating this exciting new release, La Amistad means friendship in Spanish.
Alan Willner, vice president of marketing for General Cigar said, “AJ Fernandez embodies the same ethos as the Hoyo brand. His passion for the craft of cigar making is what led us to collaborate with him on La Amistad. This collection combines AJ’s love of tobacco and blending with the knowledge of Hoyo’s cigar makers in Honduras and Nicaragua.”
AJ Fernandez noted, “I grew up very near to the Hoyo de Monterrey farm and I have always had a love for the brand. When it came time to develop this blend, I put my heart and soul into it. To me, this project represents how far my family and I have come since Cuba, and how our expertise in tobacco continues to be recognized. This cigar represents the best of me and my factory and I am proud to be a part of this collaboration.”
The wrapper is a bold Ecuadoran Habano, bound with a Nicaraguan leaf cultivated by AJ Fernandez in Esteli. The blend features powerhouse Nicaraguan tobacco from Esteli, Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa.
La Amistad is handcrafted at the AJ Fernandez cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Rothschild – 4.5 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.49 REVIEWED TODAY
Robusto – 5 x 54; SRP per cigar is $7.59
Toro – 6 x 50; SRP per cigar is $7.79
Gigante -- 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $7.99
The cigar is a beautiful reddish brown and the wrapper is very oily. The cigar is well made and has a nice feel in the hand for a short cigar.
The test draw after cutting the cap was perfect. The initial flavors at light up were a sweet pink grapefruit, leather and underlying cream. There was black pepper rated at an 8.
About 3/4 inch in the flavors have changed to a nice orange citrus, brown sugar, and heavy leather notes with a black coffee base. The pepper remained very good. The finish is a leathery cream with significant lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The flavors have settled down to a very good combination. The cream is not really there anymore but may show back up.
About 2 inches in there are now nutmeg notes to go along with the other flavors. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. I am enjoying the flavor mix in this cigar. The sweet flavors balance out the heavy leather notes. The finish is sweeter. It is more of a sweet cream with some leather aspects and nice lingering black pepper.
With only about 1 1/2 inch remaining there are some light butter notes that add a little something to the front end flavors. The other flavor notes are still in play. The cigar is full bodied now.
The cigar ended much like the last segment with heavy leather notes and nice sweet flavors. The coffee notes were elevated. This has been a very enjoyable cigar It ended full bodied. The price point of this cigar make it all the more enjoyable. I was impressed with this cigar and will have more. I previously had the gigante size but this ring gauge was a little better. Look for these at any shop that sells General Cigar products.