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Cigar Review: San Lotano Oval Pyramid

15 Sep 2011

This new line from A.J. Fernandez, formally introduced at the 2011 industry trade show, is Oval-shaped, like a box press with more rounded corners. It features an Ecuadorian-grown Habano 2000 wrapper (though for some reason at the trade show I was told it was Brazilian), a binder from Nicaragua, and three fillers: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and a “secret filler.”

Perhaps the “secret filler” is the new propreitary seed that’s growing outside Copan, Honduras, which Cigar.com’s Alex Svenson reports was cultivated exclusively by Fernandez.

Notable is the use of the Habano 2000 wrapper, which was very popular quite a few years ago, but hasn’t really been featured, at least not in marketing materials, in recent years. Habano 2000 (or “H2000”) was developed by the Cubans as a hybrid of Habano and Connecticut tobacco (and was supposedly used on many of the Cuban EL cigars) but it soon found its way out of Cuba where it has been used on many cigars made for the American market. In the early years, it was known for its reddish Colorado color and more auspiciously because many smokers reported burn issues.

Fortunately, I found no such burn issues with the Oval samples I’ve smoked so far. (Each of the three samples were given to me at the trade show.) In fact, from pre-light to nub, the cigar drew perfectly, burned evenly, and held its ash steady for a solid inch or more.

Once I cut the head off this torpedo, the oval shape that was left reminded me of the Chisel made by Litto Gomez of La Flor Dominicana. It’s a comfortable shape that makes the 54 ring gauge seem slightly smaller than it is.

When I finally got down to smoking the Oval, I found a full-bodied cigar with excellent balance. Coffee, earth, wood, and bread were all prominent, and I also picked up faint liquorice and subtle clove spice.

It’s not dissimilar to the San Lotano Habano (my favorite of A.J.’s three original self-released lines) in terms of flavors, but just a little but better in almost every area. In particular, the Oval’s flavors are fuller, and more complex, but still more balanced and rounded.

For such a well-composed combination of flavor and balance, I can do nothing but heartily recommend this cigar, which retails for around $10 and is available only in brick and mortar stores. That’s why the San Lotano Oval Pyramid earns four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

4 Responses to “Cigar Review: San Lotano Oval Pyramid”

  1. @NJ_Navy_Chief Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Haven't gotten my hands on an Oval yet, but I am trying. The only local
    tobacconist (within an hour drive) has them by the box only. I have had
    the Habano and Maduro (samples from Cigarfest) with the Habano being my favorite right on
    target with your comments. I just wish the distribution to B&Ms was
    a little more wide spread.

  2. Patrick Ashby Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    I'm a big fan of the original San Lotano Habano, which does beat this new release in at least one category — price. It costs about 40% less. But the Oval still sounds great. Hopefully, like so many IPCPR releases each year, it drops in price after the initial surge of demand.

  3. ROTHNH Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I doubt prices will drop at all. This is a B&M only cigar line, so don't expect much of a deal — expect MSRP, with the possibility of a slight in-store discount during a B&M retailer's local events and/or promotions. I do expect customers, at certain B&Ms selling these cigars, can call in a mail order on these, though.

  4. Tyler Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    why only four and a half stogies out of five?