H. Upmann AJ Fernandez Robusto Cigar Review



The H. Upmann AJ Fernandez is a medium strength blend that offers the smoker some flavor transitions throughout. When you light one of these up, you'll taste notes of grass, hay, cinnamon, rasin sweetness, coffee, and cedar. It's a cigar who's interesting flavor is matched only by nearly flawless construction.

Tim's Rating90
Reader Rating: ( 1 vote ) 90

When you are the best, you go with the best. I think that’s the idea behind legendary 175 year old H. Upmann brand pairing up with modern day cigar juggernaut AJ Fernandez. The result is the H. Upmann AJ Fernandez – blend featuring an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over a Corojo ’99 binder with Criollo and Piloto Cubano fillers. It’s a cigar geek’s blend if ever there was one. My question is, can this carefully crafted cigar provide the kind of flavor that will please the ever discerning aficionado of our day? The only way to find out is with a cut and a light.

H. Upmannby AJ Fernandez
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Corojo ’99
Filler: Criollo ’98 & Piloto Cubano
Size: 5×52
Price: $8.70

Light Up

The first few puffs of this Sumatra blend are anything but unordinary. While a lot of cigars kick off with pepper and a basic profile, this one opens with thick chewy smoke. This is something that I don’t find with a lot of cigars. Most blends take off like a plane leaving a windy runway. The flavor is shaky for a while before leveling off. This one offers that thick smoke with two basic notes – grass and hay. It’s a nicely developed profile for light up with plenty of room to grow.

The grass and hay notes are also classic Cuban cigar notes. They fit this cigar perfectly as H. Upmann was originally a Cuban brand. I haven’t read that AJ was looking to hit a cuban profile with this blend. So it may just be happenstance that the profile is so reminiscent of those hard to find cigars

First Third

Flavors develop nicely every few puffs of the first third. That thick chewy consistency to the smoke remains the same, while two new flavor features reveal themselves. Notes of Cinnamon (which I’m finding a in a lot of cigars these days for whatever reason), and rasin sweetness both give this cigar a more dynamic flavor. Grass and hay are good, but if they’re the only two notes, it can be sorta one dimensional. These new flavors have added a whole new side to the flavor that brings the whole thing to life.

Second Third

Its rare to find a flavor transition as complete as what I’m finding in the second third of the H. Upmann AJ Fernandez! Those Cubanesque notes of grass and hay have fallen completely away from the profile. They either left space for the new notes, or the new notes just bullied their way in there. But now coffee and cedar are now filling out the profile in full force.

The whole flavor has gotten a couple notches stronger here as well. It’s something I typically find in the final third of most cigars. It made me double check my smoking time to make sure I’m not smoking too fast. Sure enough, the timing is totally ordinary, which makes me wonder how much stronger this blend will get in the final third.

Final Third

There are certain notes that tend to fall away in the final third of many cigars, and this one is no exception. Notes of cinnamon and rasin sweetness have both joined grass and hay in flavor note heaven, while coffee and cedar are still hanging in there. At this point, the smoke is getting hot and the strength approaches medium plus to full bodied.

Through and through, this blend offered a very interesting experience. Not only was the flavor profile good, it had a few transitions that kept me on my toes. This is a blend that seems to do justice to both H. Upmann and AJ Ferna

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Comment (0)

  1. Let’s see…. 175 years ago? Coming to the US to get away from censorship and religious/political persecution in Europe. Damn good thing they got out while they could, so their descendants could have the chance to enjoy the occasional fine leaf like these.