Aside from A.J. Fernández's contract blends made for the largest retailers in the U.S., it was the San Lotano brand that set his own AJF Cigar Company on the map. The first San Lotano cigar debuted in 2010, being named for the Fernández family's brand in Cuba, before migrating to Nicaragua. This name is so much a part of Fernández's operation that it is also the designation of a farm in Nicaragua and a second factory, located in Ocotal, Nicaragua.
It was then quite the surprise when A.J. announced that he would be porting the brand over to the Dominican Republic for its latest incarnation, San Lotano Dominicano. Indeed, A.J. has partnered with renowned cigarmaker Jochy Blanco, incorporating both Blanco's Dominican-grown tobaccos and A.J.'s Nicaraguan leaf, resulting in a true collaborative effort! San Lotano Dominicano includes Dominican and Nicaraguan leaves (harvested from both cigarmakers' farms) throughout the filler; this combination is then bound in Blanco's Dominican leaf and finalized in a lush, Cuban-seed, Brazilian wrapper. Finally, A.J. has handed over the reins of his beloved brand, allowing the cigars to be rolled at Blanco's Tabacalera Palma factory in the DR.
We believe it's safe to say that the risk was worth the reward, as San Lotano Dominicano brings something new, yet familiar to the table. Smokers can expect an overall medium-plus body, which ramps from medium to full from start to finish. This exciting progression brings with it a clean smoke across the palate, showing flavors of earth, dark chocolate, sweet florals, hardwoods, vanilla, and a touch of saltiness for balance.
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