El Mayimbe by A.J. Fernandez Cigars

At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, A.J. Fernandez Cigars showcased a new line in their portfolio.  This line would add a premium, limited production cigar into the company’s portfolio.  This cigar is called “El Mayimbe”.  For the past few years, the company has focused building their San Lotano and Pinolero core lines.  El Mayimbe is the company’s first true limited edition in their premium cigar line.  Recently I have had the opportunity to smoke the El Mayimbe cigar.  Overall I found this to be an excellent cigar and in some respects a change of pace cigar by A.J. Fernandez.

In the company literature on the El Mayimbe cigar, a further explanation of the meaning of this name is given:

The term comes from the Taino Indians of the Quisqueya Island.  Simply translated it means ‘the Village Chief’.  In modern day Latino culture a “Mayimbe” is a person who everyone loves to be around.  Likewise you will traditionally find a “Mayimbe” around people who are happy, fun, and a have a true passion for life.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the El Mayimbe and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

The cigar is made at Tabacalera Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua.   On one hand the cigar is very “A.J. Fernandez-like” in that it uses a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper (a wrapper Fernandez has become well associated with).  On the other hand, it is a bit “un A.J.Fernandez-like” in that it uses some Honduran tobacco in the blend.  

Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf Select
Binder: AJ Fernandez Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran Jamastran, and “AJ Fernandez “Privativo”

Vitolas Available

The El Mayimbe has been released in four sizes  Each of the four size is a 56 ring gauge.  The cigars are packed in boxes of ten.

Robusto: 5 x 56
Torpedo: 5 x 56
Toro: 6 x 56
Churchill 7 x  56


For this cigar experience of the El Mayimbe, I went with the toro-sized El Mayimbe.  The Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper has a chocolate brown color on it.  Depending on the light hits it, it can display a colorado red tint.  There is a slight oily sheen on the surface of the wrapper.  There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.

The band to the El Mayimbe has a copper background with gold and black coloring.  The text “MAYIMBE” is in large black font.  The “Y” is represented as a greek “Ψ” character.  A black crown sites above that text.  Below that text is the text “A.J. FERNANDEZ” in a smaller black font.  There are lots of gold and black adornments around the rest of the band.

There is also a footer band.  It has the “AJF” logo in red outlined in gold on a white circular background.  The remainder of the footer band is black.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to my smoking experience of the El Mayimbe Toro, I opted to make a straight cut to remove the cap.  I then moved on to the pre-light draw.  From the footer I was able to detect a cocoa aroma.  As I started the dry draw, I picked up notes of espresso, coffee and some exotic spice.  Overall, I found the pre-light draw to the El Mayimbe to be quite pleasing.  At this point, I was ready to remove the footer band of the El Mayimbe and see what the overall smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the El Mayimbe was similar, but not exactly the same as the pre-light draw.  The opening notes provided a combination of coffee, earth, and white pepper.  By about the five percent mark, the pepper receded to the background and the coffee and earth notes remained in the forefront.  I also detected pepper on the retro-hale, but it was more subtle.  As the El Mayimbe moved through the first third, the coffee transformed into more of a mocha-like sweetness.

By the seccond third, the primary notes became a combination earth and wood.  The wood almost had a mesquite quality to it.  I was little surprised to be picking up a wood/mesquite note in an A.J. Fernandez cigar, but it seemed to add something to this cigar.  The mocha sweetness and pepper remained close secondary notes.

In the last third, the earth notes took center stage.  The wood notes dissipated.  The mocha sweetness also great diminished, and the pepper ramped up.  This is the way the cigar came to a close.  The resulting nub was slight soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

The burn and draw were textbook A.J. Fernandez as both scored very nicely.  The burn line remained sharp from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups along the way.  The ash produced was a salt and pepper color.  The ash itself remained on the tight side and was not prone to any significant flaking or flowering.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the El Mayimbe by A.J. Fernandez

The draw was excellent on the El Mayimbe.  It was not too tight, yet not too loose.  It made the El Mayimbe an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I definitely found the El Mayimbe had some pop.  The strength starts out in the medium to full range.  By the second half, the strength definitely progressed to the full level.  As for the flavors, they started out medium to full-bodied – and remained that way for the duration of the cigar experience.  Overall I found that when it came to strength versus body, the strength had a slight edge with this cigar, but I wouldn’t say it was by a large margin.

Final Thoughts

Overall I found the El Mayimbe to be a satisfying cigar.  The wood and spice notes were just something different than what I had detected on an A.J. Fernandez Cigar.  The cigar has an excellent flavor profile, nice complexity, and is well-constructed.  The price point is between $14 to $15 depending on the size – which is something that makes this most likely the highest priced offering in the A.J. Fernandez Cigars portfolio.  Given the price point and the fact this has some strength, I would recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast.  As for myself, this cigar is definitely one I would smoke again.  It’s easily worth a box split.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Score: 91


Price: $14.60
Source: Samples provided by manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 78 – “A Little Bit of Cuba”
Stogie Feed: El Mayimbe Toro by A.J. Fernandez Cigars

* The cigar for this assessment was given to Cigar Coop by A.J. Fernandez Cigars.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence the review.