A.J. Fernandez Dias de Gloria
Look Who’s Back! You guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
A. J. Fernandez Cigar Company first introduced Dias de Gloria to the cigar market in 2017, but it was soon discontinued in order for the company to concentrate its efforts on the lines that were currently in production. Recently, however, the line was brought back onto the market, and here we are with the newly re-introduced Dias de Gloria. Dias de Gloria translates to “Days of Glory”, a tribute to the pre-Castro heyday of Cuban cigars. The blend is a combination of tobaccos from the four oldest of Fernandez’ Nicaraguan farms, all based in Esteli, and is produced at Tabacalera A. J. Fernandez in Esteli.
Dias de Gloria is produced in four sizes:
- Robusto 5½x52
- Toro 6×56
- Short Churchill 6½x48
- Gordo 6×58
All sizes come in boxes of 20 with prices running from $9 to $12 per cigar.
I obtained the Dias de Gloria from our great friends over at Cuenca Cigars.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Size smoked for review: Short Churchill 6½x48
- Price: $9
- Smoking time: One hour, forty minutes
- Pairing: Ommegang Abbey Dubbel (ABV 8.2%)
Dias de Gloria comes with the expected Fernandez double banded motif, with the addition of a long cedar sleeve and a red ribbon band at the foot. Once shed of the sleeve, a gorgeous cigar is revealed, showing a uniformly amber tinted brown wrapper with a few fine veins and one medium one, an oily sheen and silky feel. The seams are nearly invisible, and the cigar is firmly packed down to the foot, where it gets a little softer. The wrapper gives off an earthy barnyard scent, while the foot shows earthy natural tobacco plus a little woodiness. After giving it a v-cut, the cold draw displays light sweet spice and cedar.
Immediately upon lighting, Dias de Gloria gives off a nice mouthful of smoke laden with cedar, earth, and a good amount of pepper, backed by light leather. The cedar is even more up-front in the retrohale along with rich natural tobacco, but thankfully, the pepper is not as strong on the sinuses as on the entry. The pepper soon pulls back substantially and spice and musk elements creep into the background. The burn started out rather crooked, but has recovered nicely on its own and is now razor thin and even, and the compact ash has held on for over an inch. At this point, the flavors are blending together well, and the pepper has been alternately pushing forward, then falling back.
As Dias de Gloria enters the middle section, things are humming along smoothly. The combination of cedar, musty/musky tobacco, nutmeg-like spice, and pepper are at the forefront, while wisps of leather, light bread, and a bit of savory char bring up the rear. Even though the pepper is still quite evident, the cigar has mellowed nicely while maintaining a bit of “edginess”.
Things begin to ramp up in the final third of the Dias de Gloria, including the strength which had been on the low side until now. The woodiness has turned more toward oak and the char is more prominent, as is the pepper which is leaving a definite tingle on my lips and tongue, and light sweetness has been weaving in and out throughout. The Dias de Gloria ends up between medium and medium-full in body with a noticeable nicotine kick, while the nub is firm and cool.
Winding things up:
The A. J. Fernandez Dias de Gloria turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable smoke. There were not a whole lot of different flavors, but those that were there were complex enough, mingled well, and wove in and out enough to keep me involved with it, and the construction and burn were exemplary. I never had to correct it the few times the burn wavered, and the only time I had to re-light it was when I left it alone for too long while I was doing something else. The price is right at the point where I think it should be and I can certainly give it a strong recommendation. It’s another worthy addition to the Fernandez portfolio.
I wanted to match this cigar up with a beer that has a decent amount of sweetness and smoothness to it without it being big and dark, and decided on Ommegang’s Abbey Dubbel as a great partner, and indeed it was. The malty, fruity sweetness paired well with the flavors of the Dias de Gloria, while helping to tame the pepper in the smoke. A Scotch ale or a lighter, fruity port would also match up well with this cigar.