|Casa Fernandez JFR XT Corojo 654 XT|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Casa Fernandez unveiled a new line of cigars under their JFR brand called the JFR XT. This introduced a box-pressed offering into the JFR brand using both of Casa Fernandez signature wrappers – a Corojo and (San Andres) Maduro. Today I take a closer look ahe first of these new blends to hit the market – the JFR XT Corojo. Over the past few years, Casa Fernandez has been on a roll in terms of the quality of their products under their own brand as well those products made for others. The 2014 IPCPR Trade Show might have been one of the best for Casa Fernandez as a company in terms of new products released – and the JFR XT Corojo is certainly one of them. I recently have had an opportunity to sample the JFR XT Corojo in the 654 XT vitola, and found this to be an excellent cigar.
The JFR line stands for “Just for Retailers”. For the most part this is a line that has been positioned toward brick and mortar retailers. Three years ago, Casa Fernandez chose the JFR brand to release one of the first 7 x 70 cigars in the market. Keeping to the roots of the JFR brand, there is a 7 x 70 JFR XT that is a part of both the Corojo and Maduro lines.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the JFR XT Corojo and see what this cigar will bring to the table.
The JFR XT Corojo is an all Nicaraguan blend incorporating tobaccos from the famed Aganorsa farms in Nicaragua owned by Casa Fernandez. The JFR XT is made at Casa Fernandez’s Esteli, Nicaragua factory.
Wrapper: Aganorsa Corojo
Binder: Aganorsa Nicaragua
Filler: Aganorsa Nicaraguan
The JFR XT Corojo is available in three sizes. The JFR XT Maduro also will feature the same three sizes. All three sizes in both lines are box-pressed.
654 XT: 6 x 54
660 XT: 6 x 60
770 XT: 7 x 70
As mentioned above, for this cigar experience I went with the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT – which is basically a box-press toro. The wrapper color is a cross between medium brown and reddish clay; and has almost a cinnamon color to it. The wrapper itself does not have much oil on the surface. There are some some visible wrapper seams and some thin visible veins. There is a large pig-tail cap and a closed footer.
There are two bands on the JFR XT Corojo. The primary band is gold and black. The text “JFR” is in large black font on a dull metallic gold background. Below the JFR text are shiny gold stars on the duller gold background. Above the JFR text are shiny gold embellishments.
The secondary band shares the same color scheme as the primary band. The secondary band is on the footer of the cigar. It features the text “XT” in large black font on a dull metallic gold background. Above and below the text are two shiny gold stripes.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do with cigars with a pig-tail, I opted to place a straight cut to remove the entire cap as opposed to just pulling on the tail. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided some notes of leather, subtle natural tobacco sweetness, and some spice. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be satisfactory on the JFR XT Corojo. At this point I removed the footer band of my 654 XT vitola, fired up the cigar and prepared for what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT delivered notes of leather, a mix of black and red pepper, and corojo sweetness. I define corojo sweetness as a cross between natural tobacco sweetness with almost a cherry component. The leather and corojo sweetness become the primary flavors while the pepper recedes to the background. The pepper could also be detected prominently on the retro-hale.
Later in the first third, some nut flavors enter the equation. The combination of nut, leather, and corojo sweetness alternated as to which note (notes) was primary. As the JFR XT Corojo moved through the second third, I noticed the corojo sweetness was playing less of a role and the nut / leather notes became more constant in the forefront. Meanwhile the pepper remained in the background. I also picked up a cedar note in the background.
By the last third, the nut and leather notes were still primary. The pepper and cedar notes were much closer to the forefront. The corojo sweetness had diminished, but not dissipated. This is the way the JFR XT Corojo came to a close. The end of the cigar was flavorful with no harshness. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
I found the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT to be a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely with the burn and draw. The burn remained relatively straight from start to finish. The burn line had a slight jaggedness, but there was never a time the cigar was in danger of canoeing or tunneling. The resulting ash had a silver gray color and remained on the firm side. There was some minor flaking along the way. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT|
The draw performed excellent on the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT. It was not too tight and not too loose – making for a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from. There was also a nice amount of smoke production from this cigar.
Strength and Body
For the most part, I found the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT to be on the upper end of medium for both strength and body throughout the smoking experience – falling just short of medium to full for both attributes. Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other. The cigar seemed a little more dialed back than it was originally positioned to me. I’m not viewing this as a negative by any means. I found the blend worked well at the strength and body levels I detected. I’m wondering if these attributes will change over time, and I’m wondering if the levels are higher in the bigger ring gauges.
Overall I found the JFR XT Corojo 654 XT to be a very nice cigar. This is a well-constructed cigar. I also found this cigar delivered some nice flavors and definitely gives you a fair share of corojo sweetness. As I mentioned I did think the strength and body were a little more dialed back from my original expectations. In the end, I liked what the cigar delivered at this point in time – however given Agarorsa tobacco’s track record for aging very well, I’m real curious to put some away and see how they smoke down the road. This is a cigar I’d recommend to the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d easily smoke again and it’s worth a box split.
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: JFR XT by Casa Fernandez (Cigar Preview)
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
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