Search Content

Search form

Explore the World of Cigars
Staff Reviews

San Lotano Oval Connecticut Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Before AJ Fernandez created New World cigars, the first brand he introduced under his own name was San Lotano Oval, in 2010, and today I’m smoking the Connecticut blend in a 5.5-by-54 Robusto. San Lotano Oval cigars are named for the unusual oval shapes they’re rolled in – similar to a box-pressed format but with softly rounded edges that comfortably fit in the mouth.

San Lotano Oval cigars are handmade in Estelí, Nicaragua, where AJ Fernandez has expanded the footprint of his tobacco farms and cigar factories at a fast pace over the past ten years. Born and raised in Cuba, AJ first learned about tobacco from his father and uncle who worked in tobacco for the agricultural wing of the Cuban government. A local Cuban farmer in Pinar del Rio, however, taught AJ most of what he knows about the planting, harvesting, fermentation, and blending processes.

When AJ’s father, Ismael, departed Cuba to join his cousin, Nestor Plasencia, in Nicaragua in the 1990s, AJ eventually followed suit in 2003. He started modestly, working under the Plasencias before taking on projects for Rocky Patel and making several house brands for Cigars International. While AJ still makes a significant number of cigars under contract for others, demand for his own brands, including New World, Enclave, and Last Call has increased dramatically. Let’s revisit one of his original hits with San Lotano in Connecticut wrapper.

A butterscotch-blond Connecticut wrapper leaf covers a consistent blend of long-filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras. San Lotano Connecticut cigars come in dark-brown 20-count boxes, and the cigars are finished in a pair of elegant gold-and-cream-colored bands. AJ Fernandez cigars are known for their value, and San Lotano Connecticut is no exception in the vicinity of $7-11 per cigar.

The first thing distinguishing the Robusto I’ve taken from a fresh box is the cigar’s compressed shape. With its rounded corners, the Oval snugly fits in between my lips after I clip the cap. The cold draw offers an approachable preview with notes of cereal, wheat, and cedar that mirror the natural aroma of the cigar.  

AJ’s meticulous standards for quality and construction are evident in the adequate airflow and consistent density San Lotano Connecticut offers from head to foot. The oval shape benefits the slightly thicker 54 ring gauge of the Robusto, making it a pleasure to rest in my mouth, as I gently toast the foot with my ST Dupont Maxi Jet.

The first few minutes deliver a nutty profile as San Lotano Connecticut blossoms into a delicious, mellow smoke. Hints of black pepper complement easygoing notes of blonde-roast coffee bean, cedar, and cocoa over the course of twenty minutes. A strong and stable ash develops, creating the perfect insulation at the foot to maintain an ideal temperature. Allowing an ash to form on your cigar serves a purpose because it prevents the cigar from burning too hot.

Throughout the second half of San Lotano Connecticut, the flavor doesn’t shift a whole lot. A touch of sweetness persists while the cigar’s silky profile offers subtle notes of leather in conjunction with its core notes of cereal, cedar, and coffee bean. It’s not too strong and would make a great addition to your humidor when you’re in search of a moderately priced casual cigar you can share with your pals over some cold beer during a barbecue. If you’re a fan of New World Connecticut from AJ Fernandez, San Lotano Connecticut definitely belongs on your shopping list as it offers similar tasting notes with unique nuances courtesy of its oval shape. Toss a few singles in the cart, see what you think, and save big when you scoop up a full box during one of our regularly recurring sales on AJ Fernandez cigars.


Featured Products