As I get older and older, its been a while since I’ve heard “last call” as I don’t frequent the bars long enough to hear it anymore.
A.J. Fernandez has his hands in quite a few blends of cigars for others besides his own. Recently he has collaborated with General Cigars with their Hoya La Amistad which is a great smoke and I’ll be taking a look at it in the near future. The Last Call cigar had its debut around the start of the 2016 NFL Football season. Prior to its retail release, the cigar was passed out to A.J.’s friends, at his house, around the last part of a football game as a “Last Call” cigar of the evening. The smaller vitola of the cigar was perfect for someone who finished a prior cigar, wanted another smoke, but had a little bit of time left. The cigar was a big hit with A.J.’s friends and it was decided to produce it for the masses. This scenario is pretty similar to the Man O War Puro Authentico history being a personal blend eventually made for retail.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
The Last Call is fairly smooth cigar. There are minimal small veins, a slight shine on the Rosado wrapper that’s finished off with a closed foot. I am half fan and half not a fan of a closed foot. They are a unique aspect of a cigar, but to my knowledge offer no real significance to the cigar. They do hinder the toasting of the foot in the way that you can’t see how thorough of a toasting you are giving the foot. Then there are the flakes of lit tobacco that typically seem to fall off onto my lap. None the less, the cigar is pretty straight forward with a simple band.
The wrapper has an aroma of a very light sweetened wood note. The foot smells like the wrapper, as it should seeing its a closed foot. I do detect some light straw, hay & cedar notes. The cold draw has a flavor similar to the aroma of the foot; light straw, hay as well as a light form of the cedar. Prelight draw is about dead on right, but a tad on the looser side of things.
There were no construction issues with this cigar what so ever. The draw was a little on the loose size, but the cigar was dry-boxed a little longer than expected. The burn was pretty good, there were few small waves that created semi-flaky ashes of white, off-white and gray tones. The amount of drawn smoke was proportionate to the draw. Typically a looser draw results in a vast amount of smoke. The room note out of this small cigar was pretty stout.
The first few draws of the Last Call are fairly spicy, leather and a fairly rich coffee note. The spice is pretty straight forward and bold as it helped clear my sinuses after a retrohale. The spice doesn’t stay as strong for long, it mellows off nicely and allows the coffee and leather notes to take charge of the flavor profile. From this point on I needed to warm up (its in the 30s here) so I grabbed a cup of medium roast Hawaiian Blend coffee. Leaving the first third, the spice starts to transition into a vegetal, almost fresh cut grass, tone.
The middle portion starts off with the coffee, vegetal (grassy) notes being key. The leather is lessening in strength as a cedar flavor arises into the mix. Around the halfway mark, a nice caramel flavor joins the flavors and mixes well with the spice.
Easing into the final third, a little hint of a black pepper comes up as the vegetal notes ease off substantially. I don’t particularly care too much for the black pepper as it almost combats the coffee and caramel from before. Although the black pepper does give the coffee note more of a chicory coffee flavor. If you haven’t had chicory coffee, its a bold almost peppery coffee. I love chicory coffee, yet it’s similar flavor in this cigar doesn’t appeal to me at the moment. Eventually the black pepper eases off into the background of the smoke. Doing so, the coffee and caramel are the dominant flavors till the end of the cigar where at the “knuckle burning point” the coffee note is key.
This is one of the more stronger flavor and bodied Rosado wrapped cigars I’ve had. Its not as sweet as some of the other Rosado wrapped cigars I’ve had in the past. The paired coffee mingled well with the already present coffee notes in the smoke. The middle portion was probably my favorite part of the cigar. Every key flavor was mingling well with each other. Some complimented each other more than other but overall not too much confusion. The smaller size its a great size for shorter smoke for the winter months. It would also be a good fairly strong morning smoke to go with your morning coffee. The $5 SRP is spot on as its far from a junk smoke and offers a decent amount of smoke time and pleasant flavors.
The Last Call is now available in a maduro wrapper. If I can get my hands on one of them, I’ll give it a go and let you know of it as well.
*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from A.J. Fernandez Cigars for this review (prior to any FDA regulations). Many thanks to those great people for the opportunity to review this cigar!