It’s safe to say that the Casa Fernandez cigar is the flagship blend of Casa de Fernandez, the new face of Tabacalera Tropical. The cigar was introduced in 2007, before the company’s name change, but it hasn’t gotten as much press as I would expect. The lancero has received some attention on the cigar forums (mostly positive) but only a few of the review sites have taken a serious look at the blend. After smoking this cigar, I don’t think that it’s a quality issue. The fact is that this cigar is not terribly easy to find on the shelves.
It looks like the distribution of this brand is spread worldwide, so maybe it’s easier to find in Europe or Asia than on American retail shelves. I had to track these down online.
The Casa Fernandez features a wrapper that is dramatically described as “Super Premium grade ‘A’ 2006 Sun Grown Corojo.” It is of course an Aganorsa grown Nicaraguan leaf, as are the binder and filler leaves.
Five vitolas are listed as currently in production, per the Casa de Fernandez website:
- Robusto – 4 1/2 x 52
- Torpedo – 6 1/4 x 52
- Toro – 6 1/2 x 52
- Lancero – 7 1/2 x 40
- Salomon – 7 1/8 x 60 (the Salomon is also available in Ecuadorian Connecticut and Nicaraguan Maduro)
This robusto seems squat by comparison with traditional 5 x 50 robustos; it’s slightly truncated and a little overinflated, but handsome nevertheless. It feels a little light in the hand, but the pack is firm with no soft spots. The pig-tail cap is mashed into the head of the cigar, making a little swirl that is easily overlooked. (The same technique is used to finish the Particulares cigar.) The triple cap is otherwise extremely well executed. The wrapper is dark, glossy and attractive, despite being a little rough. The corojo cover leaf seems to be very thin, allowing the texture of the rough binder leaf to show on the surface of the cigar. One sample arrived with a small v-shaped crack that posed only a cosmetic threat.
The Casa Fernandez burns well with an open draw. The ash is dark and little bit crumbly — typical of Aganorsa leaf, and not really an issue. One odd thing I noticed was that the ligero centered in the middle of the cigar seems to flame out as the cigar burns, creating the illusion that the cigar is tunneling, when it really isn’t. I would say it was my imagination, but it happened with both of the cigars I smoked.
The smoking characteristics of the Casa Fernandez are quite similar to the Particulares, but a little heavier. There is more pepper and more punch to this cigar, especially in the back half.
The first few puffs of smoke are smooth in texture but are served with plenty of black pepper. It doesn’t come out as trenchantly as say, the Don Pepin Blue, but it isn’t shy either. The aroma is corojo all the way — caramel sweetness over an underlying cedary base.
The pepper dies down after the two-thirds point and the flavor becomes less sharp. An astringent woodiness takes over from here, accompanied by a pleasant and familiar nuttiness. The aroma continues on the same track as before, but replaces some of its sweetness with a stronger pungency while remaining woodsy and cedar-like.
The last part of the cigar turns up the heat. Pepper returns on the palate and the aftertaste becomes tannic. While still tasty, the smoke becomes a little too aggressive for my taste. I let it smolder on anyway to enjoy the aroma, hoping the neighbor doesn’t think I’m nuts for waving a cigar butt under my nose instead of just smoking it. Corojo is good stuff.
The Casa Fernandez robusto is a fine smoke, but it loses some of its finesse in the home stretch. It’s similar to but more complex than its sister blend Particulares, but it’s also slightly more expensive. Ringing in at around 8 USD per stick, it’s not over the top for a “super premium” smoke, but I’d think twice before picking the Fernandez over Particulares.
Final Score: 87
Brian finds the Torpedo to be boxworthy for the Stogie Review
Rob digs the robusto but finds the price discouraging for PuffingCigars.com