San Lotano Maduro – Jameson Pairing
MSRP – $7
7 x 52 Box Pressed
Wrapper – San Andres Maduro (Mexico)
Binder – Honduran
Filler – Nicaraguan and Honduran
Review by New Writer Jay Schwartz
It’s hard to keep track of all of the new cigars coming out in any one year. This year is certainly no exception. Between the hallmarked monsters of the cigar industry to the smaller boutique blends that have sprung up over the last few years there have been a seemingly endless number of new upstarts and blends coming from all over the world. So with all of the new choices out there I was pleasantly surprised to come across one that should be in everyone’s humidor, the San Lotano Maduro by AJ Fernandez.
Now if you’ve been paying any attention to the online industry over the last few years, I’m sure you’re already well acquainted with A.J. Fernandez’s fleet of sticks that have been dominating the cigar scene. From the crazy popular Man-o-War line to the super full-bodied Diesels there is a cigar for everyone’s preferred profile. Thankfully for us, he has found the non-virtual domain of the Brick and Mortar worthy enough to try his newest, and sure to become a hit all over the world, San Lotano maduro.
The San Lotano line comes in four different sizes and three unique shades of wrapper, a Connecticut, a habano and a maduro. Couple these with a flight sampler of some of the best Irish whiskey Jameson has to offer and you’ve got a beautiful combination of new and old that just sings. I was recently at the new Foxes Cigar Bar in Gilbert, AZ where they came up with this perfect pairing and let me tell you, this was a great night for both A.J. Fernandez and Jameson.
The San Lotano maduro is an exceptionally well constructed cigar. It is a box-press design with a dark and rich maduro wrapper; this stick definitely stands out. The wrapper is fairly smooth and seamless without a single vein. The cigar is firm to the touch but not overly stiff and there is a tightly constructed dark cap that is offset by a really sharp looking double band. The binder is Honduran while the filler is a combination of Honduran, Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco.
Before lighting, you can smell a slightly sweet aroma from the foot. There is also a noticeable barnyard scent. Once lit, the draw is extremely smooth and even, producing a thick and aromatic smoke. A slightly heavy bit of spice is evident at the very beginning but then mellows out fairly quickly.
This is one consistent smoke. It produces a nice heavy ash that only falls off the stick when you want it to. Always a nice touch when you don’t feel like being covered in ash if you’re outside on a windy night. From the foot to the cap the burn was even and full. I’ve had several of these now in both the 5 x 52 robusto and the 6 x 52 toro and neither one has canoed or had a run that needed correction.
This cigar is a real knockout! It has a rich and smooth, medium-to-full smoke with just the perfect amount of spice. It quickly becomes creamy after the spice settles and then transforms into a subtlety sweet confection. From start to finish I didn’t notice much of a change in profile with only one exception. Towards the very end the spice tends to pick up a bit, but not dramatically.
This cigar would probably pair well with almost anything. Now I’m not suggesting you head to your local watering hole and break one of these out with a flavored margarita, but I would highly suggest you try it with either a highball of Jameson’s 15yr aged Gold Label or their lesser known brand Redbreast 12 yr. Both have a sweet under note that really adds to the mellow sweetness of the Lotano. The Gold Label is far sweeter than the Redbreast but adds a bit of a scotch note that might be a bit much for the average whiskey connoisseur.
Go now and buy some! At a very reasonable price point, around 6 to 7 dollars a stick, you would be hard pressed to find a better tasting cigar. Not overly complex but very tasty, these new additions to the A.J. Fernandez lineup are sure to become crowd favorites. I am very excited to try the other two blends and who knows, maybe those would go great with a salt rimmed cocktail.
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