Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares
Today I headed out to a wet, muggy backyard to enjoy a Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares paired with a bottle of Ballast Point Victory at Sea.
The Good Stuff:
Making it’s debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show, the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares is part of an annul release which began with the 2013 release of the Aniversario Boheme No. 35. The Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares is rolled at the company’s Miami factory using a Nicaraguan Aganorsa Corojo wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan filler all grown at the company’s Aganorsa farms. The Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares comes in only one format, a 6.25 x 52 soft boxed pressed toro and is packaged in boxes of 10 with only 2,000 boxes produced running $12.50 a stick. I picked this up from our friends at Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert, AZ. Hit them up, they may just have a few left in stock.
Size: 6.25 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Aganorsa Corojo
Pairing: Ballast Point Victory at Sea (Baltic Porter 10% ABV)
It’s very hard to overlook the sheer elegance in that packaging of the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares. It stars with am elegant white and silver band with the word “MIAMI” printed boldly in the center while “Fabrica de Tabacos Casa Fernandez” surrounds it. There is a second band with is primarily silver with white accents which says “Casa Fernandez Aniversario 2014” printed on it. Then, a beautiful, opaque, tissue/paper surrounds the rest of the body of the cigar down to the foot which aries multiple silver etchings of the cigar’s crest.
Once we take the tissue off the box pressed cigar is finally exposed. The wrapper on the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares is very rustic looking as it’s a light to medium brown with lots of darker spots as well as some more orangish-brown areas scattered throughout. There are very little sings of veins outside of one large on running thorough the front of the body as the wrapper’s texture is very smooth and silky with very little tooth and a good amount of oil. The cigar is polished off with a round, triple cap. The wrapper of the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares gives off some mild spice and cashew aroma while the foot of the cigar is just as tame only showcasing some slight spice and grassiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw tells a much different story as it leads with bold pepper and spice flavors with strong cedar, sweetness, and earthiness.
The Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares starts out with a strong blast of cayenne pepper leaving my lips and tongue tingling. After a few puffs the pepper starts to fade out and I’m left with some cedar, plum, spice, and leather. I’m also getting this subtle metallic taste on my lips every so often. It’s a bit off-putting but it doesn’t happen often enough for me to complain about it. While the draw doesn’t really feel tight at all, i find the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares doesn’t product as much smoke as I’d like. I have to hit it a few times to get the draw I’m looking for. While we’re on smoke production, the cigar also lets out close to zero stationary smoke as it sits in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin and leaves behind a beautiful trail of white, compacted ash which held on for about an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares the draw has finally started to open up. Sadly, as the draw opened up the flavors began to mellow out. There is still a decent amount of cedar and spice, with some slight vanilla and not a whole lot else. As the draw opened, the cigar started producing much more smoke, but the side effect was a wild burn line. I had to touch it up a few times in the second third to keep it burning correctly. The retrohale produced some good cedar and spice helping raise the body of the cigar up a bit as I close out the second third with no signs of nicotine at all.
Into the final third of the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares and much remains the same. The flavors haven’t really changed since the second third nor have they increased in body. The cigar still leads with cedar and spice with some light vanilla, and a bit of natural tobaccos as well some some slight bitterness. It took me an hour and forty five minutes to smoke the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares down to the nub. I experience a bit of harshness, and bitterness but nothing really substantial in the nicotine department.
I got into every Casa Fernandez cigar with high expectations, and seldom am I ever disappointed. Sadly, this was one of those times. With the Nicaraguan profile and Aganorsa Corojo wrapper I expected some pretty bold flavors. I got a few, but then they all just kind of washed out. I normally don’t complain about touchups or relights but this cigar had more than necessary. It’s not a bad cigar, it’s just not great. And at the $12.50 price range I just can’t justify adding this to my regular rotation. I may give it another shot later down the line, but after smoking a few it just didn’t do it for me.
I purposely paired this cigar with Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea to raise the flavor profile in it. While it worked, the cigar still felt short. Victory at Sea is a 10% Porter brewed in San Diego, California infused with whole vanilla beans and coffee. It’s not stranger to Casas Fumando as its one of my favorite beers to pair with. The Victory at Sea leads with a ton of sweet vanilla, caramel, and cocoa with a medium mouthfeel before finishing with strong cocoa, coffee, sweetness and malt with a chocolate aftertaste. All these flavors helped raise the body of the cigar adding some much needed flavors, but in the end it couldn’t round out the experience.