Cigar Reviews

San Lotano Maduro Toro, by A.J. Fernandez

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Wrapping up a long week, I bring you this week’s review: A.J. Fernandez’s San Lotano Maduro.

San Lotano Maduro

Abdel J. Fernandez has been a big name in the cigar industry as of late. Mostly because of his Manowar, Diesel, and Ave Maria blends, but it looks like he is starting to get away from the vendor exclusive market and distribute cigars on his own. The San Lotano line is one of the first one of these blends that the consumer will be able to find in their common brick and mortar shops.

San Lotano Maduro

The Good Stuff: The San Lotano line is being produced in Esteli, Nicaragua and comes in three different blends. The Habano, the Connecticut, and the Maduro. I smoked through all three, in different sizes as well and I have to say that I enjoyed the Maduro the most. A neat side note is that so many people I spoke with were blown away by the Habano. This just shows A. J.’s skill, and reach to the subjectivity of cigar smokers today. This is something that can make or break any manufacturer. Not to mention you can now find them on twitter (@AJFCigars), and they are actually very active, informational, and just a blast to talk with.

Size:  6 x 52 (Box Pressed)-  Wrapper: Mexican Maduro  –  Binder (dual): Honduran and Dominican  –  Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan  – Body: Medium

San Lotano Maduro 

Prelight: The San Lotano Maduro is a beautiful, box-pressed, toro cigar. The wrapper is the wonderful, deep, dark, brown so dark that it is almost black. The wrapper has a nice little gleam to it too making this cigar look like nothing more than a chunk of dark chocolate with some cigar bands on it. The thick, and EXTREMELY firm body carries minor, very small veins, and no soft spots leading up to the rounded off double-cap. The band on the entire San Lotano line is black, with a gold, orange, and green crest holding the “San Lotano” name as well as a gold banner with “By A.J. Fernandez” and some small circular pictures showing tobacco production. There is also a secondary black and gold embossed band that simply states “Maduro”.

San Lotano Maduro

The San Lotano Maduro gives off this massive chocolate and mossy smell. The foot carries the same aroma only its amplified by ten. The cap was very easy to clip using my double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a really strong chocolate taste, with a bunch of spice and a little leather off the tail end.

First Smoke: Just as the prelight, and cold draw characteristics suggested this San Lotano Maduro starts out with a crap load of dark chocolate and spice. After the spice settles a bit the San Lotano shows its true colors with a much more bolder, chocolate, coffee, and leather flavor with just a little bit of fruit. This cigar really doesn’t give off much, if any stationary smoke, however the draw was thick and plentiful.  The burnline is phenomenal, dead on and razor sharp leaving behind a nice semi-compacted trail of light and medium grey ash. Which held on for about an inch and a half before giving way.

San Lotano Maduro

Halfway There: The flavors really mellowed out into the second third of this San Lotano Maduro.  Which really caught me off guard as the first third finished off with the crazy spice build up. The flavors are still chocolate dominant with a smooth woodsy backing and hints of fruit. They just aren’t as powerful as they were. The retrohale however is rocking with just a ton of spice and chocolate. The burnline is still just perfect and I am only feeling very slight nicotine teases at this point.

San Lotano Maduro

Finish: Although the final third of this San Lotano Maduro finished a lot milder than I would have liked, the flavors did really ramp back up towards the end. The main flavor all the way through was the chocolate. In the final third more of the cedar and tobacco flavors snuck it carrying a bit more of that fruit along with it. The cigar had just a slight amount of harshness into the nub, but nothing off-putting. I felt no nicotine, and the cigar took about and hour and forty five minutes to take down.

San Lotano Maduro

Overview: I honestly love the new stuff AJ has been coming out with, this maduro was no exception. My only gripe is the size. A smaller, stouter vitola would make this a perfect everyday cigar. I just haven’t been going for the larger sticks lately. Even though the weather in El Paso is suited for it, I just favor the robusto/coronas. This cigar is perfectly priced, and something I would definitely recommend to any cigar smoker from the novice to the everyday guy (or gal).

San Lotano Maduro

Pairing: This pairing is no surprise if you follow us here at Casas Fumando. New Belgium’s 1554 is the ideal candidate to pair with absolutely any maduro cigar. The cigar is your standard Brussels’ style black ale. Thick, and dark with a strong chocolate, nut, and roasted malt flavor. I was actually going to pair this cigar with another stout but a 1554 happen to catch my eye when I was going through the fridge. You just can’t beat the pairing.

San Lotano Maduro with some New Belgium 1554

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.


  1. Tadd

    April 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Everyone at my local shop has really been talking these up. I also prefer a smaller vitola of corona/ corona gorda… But hey I was also told the Connie one is a sit downer…. I need to get a few of these as they look tasty and I agree A.J. is pretty amazing!

  2. dalamscius

    April 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I got to enjoy the Habano not long ago and it was a tasty smoke. The Maduro sounds damn good too. My experiences with AJ’s sticks have been hot or miss but lately it’s all been hits! lol

    Nice job Tony, and that brew looks awesome! Yet another one I can’t get here! 🙁

  3. Tony Casas

    April 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    @Tadd sorry man I totally missed your comment! The connie was… ok… but again, im not a connie fan. I didn’t think it had much power, but the habano did! AJ is really doing things right. I just hope he focuses more on HIS brands and not exclusive blends.

    @Daniel I will find a way to get this beer in your hands 🙂 the best black ale I have ever had!

  4. pr0nphisher

    April 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Great review tony! I still have not tried a san lotano, but i have some that are on the back burner. i’m just waiting til this chicago weather makes up its mind.

  5. jjo

    June 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I had one of these in the robusto size recently, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I picked up one of the Habanos after reading that a lot of people prefer that one, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    Great review – this might be the first time I’ve seen the phrase “crap load” in a cigar review! And I agree on the New Belgium 1554. Nice dark flavors without being heavy. It’s not just a winter quaff.

  6. Tony Casas

    June 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    JJO – Thanks for the read bro! The Habanos are just absolute great. Ive been smoking them more and more lately. I could seriously drink 1554 everyday. For breakfast. I could live off the stuff. 🙂 Cheers!

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