Now I don’t know about you, but I myself prefer not to smoke alone. It’s not that it doesn’t happen, but if you’re like me there is just something about getting together with a group of likeminded friends and having a good smoke. It somehow fosters a sense of fellowship and camaraderie. If your one of those individuals who pride themselves on getting others to try new things and so far you haven’t convinced that particular someone to try a cigar yet, here comes another A.J. Fernandez blend to the rescue. This time it’s the newly released San Lotano Connecticut.
Available in four sizes and three wrappers this new line has a remarkable amount of prestigious history. Originally created decades ago the San Lotano was once a pre-Castro Cuban line. Originally started by A.J. Fernandez’s grandfather, this new line obviously holds a special place for him. According to a recent press release Fernandez says that “San Lotano has been a project many years in the making for me, and it is made to honor the tradition of cigar making that I learned from my father and my father’s father.”
In typical A.J Fernandez fashion the San Lotano Connecticut is flawlessly constructed. Both the 5 x 52 robusto and the 6 x 52 toro that I had were wonderfully put together. The wrapper is an incredibly smooth Ecuadorian leaf with only a single, nearly nonexistent vein running up the center of the stick. The cigar is fairly firm with just the right amount of give. There is a well defined cap that when cut stays in one piece. Like the other two blends in the San Lotano line there is a sharp looking double band. The binder is Nicaraguan while the filler is a mix of Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan tobacco.
Pre-light, the foot of the cigar has a slightly sweet aroma. Once lit, it just doesn’t get any smoother than this. Now if you’re looking for a bold and complex smoke you need to look elsewhere, but if you want to enjoy a consistently smooth stick with a slightly toasted sweetness, this one’s for you. The draw is extremely light and smooth without allowing any unseasoned air pockets through.
Due to this cigar’s remarkable construction it has a perfect burn. Just like the rest of the San Lotano line this stick never ran, canoed or needed correction. Not only did I not have to mess with it, but it actually stayed lit while untouched for nearly ten minutes. The ash was nice and firm with consistent and orderly burn lines. The smoke itself was moderately thick and left a light, sweet scent in the air.
This particular cigar reminds me a lot of another A.J. Fernandez classic, the 5 Vegas Gold Label. In my opinion the San Lotano is far superior in every way, but both share the trait of being incredibly mild. With a smooth and slightly toasted marshmallow like flavor this stick is perfect for either the novice cigar fan or the refined and discerning palates of long time tobacco lovers. Towards the final quarter of the stick there was a small development of spice, but even the spice seemed to have a light sweetness to it.
With the lightly toasted marshmallow notes it seem only fitting to pair it with two graham crackers and a generous portion of chocolate. However, if you don’t have any of those things available at the time, let me suggest replacing the graham crackers with a highball and the generous portion of chocolate with a healthy pour of Single Barrel Jack Daniels. The extra smooth and sweet flavor that only comes from extended aging process and non-transferred single barrel works perfectly with the light and sweet notes of the Connecticut. It has a nice clean finish that mimics the qualities of the San Lotano.
This one’s a no-brainer, yet another homerun for A.J. Fernandez. It is absolutely perfect for all palettes. This Connecticut is light and sweet with just enough body to be really enjoyable. Like I mentioned earlier, don’t expect a very complex or dynamic profile that will keep you guessing, but rather expect a consistent Connecticut that performs exactly the way its supposed to by being creamy and delicious. So go buy a couple of these and give one to someone new and watch your smoking circle welcome a new proselyte!
Strength: mild–Medium body
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic
**Editor’s Note: As is our habit on Sunday’s we are running one of our older, but popular puffingcigar.com articles. This was one that got bumped due to a breaking news item, so we are hoping to allow it another moment to shine in a new light!