Video review HERE.
This special cigar is the H. Upmann Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez Finca la Lilia 2009, which maintains the brand’s familiar blend: Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper dressed over a Nicaraguan Corojo 99 binder, with a Nicaraguan Criollo 98 and Dominican Piloto Cubano filler tobaccos.
But this cigar also incorporates aged tobaccos from a farm that is very dear to AJ Fernandez. The La Lilia farm – named after his beloved grandmother who raised him in Cuba after his parents migrated to Nicaragua – was first planted in 2009. This Limited Edition cigar contains tobaccos from that first crop from Fernandez’s iconic Esteli, Nicaragua farm.
In addition, the Sumatra Wrapper selected for the H. Upmann Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez Finca La Lilia 2009 is especially distinctive for its complex, full flavor and its rich, dark appearance.
Just 75,000 of these special cigars have been made and are offered in 20 count boxes, in a 60 x 6 vitola.
Size: 60 x 6 (Magnum)
MSRP: $12 cigar / $240 per box
AJ's grandmother who the La Lilia farm is named after
The cigar is quite large and has a very dense feel in the hand.
The test draw after cutting the large dome shaped cap was excellent. The initial flavors at light up were a nice cedar/citrus combination with pronounced orange citrus, some brown sugar, quite a bit of cinnamon, and a lot of a peppery nutmeg. There is a lot of black pepper which I rated at an 8 1/2 initially and it combines with the nutmeg to make a very peppery nutmeg flavor. There is also a nice black coffee base. A nice start.
About an inch in I noticed the development of leather notes in the cigar. The cigar is medium to full bodied at this early stage. The black pepper has somewhat toned down to around 8.
At the first third (44 minutes) I still had the lead flavors of cedar/citrus, brown sugar, and cinnamon but they are somewhat downplayed by the massive amount of a peppery, leathery nutmeg. The black coffee base remains intact but does not stand out. The black pepper is still quite elevated. The finish is predominantly nutmeg with a touch of sweetness which appears to come from brown sugar. There is quite a bit of lingering black pepper also. The cigar is still medium to full bodied. I like this mix of flavors and love the black pepper. I rated the first third at 94.
As I moved through the second third (1 hour 19 minutes) the flavors have slightly improved. The lead flavor is more of a cedar now with only traces of citrus, nice amount of brown sugar, cinnamon, and leathery, peppery nutmeg with a light black coffee base. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is unchanged. This is a cigar that I gravitate toward. With the slight increase in sweetness I raised the score to 95.
The cigar lasted a very impressive 2 hours 2 minutes. While I still had the same basic flavors I lost some of the sweetness. The cigar is very full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The black pepper has been very good in this cigar throughout. With the decrease in sweetness, and it was a little more than I had hoped, I lowered the score to 93. This is a very good cigar that you should put on your must-try list.
Overall Score: 94