Most people know the legendary A.J. Fernandez and some of his highly rated cigars, but most don’t realize that it’s actually a father and son team with his father, Ismael, helping his son run his huge operation. The New World Puro Especial was handcrafted by the father and son team over the course of several years till perfection was reached. This Cigar Aficionado 93-rated smoke was named to their 2017 Top 25 list, and features tobaccos that have been aged from three to five years from Nicaraguan farms owned by the Fernandez family. Inside are Nicaraguan fillers secured by a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and binder. Together, these tobaccos lend this medium-bodied cigar notes of nuts and wood with a sweet finish. This limited edition Nicaraguan puro pairs perfectly with a Maker’s Mark.
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
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