Cigar Review: A.J.Fernandez New World Puro Especial


When you buy an old place there is never an end to things to be done. This week I was installing a new driveway where one had been many long years ago. A gravel truck had just left leaving the first of four loads that will be used and so I began the task of moving gravel, placing and raking to the size and depth needed. after an hour or so it was decided that a beverage and cigar was required to complete this project. I selected an A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Toro. This cigar is as the case of anything from A.J. Fernandez has superb construction. Dark and rick deep brown wrapper that invites you to experience the flavors at hand. Sitting on the tailgate of my truck, I made fast work of torching the cigar. Right at the start I receive an abundance of flavors from hardwood with a bit of spice. Soon into the cigar, the wood and spice show their colors as the addition of home made roasted peanuts comes in making this even better.

Drawing deep on the cigar, I remember when the old driveway was here. It sits between the main road and the house. The yard, at that time, had tall cedar trees lining in along the road and near the drive were azaleas in a row. Once the driveway is complete, that will be the next project, to begin putting out plants and bring life back to the yard. As I sat the cigar was moving into the second third. The wood remains but has backed off being replaced with rich dark soil. The roasted peanuts were giving a slight wrapping the other flavor in a very smooth fashion. Somewhere before the end of the second third, the roasted peanuts took on a very mild sweetness much akin to brittle, but ever so slightly.

I can still remember how busy this place was in the spring and summer. From planting season to hay bailing, to reunions and just people coming by. During planting season, neighbors always helped neighbors, so you would see our tractor and at least three others in the field disking, plowing, planting and so on. Then we would all move to the next person’s field and start again. It is regretful that there is no such thing as a time machine, would be so nice to go back for just a little while.

Getting back to the project, the cigar had moved into the final third. The flavors that where present towards the end of the second third remained but I little more intensely. The spice had picked up as well making it a more bold smoke and an absolute full flavor treat. The last puff lingered and gave a welcome reminder of just how good the cigar is. If you have not tried it yet, do so and see what flavors you receive.

Peace and Smoke,


Cigar Review: A.J. Fernandez New World Dorado


After buying our old farm place and moving back in, I have been working around it to clean it up and get everything back in top shape. Grass had grown along old fences and some fences are taken down, no longer needed. It’s amazing sometimes the things you find along old fences and the fence I planned on cleaning today is one where we parked equipment. I brought from the house an A.J. Fernandez New World Dorado to smoke while I toil away at this short old fence.

The Dorado is a beautiful cigar with superb construction. After lighting this fine stick, I was greeted with toasty wood, mild spice and what reminded me of honey grahams back in the day. Not in sweetness mind you but in flavor. Around a half inch in and a very slight touch of pepper medley chimed in making the flavors stand out wonderfully. The first third retained these flavors and soon added a touch of chicory in the background. Fantastic mix.

Enthusiastic with the cigar, I proceeded to weed eat along the fence, and no this was no small weed eater, clearing old grass and weeds. As I said earlier, it is amazing the things you can find and it was not long until I spotted rusty metal sticking from the ground. Pulling on it revealed what was left of an old plow bit that was left many years ago when we changed blades on a four-row plow. This one, I remember, was removed because the front point was broken off. I sat on a bucket for a moment, looking down that old fence and remembering the work and long days spent.

As I sat, the cigar moved into the second third. The cigar was retaining the flavors as in the first third, however the blend was showing its depth as the complexity worked very smoothly. The honey graham had back off as the wood stayed well balanced with hints of chicory and now the addition of what reminds me of fresh turned rich soil. Further into the second third, the chicory morphed into more of a dark roasted coffee bean essence with the pepper medley wrapping everything in a magnificent manner.

Getting back at the work, I did notice a small vine at the bottom of one old post and stopped before cutting it down. It was a blackberry vine and when I was young the covered this fence for yards. Each year when ripe, we would pick buckets of the fruit and one of my aunts had a great knack for making the best blackberry jelly and jam I had ever known. All those vines are long gone but after finding this tiny remainder, I am going to help it to grow and care for it. Who knows, maybe one day those vines will be thick again. Finishing for now I headed back to my truck as the cigar moved into the final third.

The cigar was producing a cavalcade of magnificent flavors. The combination from the second third continued but in increased amounts but even though increased it not once became bitter. The finish of the cigar brought back a heavier chicory that was very tasty.

The New World Dorado is a wonderful cigar and a great addition to the line. A must try.


