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Staff Reviews

New World Cameroon Doble Robusto Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

I’m reviewing a standout cigar from the AJ Fernandez portfolioNew World Cameroon – in a 5.5 by 54 ring gauge format called the Doble Robusto. Abdel Josef (AJ) Fernandez is a somewhat brooding figure with his large frame and wide-brimmed hat, always concentrating on a handful of tobacco leaves or the cigars he’s smoking. His focus is a reflection of the hard work he’s put in over the past two decades, building his brand from an operation that made house blends for a few big online retailers to a top-rated company celebrated by the critics in Cigar Aficionado.

AJ hails from Cuba, like many renowned cigar-makers, but his success has been realized in Nicaragua where he owns and operates numerous factories and farms and produces an extensive collection of premium blends like the New World Cameroon I’m smoking today. AJ’s cigars are accessible. They can be found in nearly every premium retailer you visit, and they’re all reasonably priced, from around $5 to $12 apiece. AJ debuted his New World line in 2014 and expanded it to include Cameroon and Connecticut Shade wrappers a few years later. The New World name refers to Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World – an event historians have come to debate in recent years in consideration of Leif Eriksson’s arrival about five hundred years prior. Nonetheless, the facts won’t change how the cigar tastes. 

The Doble Robusto in my hand is a gorgeous and slightly chunky, box-pressed cigar that shows off all the hallmarks you’d expect from a toothy, well-aged Cameroon wrapper leaf. Under it is a full-bodied blend of Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos grown on AJ’s estates. As soon as I slip the cellophane off, woody and peppery aromas of cocoa and oak emanate from the unlit foot. I’ve decided to slice the cap with my razor-sharp V-cutter to get an added concentration of flavor on the palate. How you cut a cigar makes a difference, and sometimes I really enjoy fatter box-pressed shapes with a V-cut because the smoke is pulled equally from the top and bottom portions of the cigar as you draw on it.

New World Cameroon fires up with a few blasts from my trusty butane torch. It’s a brilliant afternoon as the summer winds down and I kick my feet up on the lawn furniture with an ice-cold beer in hand. My neighbors stroll by, buried in their smartphones, and gasp at how relaxed I am when the breeze sweeps the aroma of my smoke in their direction. Peppery notes of chestnuts and cedar mingle in a leathery and earthy profile that increases in intensity as the first inches of the cigar expire. A tight white ash forms after fifteen or twenty minutes, and I tap it off in the ashtray with ease. 

Sweet and spicy notes of cinnamon and clove emerge as the first half of my New World Cameroon concludes. The added nuances are flavorful, balanced, and lack any bitterness despite an uptick in the cigar’s strength. Many of the best Cameroon cigars are even-keeled and creamy. AJ’s version is stronger than most, so I advise smoking it at a slower pace, especially when you get past the middle. Every puff draws like a dream and steers clear of overheating, which is a firm testimonial to the quality control standards at AJ’s cigar factory. It’s rare for a cigar-maker to achieve the growth he has in such a short amount of time and maintain a such a high level of consistency throughout his portfolio.

A bit of citrus comes into play as the nub of my Doble Robusto winds down. Steady notes of baking spices and wood stay for the encore. I’m sold on a 91-point score for overall flavor, aroma, and combustion. Cameroon wrappers are less common than they once were. They’re delicate and expensive to produce due to the political and economic instability in the central African nations where Cameroon leaves are grown. I guarantee New World Cameroon will be a welcome addition to your smoking rotation, particularly for fans of stronger cigars. Get acquainted with AJ’s take on this historic wrapper leaf, and consider smoking it with some of his other biggest hits in the AJ Fernandez ‘El Cubano’ Sampler if you’re exploring his collection for the first time. Enjoy!


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