Wrapper origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper type: Sun-Grown
Filler: Cuban Seed Nicaraguan & Fernandez Family Secret
Appearance (0-20): This new AJ Fernandez stick is something different for him in the appearance department. Man O War and Ave Maria are two notable cigar lines that have show off an elegant band that makes you want to pick up the stick and buy it right away. The Pinolero seems as if AJ is getting back to his roots with this rustic looking cigar and band. The toothy light brown sun-grown wrapper has no physical blemishes, and is rolled together with a pig-tail type of cap. While all of these are not a bad thing, they are just different from the status quo.
Construction (0-20): Time and time again, every blend that I smoke from the Fernandez line has excellent construction. The Pinolero fits the bill, and burns very well also. While smoking, the cigar did start to burn uneven but quickly straightened itself out. I have yet to find an AJ smoke that was poorly constructed, and that just goes to show the level of craftsmanship and quality control that he employs. Burn, draw, ash, and overall smoke is well done again.
Strength (0-20): Medium-full, and somewhat reminiscent of the Ave Maria line for me. Pretty spot on with the strength marketing.
Flavor (0-20): Now this could be that I was reading while smoking this stick, but I really didn’t get the complexity that the cigar is supposed to have. I’ll smoke another and give an update, but somewhat disappointed. Although it wasn’t super complex, it was quite flavorful and balanced. Strong notes of cedar come through, with various degrees of sweetness intertwined. There are also some dashed of spice and earthiness, but I felt as though they never fully came around. Consistent, not complex, and somewhatleft wanting more.
Value (0-20): Sitting around $8.00 for a toro size at Cigars International, I think that is fairly priced.
Additional Notes: Smoked on my deck, paired with seltzer water.
Overall (0-100): While the cigar still scored well overall, I personally was let down by this new AJ smoke. The cigar was constructed well and burned well, yet it seemed to be lacking complexity for me. For roughly the same price, I would throw my money towards a San Lotano Oval and get a super complex cigar. Look for a re-visited score in the future.