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Staff Reviews

New World Dorado by AJ Fernandez Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

Premium cigar-maker AJ Fernandez has been blending and producing his own cigars for over a decade, and New World Dorado is one of his latest hits. I’m smoking New World Dorado in a 5.5-by-52 Robusto for today’s review to see if it lives up to the 94-point rating it recently received from the critics in Cigar Aficionado and whether you should add it to your rotation.


We sell a ton of AJ Fernandez cigars at Holt’s, and I’ve previously reviewed San Lotano Dominicano, Dias de Gloria, and Last Call Maduro from his portfolio. The original New World blend debuted in 2014 as a value-priced Nicaraguan line made entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos. The ‘New World’ name commemorates Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean in 1492, an expedition that led to the introduction of tobacco to Europe. The boxes and bands on New World cigars depict Columbus making landfall with sailing vessels in the background.

Today, multiple cigars make up the New World series, including Cameroon, Connecticut, Puro Especial, and the all-new Dorado. New World Dorado cigars are packaged in 10-count boxes, the Robusto is a neatly box-pressed vitola wrapped in a yellow New World cigar band with a gold ribbon on the foot. Dorado means “gold” in Spanish and is also the name of one of AJ’s Nicaraguan farms, where much of the tobacco for the Dorado blend is harvested. The tobacco grown there is noted for its silky texture and taste. 

When I slide a fresh Robusto from its slot in the box and take off the cellophane, the cigar’s box-pressed frame is firm with sharp, impressive corners. The cigar looks meticulously crafted, and its Cuban-seed Sun Grown Nicaraguan wrapper is smooth with a minimal vein structure. Underneath it is an ample blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers. I can pick up hints of raisin, leather, pepper, and chocolate directly from the raw aroma of the tobacco as I inspect it closely.

When I clip the cap and take a few draws before lighting the foot of the New World Dorado Robusto, slightly acidic notes of bittersweet chocolate and dried fruit mingle. After toasting the end with my Lotus GT Double Torch and puffing a few times, clear and intense notes of earth and wood stir my taste buds and fill my nostrils with a noticeable force. Dorado is powerful. Thankfully the cigar settles down after a few minutes. The blend is considered medium-bodied, but you’ll want to eat something before smoking it as it’s on the heavy side of medium.

Tasting notes of leather and charred wood take over as the tobaccos heat up and combust at a nice even pace. The draw is impeccable and delivers robust streams of smoke with the right amount of resistance while a strong ash unfolds at the foot. I tap it off intermittently but could easily allow it to grow longer. Despite the massive number cigars AJ’s cigar factories crank out, his core releases meet high standards for consistency and construction.

Lingering flavors of toasted oak emerge and leather and coat the palate completely by the time the first half is gone. Although Dorado delivers a heavily charred taste, it’s unusually smooth. Notes of red pepper, salt, and oak create a commanding profile, and by the time I’m deep into the second half, flavors of smoked meats, cedar, and nuts add a new chapter to the New World Dorado Robusto. The cigar’s aroma reminds me of the enticing streams of smoke that pour out of my barbeque smoker when I’m grilling ribs. By the time I’m pulling the final puffs from the nub, a chewy and peppery finale bathes my palate with a sweet and meaty aftertaste.

Although New World Dorado was a bit intense in the beginning, it finished on a positive note and I’m giving it 91 points as I consider it one of the best AJ Fernandez cigars available now. Give this hot new smoke from AJ a whirl and decide if Dorado ranks among today’s best Nicaraguan cigars.


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