|A.J. Fernandez New World Brute|
The A.J. Fernandez New World Brute is a shop exclusive cigar to Serious Cigars in Houston, Texas. The cigar made its debut at the 2015 Texas Cigar Festival. Not only is this the first shop exclusive made available in the New World line, but it is the first line extension overall. The Brute introduces a large 6 x 66 box-press vitola into the line. The New World line has been not only a commercial success, but has been one of critical acclaim. When released last year, the New World line as a whole placed on our #24 on the 2014 Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year Countdown while the Gobernador vitola captured Cigar Journal’s Cigar of the Year. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the A.J. Fernandez New World Brute. I found this to be an outstanding line extension to a great line – and a cigar that really performed well in the 66 ring box-press format.
The A.J. Fernandez New World line made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. The cigar is a value-priced offering that was a collaboration between A.J. Fernandez and his father, Ismael.When the New World was announced, A.J. Fernandez Cigars explained the significance of the name New World and how it ties in with cigars:
In November 1492, Jerez and Luis de Torres first observed natives smoking as they were searching for the Emperor of China. Not knowing they landed in what is now known as Cuba, they came across natives that made rolls of palm and mais leaves in the manner of a musket formed of paper with tobacco on the inside. One would light one side and drink the smoke out of the other.
Recently a second blend has been added to the New World line, the A.J. Fernandez New World Connecticut. This cigar features an all-new blend with a U.S. Connecticut Shade wrapper.
Without further ado, let’s break down the A.J. Fernandez New World Brute and see what this cigar brings to the table
The A.J. Fernandez New World is a Nicaraguan puro:
Wrapper: Dark Nicaraguan
Binder: Jalapa (Nicaragua)
Filler: Viso Ometepe, Condega Ligero, Esteli-Finca Soledad Ligero (All Nicaraguan)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)
The A.J. Fernandez New World line is a box-pressed line. The Brute becomes the largest ring gauge offered in the line.
The dark Nicaraguan wrapper has a coffee bean color to it. Depending on how the light shines on it, there may be a colorado red tint to the wrapper’s color. Upon closer examination, there is some darker marbling on the surface. There is a slight amount of oil on the surface. The box-press is firm and has a few visible veins and a few visible wrapper seams.
The band to the A.J. Fernandez New World is off-white with red trim across the top and bottom. There is a portrait style print representing some Columbus-era New World explorers. Above the portrait is the text “NEW WORLD” in green font arranged in a slight arc. Below that text is the text “by A.J. Fernandez” in thin red cursive font. To the left of the portrait is the text “HECHO A MANO” in red font and “100% PREMIUM QUALITY” in green font – arranged in landscape mode. To the right is the text “ESTELI NICARAGUA” in red font and “SATISFACTION GUARANTEED” – also arrange in landscape mode. There are gold medallions across the lower part of the portrait anfd some gold adornments on the far left and right.
There is also a red footer ribbon on the New World with the A.J. Fernandez ‘AJF” logo n gold.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the A.J. Fernandez New World, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw provided a nice mix of chocolate, earth, some mild pepper spice, and a slight citrus component. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Brute and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the A.J. Fernandez New World Brute delivered a white pepper blast. On the onset, the pepper seemed a little more prominent on the Brute than the Navegante. It took a little longer, but some notes of chocolate and earth emerged. The chocolate notes had more of a creamy undertone than the dark chocolate notes I had gotten on the Navegante. By the end of the first third the chocolate / cream notes were primary. The pepper and earth notes became secondary. There was also a slight sweet citrus note in the background as well.
At the start of the second half, I found the earth notes joined the chocolate in the forefront. The citrus notes remained in the background – along with the pepper notes. Some baker’s spice notes also surfaced in the background as well.
In the last third, I found the earth notes to be primary. The pepper moved closer to the forefront. The chocolate and baker’s spice notes were secondary. This is the way the cigar experience of the Brute came to a close.
Burn and Draw
For a large ring gauge cigar, the A.J. Fernandez New World Brute gets some high grades. I found the Brute to take a straight path from start to finish. There was a little bit of curvature on the burn line, but this was in the early stages and some touch-ups quickly remedied it. The resulting ash had a charcoal gray color. The ash was on the firm side with no major flaking or flowering along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the A.J. Fernandez New World Brute|
The draw was performed quite well. It was not too open, and not too tight. Overall I found this to be a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from
Strength and Body
Back when I assessed the New World Navegante, I assessed it as being a medium to full strength cigar and mostly a medium to full-bodied cigar. Since then I have found the New World line as a whole has dialed back slightly over time. In terms of the Brute, this cigar fits into the dialed back profile. I can’t say whether it is the larger ring gauge or just a factor of age, but I definitely found the Brute to be a dialed back. I assessed the Brute as being medium in strength. I also found the Brute started out medium-bodied before progressing to medium to full-bodied in the second half. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the body a slight advantage.
With many cigar enthusiasts raving about connoisseur sizes of boutique cigars, it is very easy to dismiss a cigar with the bigger ring gauge cigars. However, the A.J. Fernandez Brute performs and performs quite well. I found it delivered some excellent flavor and keeps true to what the New World line is all about. This is a cigar I could recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. I’m not sure it will win over people who do not like ring gauges, but it will very much satisfy those who are fans of 60+. As for myself, I would easily smoke this again. It’s a very satisfying big ring gauge – and I give it a box split.
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: A.J. Fernandez New World Brute to be Shop Exclusive to Serious Cigars
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 105
Stogie Feed: A.J. Fernandez New World Brute, A.J. Fernandez New World Navegante
* A.J. Fernandez Cigars are a sponsor of Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks.