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Staff Reviews

New World Toro Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Abdel Josef Fernandez, a.k.a. AJ Fernandez, has made a sizeable spark as a maker of premium cigars over the past ten years. His success has been steady. Fernandez hails from Cuba’s famed Pinar del Rio region where a local farmer, Riccardo Ledezma, provided AJ with a thorough introduction to tobacco growing and blending. Ledezma took Fernandez under his wing at the age of thirteen and fostered his passion for premium tobacco. Under Ledezma, AJ gained an intimate acquaintance with planting, harvesting, priming, fermenting, and sorting tobacco.


Family connections led Fernandez to Nicaragua in 2003 where he worked for a tobacco farmer who grew tobacco for Nestor Plasencia. AJ Fernandez began making his own cigars modestly on the side. Eventually, he bought a 28-acre farm in Nicaragua and began producing a series of inexpensive house brands for catalog companies. AJ’s success as a contractor paved the way for him to develop his own boutique brands. First came San Lotano followed by New World.

Today, New World is among AJ’s most popular blends. The cigar debuted in 2014 and gained attention as a solid bargain-priced Nicaraguan. The medium to full-bodied recipe is handcrafted entirely from Nicaraguan tobaccos, including its deep reddish-brown wrapper leaf. The blend commemorates Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the “New World” and the introduction of tobacco to Europe. The cigar band bears a historical illustration of Columbus’ arrival in the West.

I am smoking AJ Fernandez New World in a Toro. The cigar is a well-made in a 6.5 x 55 box-pressed format. New World displays ideal density and is somewhat light to the touch. The cold draw delivers a hint of sweetness with a dark and earthy zest.

Upon lighting up, rich and chalky notes of black pepper characterize the initial draws. New World is captivating right off the bat. Brisk, peppery notes of black coffee layer the palate in a series of perfect draws thanks to the cigar’s meticulous construction. A few cool and easy pulls produce ample amounts of smoke.

As the profile unfolds, hints of dark molasses and caramel emerge but never overshadow the bitter backdrop of dark roast coffee beans. New World burns perfectly straight through the halfway mark as a firm ash develops. Although the flavor flirts with sweetness, it resists any meaningful shifts in taste.

The straightforward character of the cigar is perhaps what makes it popular. While comparable cigars pull off more dramatic changes in taste, AJ Fernandez New World demonstrates an increase in intensity but preserves its original profile of coffee, black pepper, and earth without overpowering the senses.

By the final third, New World reveals a profile best described as a one-trick-pony but not in a bad way. Its zesty character amplifies in both flavor and aroma with a crisp and somewhat dry temperament. Although New World does not show off an abundance of complexity, it resonates evenly across the palate and delivers welcome flavor from beginning to end. The finish is dark and spicy but not overbearing.

Aficionados who are curious to try AJ Fernandez cigars deserve an introduction to New World. Fans of Nicaraguan blends, in particular, are likely to be impressed by the cigar’s balance and consistency, especially for the price. Give AJ Fernandez New World a shot and enhance your collection with a reliable boutique brand you can easily add to your rotation.


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