In early 2022, when we decided to open our own cigar shop, we had to take a hard look at the cigars we wanted to keep in stock. And today's cigar, the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro, was one of the cigars we hoped to evaluate.
Over the past several months, the AJ Fernandez brand has been popping up all over the place, and often in association with brands that aren't his. Brands like H. Upmann, Montecristo, and more have asked AJ to breathe new life into them and blend something great.
And, as he did with the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary, AJ Fernandez showed up with some bold tobacco to bring a new blend to the H. Upmann Heritage.
Okay, history lesson over; let's dive in.
The H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage is a great-looking cigar. The Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper is oily and dark. The Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, in contrast to the Brazilian wrapper, are much lighter.
On the cold draw, I tasted cedar sawdust, and the cigar seemed very dry. Not so much that the cigar was under humidified, just that it dried my mouth out to puff it. In contrast to the dry cedar notes on the cold draw, the aroma of the cigar once I lit it was really nice. Also, the smoke output was great.
The flavors in the first third were of wood and earth. There was no sweetness.
Did AJ Fernandez do enough with this H. Upmann Nicaragua Heritage Toro to make H. Upmann popular again? Let's keep smoking.
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Smoke Time: 58 minutes
Through the middle of the H. Upmann Nicaragua Heritage by AJ Fernandez Toro, the flavors developed from something very woody into something rich and chewy. The burn was almost perfect, and the draw continued to be great.
After only 58 minutes, I was done with the disappointingly short H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro. A cigar with these dimensions (6 x 54) should've smoked for at least 75 minutes.
However, the construction of the cigar was perfect. Draw: perfect. Burn: perfect.
Regarding the flavors, in the final third, they were either bitter and a little harsh, or if the strength was ramped up to eleven. For reference, high nicotine cigars can come across as bitter. But this one wasn't bitter, it was just really strong in the last few minutes.
While this cigar was really good to begin with, I think it could also benefit from additional aging over a few years to mellow it out. That said, I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit, so the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro earns a CigarScore 5.