San Lotano Oval Corona

Vitola: Corona (rounded boxpress; aka "Oval Pressed")

Size: 5×44

Wrapper: Habano 2000 Aged for 4+ years

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and an AJ Fernandez "Secret Blend"

Cost: $6.85

I have had many AJ Fernandez cigars with much luck. From the Man Of Wars to the San Lotano, I've liked many I have picked up. When I heard through the grapvine there was a new "Oval" line coming out I was interested right off the bat. There is much talk about the Oval on Twitter and a few Forum sites, so that made me itch even more to try one. I was not able to find any of the Ovals locally and knew in December, Ben and I were going to Buckhead Cigar Club in Buckhead (Atlanta) GA for a "tweetup", and that Mike carried them there. The Oval was #1 on my buy list while there. Although the tweetup was during the weekend, Ben and I left Thursday to get a headstart on the weekend and the 7 hour (four cigar) trip. I had two of the Ovals while at Buckhead, the Robusto then the Corona and they lived up to everyones praise for them. Clay (@AJFcigars) from AJ Fernandez Cigars even made the trip across the country to Buckhead to come smoke, socialize, and passed out a few San Lotano samples. I decided to give the Oval Corona I bought a review and see how it goes again.

First Looks: The aged Habano wrapper is a dark brown shade that has a few viens. The cigar has a nice feal to it with no hard/soft spots to it. I like the way the Oval press feals in my hand. Its not totally round, nor totally square. The wrapper has a slight hay aroma to it. The foot aroma is similar to the wrapper with added nutmeg. The prelight draw is dead on with woody/hay notes. I was expecting a little tougher draw from a "pressed" cigar, but this draw is great!

 

First Third: The Oval lights up fast and immediately puts out a thick cloud of smoke. The first few puffs into the smoke I get nice spice and roasted nuts notes. I am not particularly fond of an overly spicy cigar, but this spice is a little more than subtle, but not overbearing at all. Partially into the cigar I realize the Oval press: 1. Feals nicer than a typical boxpress and 2. Creates a nice and even burn. So its not a gimmick as some may think. The Spice subsides nicley once into the smoke, and a nice bit of sweetness shows through the thick plumes of smoke. The spice to sweetness is a total 180 inwhich I am really liking so far. A grayish white ash forms, from the even burn, and hold for about 3/4".

Second Third: The sweetness is still overpowering the spice, but its not an overpowering sweetness. The sweetness tastes much like a chocolate candy bar with wood untertones. I get about half way through and start to realize, I don't like this cigar, I really like this cigar! A little of the spice comes back up onto my pallet towards the end of the second third. Still not a kick in the mouth spice, but its noticable. Its a good contrast with the sweet and spice notes in the smoke that I am liking more and more. The draw is still dead on with this smoke and is producing the same 3/4" white/gray ash as before. I usually have a few touch-ups on boxpress burnlines, but the Oval press has seemed to solve that problem with no issues at all!

Final Third: The smoke is still pretty much the same creamy smooth chocolate sweet notes as before. I taste very subtle taste of black pepper at the end of the cigar. Its the same strength of the previous spice, not overpowering but noticable. The pepper is short lived and overtaken by the sweetened wood notes once again.

Final Thoughts: I had the Robusto and Corona, and as of now, I am partial to the robusto size. I am looking forward to trying the larger ring gauges and lengths. The Robusto seemed to have a more fuller flavor strength than the corona did. Don't get me wrong, the corona was good, but the robusto was slightly better in my eyes. The slightly spicy start that ended up with a chocolatly sweet finish of a medium bodied cigar is a winner in my book. Overall a great smoke, that burns and draws great. With an array of flavors alot of people could enjoy, that each to their own aren't overpowering. I highly recommend you trying a San Lotano Oval soon!

If I had to guess what AJ Fernandez's "secret blend" in the filler is, I would be willing to bet that there is a amount of Sumatra in the mix somewheres.

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Comments

Great Review, big fan of AJ stick I have on Oval in my Humi I haven't gotten to yet I can't wait maybe this weekend after reading this review I might have to light it up.  Keep up the great work

I've smoked the AJ San Lotano Oval Toro. It was the best Cigar of the AJ cigar Line. I wished that AJ makes a Churchchill size Oval(50X8"). It  is better than Man-O-War Armada (over price).

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