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Staff Reviews

AJ Fernandez Dias de Gloria Robusto Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

I am reviewing AJ Fernandez Dias de Gloria in a 5.5 x 52 Robusto. The blend is a recent release from celebrated cigar-maker Abdel Josef Fernandez. Dias de Gloria translates to “glory days” and is an homage to cigar making in pre-embargo Cuba.

Many avid cigar smokers have smoked at least one cigar made by AJ Fernandez by now. Fernandez built his reputation blending and producing house brands for large catalog and online companies. He got a break making seasonal blends for Rocky Patel over a decade ago. Today, you can find Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, and H. Upmann cigars blended by AJ Fernandez. Many big Cuban-legacy brands rely on AJ’s reputation as a selling point.

In 2011, AJ Fernandez released San Lotano, the first cigar he made under his own name. After San Lotano received a respectable 91-point rating in Cigar Aficionado, AJ’s climb to the top was underway. The AJ Fernandez portfolio includes a growing array of popular blends.

When Dias de Gloria debuted in 2019, it became one of my favorite AJ Fernandez cigars. The blend is handcrafted at AJ’s immense factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Fernandez created the cigar from a blend of well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. A reddish-hued chocolate-brown Nicaraguan wrapper encases some of the oldest and finest binder and filler tobaccos from AJ’s reserves.

Dias de Gloria comes sheathed in a cedar sleeve. Once it’s removed, the beauty of the wrapper really shows with a slight tooth and an oily sheen. The cigar is very firm and evenly packed. Pre-light aromas from the wrapper offer hints of leather, hay, barnyard, and cocoa, while the cold draw adds notes of black pepper, cedar, and cola.

AJ Fernandez Dias de Gloria starts out bold.  Notes of leather and citrus come into play with a touch of black coffee and almonds. The first retrohale burns intensely. Hot and dry notes of habanero and baking spices permeate the nose. After about an inch, the profile smooths out with earthy notes of oak and moss. Thankfully, the spice mellows out by the time the first half of the cigar is done.

The second half shifts to a much sweeter profile. Hints of vanilla-bean ice cream and cedar arrive. As I move into the final stretch, Dias de Gloria delivers a profile of wood and floral notes. The finish is long and a little bitter but balanced.

Like other AJ Fernandez cigars I’ve smoked, the construction and consistency of Dias de Gloria is stellar. The draw offers superb resistance and ample amounts of smoke. The room note is a nice balance of sweet and spicy aromas. At first, I expected this cigar to finish stronger due to its peppery intensity, but honestly, it’s a great medium-bodied cigar.

AJ Fernandez Dias de Gloria is one of the spiciest cigars I have ever smoked. Fans of zesty Nicaraguan profiles shouldn’t hesitate to try it. It definitely falls into the “flavor bomb” category. I highly recommend giving it a whirl when you’re craving a cigar on the tangy side. You will not be disappointed!

90rated

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