First Look - New San Lotano Oval

Alex_SvensonAlex_Svenson Posts: 1,224Moderator admin
Just got back from Nicaragua last night and got a bit of a first look at many of the things people will learn more about next week as the debut to the public at the annual trade show. One thing I picked up was the San Lotano Oval. I wanted to give this a good read since San Lotano and most of AJ Fernandez's sticks are among my favorites so I held out all day and didn't smoke anything so my palate was as fresh as possible.

The size I smoked I cant be sure about since the oval shape makes the ring a bit deceiving but I would say it was about a 4.75 x 60. The oval size is interesting. It is more round than pressed but holds an interesting shape. I cant speak to how it effected the blend as I have not smoked it in any other mold but I will say the draw was firm but generous.

Upon lighting this thing the red and black pepper tones were extremely obvious from the get go. In fact, I haven't had a cigar this heavy in true pepper spice ever that I can recall. The body was deceiving to say the least. Initially I thought medium to full but after an inch or two it hit me right in the gut. Kind of like heading down a sharp decline on a roller coaster. There were other competing aromas on the palate but you really had to work for them, especially a sweetness that tended to balance the peppery aspects on the tongue which were especially prevalent in the rear sides and made my mouth water throughout the smoke. After about two inches, the cigar opened up and the pepper remained equally as prevalent but the other flavors that were more subtle before started to come through and revealed a nice leathery note.

My prediction: this cigar will be a great contender for top new releases this year and there is a crowd that will certainly be drawn to it, more specifically, the guys who prefer a heavy body and mouth spice. This cigar is very deliberate in its flavor and the way the body hits you once it gets its stride especially. Knowing the demand for cigars like the one I am describing, I think it will be a sure hit. For me, the original San Lotano Habano is still my favorite. It has a more subtle and round flavor I am more drawn to that I can only describe as more refined and one that tends to pair well with liquor, wine and food. This observation is just coming from a place of personal preference.

Last year, Oliva Tampa (Nicaprosa) successfully grew tobacco in a region of Honduras that many haven't been able to for decades. Located outside Copan, this is the place where Honduran long leaf was first grown after the Cuban Embargo and companies were looking for new sources of tobacco to satiate the demand for Cuban Tobacco. Unfortunately, after the first few years, the crops were plagued by blue mold and growers were forced to abandon this area. Just last year, Nicaprosa developed a proprietary seed that is genetically resistant to blue mold and were able to grow in this area. It was a small experimental crop and Fernandez bought the whole thing. They will be growing more there next year so I think it will find its way to a larger variety of blenders and audiences but AJ is going to enjoy an exclusive on it for at least the next year to 18 months. Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to work with it some and I can tell by the heavy flavor of this cigar that there is a definitely some of it in this blend and it is driving most of the influence and character.


  • docbp87docbp87 Posts: 3,521
    Awesome. Looking forward to trying this one, since the San Lotano blends are so good. Really interested to see how the shape changes the smoking experience. I know Fuente has rolled cigars (just special CFCF stuff) in this weird oval shape before, but not anything I'd ever be able to get my hands on.
  • skweekzskweekz PAPosts: 2,279 ✭✭✭
    Great review, Alex. I'm looking forward to trying these. Can you speculate as to a time frame for availability and potential price point? Also, will these be like the other San Lotano blends that are unavailable online (B&M only)? Thanks!
  • Alex_SvensonAlex_Svenson Posts: 1,224Moderator admin
    Mid august. $7 to$8 and we won't be able o advertise online so you will have to call for availability.
  • KriegKrieg Posts: 5,086 ✭✭✭
    Oval sized cigar sounds interesting, I'm not a fan of the huge ring guages usually so do you think AJ will come out with the cigar in different ring gauges/shapes?
  • t_evan50t_evan50 Posts: 1,725
    Oval sized cigar sounds interesting, I'm not a fan of the huge ring guages usually so do you think AJ will come out with the cigar in different ring gauges/shapes?
    +1 that size doesn't appeal to me but im def. Looking forward to trying it. I love the original San Lotano.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Sounds interesting, but something I'm gonna pass on. So much nicotine and pepper just isn't my thing; too unbalanced. Think I'll stick with San Lotano
  • Alex_SvensonAlex_Svenson Posts: 1,224Moderator admin
    For you guys worries about size, I believe the new line has about 5 vitolas. This was just the one I smokes. I will hit the booth this afternoon and get you the complete list of sizes.
  • RCY_CigarsRCY_Cigars Posts: 5,479 ✭✭✭
    Alex Svenson:
    Mid august. $7 to$8 and we won't be able o advertise online so you will have to call for availability.

    I will be trying these for sure. Sounds like a winner. I have Tim on speed dial..
  • wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
    Really looking forward to this. The overwhelming majority of AJ's stuff has been good for me.
  • Alex_SvensonAlex_Svenson Posts: 1,224Moderator admin
    Well I tried another today and this time got a different result. The pepper was not as crazy as yesterday. My palate must be off as this one while still full bodied and rich had some definately differences but I thought a welcome change. I would comare these somewhat to the JDN Antano in terms of character if that makes sense.
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