AJ Fernandez San Lotano Requiem Maduro Robusto Cigar Review
The AJ Fernandez San Lotano Requiem Maduro is a medium - full strength Mexican San Andres blend with an interesting profile. While many cigars offer a nice set of notes, this blend comes with a complex profile. On one side, notes of citrus and raisin sweetness present a fruity flavor feature. On the other side, notes of cocoa and roasted coffee bring in a darker side. This is truly an underrated maduro blend. It's perfect for the full bodied cigar fanatic who is looking for something a little different.
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The other day, a friend (whose cigar opinion I respect) made the outrageous claim that the AJ Fernandez San Lotano Requiem Maduro is one of the most underrated cigars out there! That seemed like a pretty wild statement to make. I already carry the San Lotano in Connecticut and Habano… so how much better can the Maduro really be? I know there are a lot of underrated cigars out there. But today I want to put this blend through a full review. My question is – can this Mexican San Andres blend put out enough flavor to be truly considered underrated? And the only way to find out is with a cut and a light.
|AJ Fernandez||San Lotano Requiem Maduro|
|Wrapper:||Mexican San Andres|
|Strength:||Medium+ – Full|
It’s typical with dark Mexican San Andres wrappers to get some bold notes at light up. But I wasn’t totally prepared for the notes that came from the first puffs of this blend. Cocoa and citrus greet the palate, with a raisin sweetness and white pepper on the retrohale. With so much going on so early, I’m not sure what to expect in the first third. Maybe there will be more development to this flavor. However, at this early stage, the San Lotano Requiem Maduro already offers more than the entire smoking experience with some other cigars in the same price range.
PRESENTATION NOTE: I didn’t mention this in the video, but it certainly seems like one reason this cigar may be underrated is because of the overall presentation. The San Lotano branding is classic. But it also blends in with so many other heritage brands out there. It seems to me like a rebranding (new boxes and bands) might do a lot for this blend.
After an inch of smoking, this dark wrappered blend continues to pump out a very interesting yet bold flavor. In addition to the entire intro profile, which is still intact, a roasted coffee note joins the profile. At this point, the blend offers two sets of flavors that blend very well. On one side, the citrus and raisin sweetness notes match up, while the cocoa and roasted coffee offer a completely other type of flavor. Together, these two sets of flavors combine to create one powerful bold flavor (kinda like Captain Planet, just without the spandex). Sometimes in reviews, I’ll talk about a ‘dynamic’ flavor. This is exactly the kind of thing that I’m referring to. The profile on this blend offers 2 very distinct sets of flavor notes that, while being different from each other, go together well. That can’t be easy to accomplish while blending in a cigar factory.
While the ‘dynamic’ flavor of the first third is still totally present throughout the entirety of the second third, there’s an excellent balance of flavor notes. At this point, the best version of the flavor can be had. The only thing that’s out of balance here is the roasted coffee note, which has moved ahead of the pack. The first third was dominated more by sweetness and citrus. Now things have shifted toward the coffee and cocoa side of things. It’s not a true flavor transition, but this change is certainly the kind of thing that keeps things interesting.
The other thing that stands out about the second third is the finish. After all the smoke is gone, only one note is left on the palate – graham cracker. This is a flavor note that comes out with some cigars, but not one that typically comes across on the finish. That alone makes this blend stand out from a lot of other cigars on the market.
My full expectation of the final third was to end with powerful coffee notes. That is, after all, what I experience with a lot of bolder blends like this one. Certainly, roasted coffee is a feature of the final third. However, there’s more to the flavor than I expected there to be. Cocoa and that graham cracker finish both remain in the mix as I take the final puffs of the San Lotano Requiem Maduro.
Through and through, this blend wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. This blend offers a smoking experience with layers (like an onion or a Shrek). It’s the kind of blend I would gladly offer full bodied cigar fanatics who are looking for something a little different.