Peace and Smoke,



Crossing Old Bridges

 The car pulled up in the driveway of an old farm house, abandoned for several years and showing the wear of years gone by. A relative near by kept the grass cut in the yard but the old paths around the house were grown over, an what at one time were flower beds were now no more than weeds. Henry, now well advanced in years, got slowly out of the car with his grandson who wanted to travel with his grandfather as he came back to the place he grew up for the first time in thirty years. They walked up to the front door and reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a well worn old key an unlocked it. Relatives had kept the house clean and would come by every so often to air it out make sure that all was well and at some time over the years had repainted it. Pictures were still on the walls and the furniture he remembered as a young man was still there. His grandson was fascinated by the pictures, asking many question about the people in them and when he saw his grandfather in one at the age of ten in coveralls and bare feet he laughed and joked with him. They walked around the old house, memories to him were flooding back like waves in an angry sea. Outside another car pulled up with his son and his sons wife and their other three teenagers. Once inside, Henry's son could see the emotion on his fathers face and asked him why not sit for a time as they started to get things ready. There was to be a gathering the next day, family from across five states were on there way to the old home for a reunion, the first in many years. As the day wore on, others were driving up, aunts, uncles and cousins who were checked in at hotels were now arriving to help in the preparations. Hugs, laughs and tears were common as well as introductions that afternoon, for many had not been seen nor met in twenty years. The afternoon was approaching and Henry was looking out one of the windows at something in the distance. His son walked up behind him and putting a hand on his shoulder, asked how long had it been sense he crossed that old bridge. On the farm was a old country road with a hand built bridge that lead to the ancient family graveyard that was created right after the his first ancestors settled there 190 years ago. Henry's family had lived generation after generation on this land until he moved away, in fact part of the reason for the reunion is he and his wife after being gone thirty years was coming back. His son went back to helping get things ready, and Henry walked to the front door and , putting on his hat, walked out and started slowly walking that old road. His grandson saw him and caught up with him asking where he was going, and he said to see if he could still cross old bridges. As they walked together, Henry told his grandson about the old place, and about family and events through the history of the farm. During the Civil War there had been soldiers camped there and later a battle took place across an old creek that ran the length of the farm. By this time Henry's son had joined them, concerned about his fathers health and how he would react to seeing it all again. Approaching the old bridge, Henry stopped, his son asked if he was OK, and Henry said yes but just stood there. His son knew what was wrong but his grandson was confused. His father explained that across the bridge was the family graveyard where his grandfathers parents along with two sisters and one brother were buried and that the bridge itself held history. As they walked across the old bridge, Henry explained how as a child they would play on the old bridge and spend hours at the the old swim hole, and how Henry's father and he would sit on the railing in the afternoon and talk about life and events in the world. He also told them about courting his wife on that bridge, sharing their first kiss and even proposed to her there as well, and about the day the hearse crossed the bridge taking his each of his parents to the family graveyard. They walked on, stopping for a time at one of the old barns, then walked into the old grave yard. Henry showed his grandson where his great grandparents as well as relatives through time were. Henry could barely take the emotions running through him, he had left this land after their death, vowing never to return as he could not bear to live there with all the loving memories they shared as well as memories of his brother and sisters that were there. But somehow, Henry knew that the peace he looked for all those thirty years was only found here, and that this land is where he belonged, and was glad to be back. He started smiling, and his son was pleased because it was one of the few times he had seen his father smiling not from laughter nor humor, but from inner peace. They walk back to the old home where his wife waited for him at the door and told him that they are now home. They all rose early the next day as everyone was bringing food and music, cars were covering the road and the whole day was one of great joy for all there. Old stories being told, some meeting for the first time and children playing in the yard. It was as if you could see the old home itself smiling with pride. Later that afternoon Henry sat on the front porch after most had left and his son came out and sat beside him. After talking about the great times of the day, his son asked what was the one thing that convinced him that this is where he needed to be. Henry thought for a moment, looked at his son and said, "There are many roads in life that we travel and many bridges we cross never to see again, but sometimes in life there is a bridge that you need to come back to, to cross again to find something that you need, that makes life whole.". As the sun began to set that afternoon, ladies were in the house cleaning from the day and sharing gossip about everyone they knew at the reunion, and down at an old bridge, a father, son and grandson, sat on a railing, throwing pebbles into a creek, and sharing a laugh.

Smoke and Peace,