I know that in the last month we’ve had some posts about the business aspects of San Lotano that have caused a few waves in certain regions of the US, but in our dealings with San Lotano we have found a gem of an individual in Clay Roberts. Clay, the VP of Sales and Marketing, worked hard with us in preparing a statement for his company expressly apologizing and discussing the events of the IPCPR. He also went on to ask us if we would like to try their new product the Oval. Whatever side of the San Lotano and AJ Fernandez coin you fall on, one thing most can agree upon is that they make a damn fine cigar!
We have in the past reviewed the other San Lotano lines and have enjoyed them all thoroughly, especially the tasty maduro line. I moonlight on the nights and weekends as a humidor manager at my local B&M and can testify first hand to the popularity of the San Lotano lines. They have become the staples for many customers and a constant recommend to those who are fans of a tasty maduro, habano, or connecticut. As tasty as those lines are, the Oval steps it up a notch in the taste department.
The first aspect of the Oval that the consumer is drawn too is its shape. True to its moniker it is shaped in an oval press shape. The story is that it has a more natural contour for the mouth and I can see some merit in that as it rested nicely there. Gimmicks aside the oval is a well constructed cigar that has gorgeous aged habano wrapper with 4+ years of age on it. The habano wrapper snugly nestles against a Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan/ Honduran filler with some added “AJ Fernandez Secret Filler.” It has a tight pack with only a few soft spots, and the wrapper is smooth with a slight oily sheen.
As I cut the cap with my xikar cutter and check the airflow I find a smooth draw and a faint barnyard aroma off the foot. Upon lighting the foot I get an initial leather and nutmeg note that is pleasant and sweet. As the cigar begins to open up the sweet nutmeg note builds and becomes dominant. The nutmeg continues and as the midpoint rolls around the cigar begins to take on a note of cedar and caramel. These two notes playfully take turns in the spotlight as the smoke billows out generously from the foot of the cigar. As the back third unfolds and the final act commences the dominant note and finish is that of leather.
Overall the San Lotano Oval was a fantastic smoke and one I plan on revisiting often. It has quickly moved to the top of my short list of great cigars from the IPCPR, only second to the Avion and in a deadlock with the Oktoberfest for overall second place on my list for the best Cigars of the year. If you have been on the fence about San Lotano or protesting them, then secretly or openly buy one of these beauties and be reminded of the great quality that has become the hallmark of AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano lines. So in conclusion if you are a fan of medium bodied cigars that border the full line, and are chalk full of flavor, complexity, and sweetness, then buy the Oval in confidence knowing your getting a premium smoke that will deliver a palate full of tobacco goodness!