At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, AJ Fernandez showcased his Días de Gloria line. Días de Gloria is a line that had a soft-launch in 2016. At the time regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were set to hit on August 8th, 2016 that would require any products introduced after the deadline to go through a pre-approval process. This was the time the cigar industry was introducing products that we dubbed “stealth releases.” These were cigars that were quietly introduced in order to defer the pre-approval process. Días de Gloria was one of those cigars that could be considered a stealth release. This strategy allowed companies to do what they needed to do in order to get ready for a full launch. One can infer that is exactly what AJ Fernandez Cigars did with the Días de Gloria. Now on the market since 2019, today we take a look at the Días de Gloria in the Robusto size.
AJ Fernandez himself is known for his own brands and the brands he makes for others. Sometimes there is one facet about Fernandez that is overlooked and that is AJ Fernandez, the farmer. Fernandez owns many farms in Nicaragua, and his tobacco is sought after by many. Días de Gloria is an important project because it focuses on tobaccos grown by AJ Fernandez on his farms. The tobaccos used in the blend are all aged tobaccos that come from four of Fernandez’s farms in Estelí, Nicaragua. These farms include Finca los Cedros, La Providencia, La Lilia, and La Soledad.
The name “Días de Gloria” translates to “Days of Glory”, and the Días de Gloria cigar is intended to pay homage to the glory days of Cuban tobacco.
Without further ado, let’s break down the AJ Fernandez Días de Gloria and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
The tobaccos from the farms are not specified as to which is used for the wrapper, binder, and filler. While the cigar itself is a Nicaraguan puro since it uses all Nicaraguan tobaccos, it is safe to say that the cigar is an Estelí puro since all of the Fernandez farms are located in Estelí.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
The AJ Fernandez Días de Gloria is offered in four sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Short Churchill 6 1/2 x 48
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 52
Box-Pressed Toro: 6 x 56
Gordo: 6 x 58
The Nicaraguan wrapper of the Días de Gloria Robusto had a medium-brown color with a slight rosado tint. There was very little in the way of oil on the surface of the wrapper. There were some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Días de Gloria. The primary band is mostly gold and red. On the band is a biblical-style drawing. Above the drawing is the text “DÍAS DE GLORIA” in large rent font. Below the drawing is the text “NICARAGUA” on a red background arranged in a curved fashion. The remainder of the band has various gold adornments on a red background. There is thick gold trim on the edges of the band.
The secondary band is gold with some gold embellishments and red trim. On the center of the band is the text “AJ FERNANDEZ” in red font. The far right of the band has the red and gold “AJ” (AJ Fernandez Cigars) logo.
There is a cedar sleeve that covers approximately 2/5 of the cigar from the footer upwards. The sleeve is finished with a red ribbon.
After removing the cedar sleeve of the AJ Fernandez Días de Gloria Robusto, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. From that point on, it was time for the pre-light draw. The dry draw had some floral, cedar, and natural tobacco notes. This was not the most exciting pre-light draw, but since the pre-light draw does not factor into the numerical merit score or value rating, there was no loss of points here. After this, it was time to light up the Días de Gloria Robusto and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The AJ Fernandez Días de Gloria started out with notes of natural tobacco, fruit, nut, earth, white pepper, and cedar. The natural tobacco and fruit developed a fusion and moved into the forefront. The nut, earth, and pepper settled into the background and were soon joined by notes of cedar. Meanwhile, on the retro-hale, there was a layer of black and white pepper with some fruit sweetness mixed in.
During the second third of the Días de Gloria Robusto, some wood notes surfaced with the natural tobacco in the forefront. The fruit sweetness diminished in the forefront with the natural tobacco. During the second third, there was an increase in the cedar. There still were notes of pepper and nut in the background. These secondary notes were joined by notes of baker’s spice. Toward the latter part of the second third, the cedar joined the natural tobacco in the forefront.
The final third saw the cedar take control as the primary note. This was rounded out by notes of natural tobacco, baker’s spice, pepper, wood, earth, and a slight amount of nut that was still around. This was the way the cigar experience of the Días de Gloria Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The AJ Fernandez Diás de Gloria Robusto had some unevenness on the burn line that would require touch-ups. These touch-ups did the trick and kept the burn line straight. The resulting ash had shades of light and medium gray. This was an ash that was skewed on the firmer side. The burn rate and burn temperature maintained ideal levels throughout the smoking experience.
The draw of the Días de Gloria Robusto was on the open-side but was not loose. Normally I prefer a little more resistance on the draw. This was also a cigar that had an ample amount of smoke production.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength, the Días de Gloria Robusto started out with medium strength. There was a slight increase in the intensity of the strength, but in the end the Días de Gloria Robusto remained in the medium range right until the end. The body of the Días de Gloria Robusto also started out medium. The intensity level of the body increased at a slightly quicker rate and by the second half, the body crossed into medium to full territory.
As for strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience. In the second half, there was a greater advantage to the body as opposed to the strength.
Overall, the AJ Fernandez Días de Gloria Robusto was a solid smoking experience. The first two-thirds delivered a nice amount of balance in terms of sweetness and spice. The last third, I found the balance to get off track and the flavor profile became more cedar-forward. I found the flavors delivered worked very nicely with the strength and body levels of this blend. In the end, this is a cigar that I would recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke and buy again
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Fruit, Wood, Nut, Earth, White Pepper, Earth
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop