It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the new A.J. Fernandez Bellas Artes in the Toro size. This box-pressed 6×54 cigar features a hybrid wrapped dubbed “Rojita” that consists of 50% US Shade Grown Connecticut, 25% Corojo 99, and 25% Havana 2000. Inside is a Quilali binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Brazil.
The cold draw is very loose with a light molasses flavor. The wrapper produces a nutty cedar aroma while the foot gives off a nutty, fruity smell. Once lit, I pick up black pepper, cedar, and earth on the draw. Through the nose, I find more black pepper with sweet toast. The finish gives me additional toast with a hint of vegetal leather and even more black pepper.
Thirty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up nutty earth with white pepper and citrus. Through the nose, sweet pastry notes contrast with black pepper spice. The finish offers vegetal earth with black pepper and leather. Strength and body settle in at the medium-to-full mark.
The second third ends at one hour and ten minutes. There is no change to the flavors on the draw. On the retro-hale, I continue to get pastry and black pepper notes with the addition of caramel – a delicious combo. Citrus comes through on the finish with more black pepper and leather. Strength and body remain the same.
The final third sees its last puffs at one hour and forty-five minutes. On the draw, there is more nutty earth and citrus with a char element. Through the nose, I still get pastry and black pepper notes. The finish gives me more black pepper and leather with a creamy cedar. Strength and body finish out at the medium-to-full mark.
The Bellas Artes is another delicious cigar from A.J. Fernandez. It offers a good amount of complexity, although there are not many transitions. That being said, the flavor profile is tasty enough that the lack of change is not a bad thing. Construction is spot on as well – something that tends to be a given with A.J. Fernandez cigars. I highly recommend this one.