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For the last couple days we’ve been in Esteli, Nicaragua staying at Casa Fernandez. We’ve burned lots of AJ blends this week, but we’ve fell in love with a cigar that’s supposed to be released next month. It’s a 4 1/2 by 48 beauty with a closed foot called the Last Call.
We were first given this cigar by AJ Fernandez while browsing the pilons in his facility. As incredible as it was both then and last night, we knew we would have to wait for a fresh palate to review this cigar. When you’re staying at Casa Fernandez, it’s not uncommon to smoke 6-7 cigars throughout the day.
AJ Fernandez Last Call – First Thoughts
Cade – I don’t smoke a lot, but if I’m going to smoke a cigar that I don’t know anything about I’m going to look the length and ring gauge. For me, this size is perfect. I’m getting hay and dandelion notes from the wrapper.
David – The wrapper is beautiful. I really like the smell. An earthiness that isn’t overpowering.
Dave – I’m not a fan of a closed foot, but both samples that I’ve smoked prior to this morning had flawless burns. The wrapper smells of hay and soft vanilla. The Last Call feels great in the hand. Delicate even.
We’ve each smoked one or two of these before this morning and are currently spit-ballin from Casa Fernandez.
AJ Fernandez Last Call – First Third
Leather, Cedar, Hay, Bread, Cream, Buttered Rolls
Cade – For me, the worst thing is when you light a cigar and it’s like trying to suck a watermelon through a water hose. Last Call has a great draw. I really like how it’s not overpowering and is a really clean cigar. You know how some cigars you can taste even after you’re done smoking it? Not this one. I’m getting fresh cut wood. When everything mixes together at an inch in, this cigar tastes like nature in my mouth. And then, there’s a hot buttered dinner roll that comes through. Like how it sticks to the roof of your mouth. A retrohale has minimal harshness that’s expected, but all the flavors come together nicely.
David – One of the things that I’ve noticed from each sample is how evenly the Last Call burns and holds the ash. It pairs really well with coffee. I think this is an excellent morning cigar.
Dave – One of the first things I noticed with the Last Call was how smooth it was. Lots of flavor comes roaring out of the gate but this cigar doesn’t make you pay to play. Leather, cedar, hay, and a bread-like sweetness is what I’m picking up for the first several minutes. At roughy 1/2 inch in, a rich creaminess begins to develop in earnest. In this case, the texture has been creamy from the start – and now we’re seeing a heavy whipping cream type flavor. Just before the first third leaves us, a nice fresh bread comes to the front of the flavors and I can see exactly what Cade is talking about. He’s spot on – an oiliness coats the palette and is very soothing.
Again, I’m surprised that this closed foot burns so evenly. Neither of us had to touch up the cigar after the initial lighting.
AJ Fernandez Last Call – Second Third
Wood, Rich Cream, Mild Coffee
Cade – Talking about the aroma of the smoke, the Last Call reminds me of so many organic experiences.
David – I’m really liking the smell coming off the foot of this cigar – it’s very outdoorsy and refreshing. The Last Call just gets smoother, creamier, and makes me curious what each draw will bring. Not being a morning smoker, I can see myself smoking this again. Even better, I can see this as the perfect nightcap and the last thing I taste before falling asleep. This cigar really cleanses the palate, I need the Last Call to finish my day.
Dave – After dropping the ash, the first thing I noticed was that horse radish kick through the nose. And then, almost immediately, a rich wood and cream comes back with a mild coffee on the finish. It’s much more pronounced now, and I’m really digging this cigar. Everything about it is in my wheelhouse – smooth, flavorful, character in spades. The creaminess of this cigar surpasses anything I’ve experienced to date.
AJ Fernandez Last Call – Last Third
Wood, Creamy Coffee, Pumpernickel
Dave – At close to an hour in, I’m picking up more wood and coffee notes. More of a creamy, weak coffee experience rather than bitter strong coffee. With about two inches in, a pumpernickel bread comes through and is consistent with the samples I’ve smoked previously. As previously noted, the oiliness of this cigar is incredible. It coats the mouth and clings to the tongue and roof.
All in all, this is about as far as I’ve gotten into the last third of the Last Call across all the samples. I haven’t firmly explored the last third because it gets bitter. While the first two thirds made this a favorite for my Nicaragua trip, an entire third of a 4 1/2 cigar being less than enjoyable is noteworthy.
In case you missed it:
Killer Price Point
Easy on the palate
Wonderful Oily Smoke
Excellent Second Third
Favorite Cigar of the Trip
Lacks transition change
Didn't nub a single sample
At least one relight per sample
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