Cigar Review | Ave Maria Reconquista

It’s Stog o’Clock, and we’ve got a special cigar on hand! I take another dive into the AJ Fernandez world with the Ave Maria Reconquista. This 7-inch torpedo has a 54-ring gauge and comes packed in its own cedar coffin. The wrapper is a luscious Habano Oscuro wrapper grown in Brazil which cloaks Cuban-seed Nicaraguan leaves from various regions. The construction is spot on with a smooth roll and firm pack. The wrapper gives off a faint, sweet barnyard aroma, and a raisin and chocolate smell emits from the foot.

The pre-light draw gives me a bitter raisin flavor with just the right amount of resistance. Once lit, the cigar produces a woody flavor with some black pepper zing and leather among some other flavors I can’t quite pick out.

The first third clocks me at half an hour. The experience is complex and delicious so far. The draw gives me a dark chocolate and refined, creamy espresso flavor. On the finish, there is a sweet milk chocolate accompanied by spice. The retro-hale gives me a brilliant, earthy toast note. I can taste the aged tobacco in the smoke. Performance has been solid. The cigar is full bodied and full strength. Unfortunately, as the first third burns through, the cigar develops an enormous crack down half the length of the wrapper. I cautiously continue, refusing to put down this flavor bomb.

Ave Maria Cigar

After the second third, my watch puts me at just over an hour. The construction is a letdown as the cigar is exploding at this point. This doesn’t stop me because the flavor is amazing. The draw still gives me espresso, but I gladly welcome a salted caramel coating a chocolate note. On the finish, a zesty orange with sweetness and saltiness lasts for a while. Through the nose, I pick up a smoky flavor with earth and toast. Strength and body remain the same, and the smoke is thick and chewy.

The final third gets me all the way to the one hour and forty-five minute mark. After I get past the source of the crack in the wrapper, I experience no further exploding. The draw retains the espresso and chocolate flavors, but I notice the salted caramel flavor die down a bit. A black licorice alongside a sweet vanilla is a nice surprise addition to the draw. Through the nose, toast is prevalent, but spice ramps up. The finish is very long with notes of spice and rich earth. I continue to pick out aged tobacco flavor. I see no changes in strength or body as the cigar ends at the full mark.

Ave Maria Cigar

The Reconquista is bold yet smooth. It’s a knock out of the park. The complexity is almost insane on this stick, and the flavors compliment each other perfectly. At around $20 a pop, this cigar is certainly not cheap, but I think it’s worth every penny. There are many deals to be had on this thing if you look in the right places. It contends with many other high-dollar sticks and is a completely satisfying experience. I highly recommend it. AJ Fernandez continues to impress me.

Until next time, smoke on!

-Noah (CutLightSmoke)

Flor de las Antillas by My Father Cigar Review

Weekly Cigar Reviews

Flor de las Antillas cigars are made by Don Pepin Garcia My Father Cigars. This cigar review is for the Robusto size 5 Inches x 50 Ring Gauge that comes from a line of nine cigars ranging in sizes from a sleek Lancero 7 ½ Inches x 38 Ring Gauge to a fat Toro Grande at 6 Inches x 60 Ring Gauge. As with all of my upcoming cigar reviews, I will be reviewing the cigar with an open mind and a lot of experience. These reviews will be my opinion and even though I have been enjoying cigars for over 20 years, I still have a lot of cigars that I have not tried so this will be part of many weekly objective reviews to come.

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You may never hear the word “squircle” well, I didn’t make it up, it’s a mathematical term for a truncated circle which I think fits perfectly for this box-pressed style. The cigar has rounded edges and seems somewhat square unlike the more flatter box-pressings I have seen.

Flor de Las Antillas by My Father Cigar Reviews Image of Ash

The Review of the Flor de las Antillas by My Father Cigar.

The cigar has a satin/felt foot band which is easily removed. Upon smelling the cigar it doesn’t reveal much except a bit of tobacco and some cedary sweetness. The pre-light draw has a similar profile with some hints of spice and informs us that the draw will be fairly medium.

Getting Into The Cigar

A little bit of spice, mineral (slightly salty), earth and some sweetness and paltry hints of must on the retrohale, it has an undoubted robustness to it. The cigar starts really fast and is a bit concerning at first. Once I saw that, I realized I should slow down a bit as if the cigar warned us to take it easy for the upcoming strength.

Taking your time at the beginning allowed for mineral, woody notes with peppery hints on each pull.

Performance and Transition

The cigar performed very well; creating a tight ash that when it tapped itself off in the ashtray it left a bit on the end of the cigar to protect the cherry. This was welcomed by the cigar remaining in its flavour profile with a snappy burst of smoky wood and earthy tastes that lingered on the palate for a medium amount of time. The draw kept at a medium feel and the cigar started to burn much slower; thus allowing for it to remain cool.

I reckon that if you stoked this cigar too often, you’d end up with a very spicy and possibly bitter experience so be mindful of the first impression of the cigar as when it gets down closer to the band you’ll feel some concrete strength coming on and some charred bread-like taste amongst the other flavours described.

Final Reflection

This is a well constructed quality cigar. The Flor de las Antillas (oh how much I like saying that, as you can see in the video review) is somewhere between medium to strong and for more experienced cigar fans. It was less spicy than I expected and delivered a pleasant experience.

Watch this Cigar Review on YouTube.