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Cigar Review: A.J. Fernandez Pinolero Toro

11 Oct 2012

Fans of hot young blender A.J. Fernandez won’t be disappointed with his newest release, a powerful, complex cigar that delivers a first-class smoking experience. The six-vitola line debuted this summer and recently began hitting retailers’ displays, often alongside Fernandez’s popular San Lotano lines.

The Pinolero makes a strong first impression with its colorful band reminiscent, to me at least, of Antonio Gattorno’s style. The scene depicts two women, I believe, grinding corn. That would tie it to the cigar’s name, which I understand is a term that refers to someone from Nicaragua and derives from pinol, a corn-based flour.

After lighting up, you cannot help but be impressed by a volume of smoke so thick and abundant it rivals a refinery fire. And the flavors…Not to go too far off the deep end, but I couldn’t help but think of a double helix as I smoked. There’s a spicy thread that runs throughout the stick while flavors of leather, syrup, hay, and herbs run around it.

It has the smoothness of well-aged tobacco, the delicacy of expert blending, and an intriguing complexity as it changes from start to finish.

The toro is a 6-inch stick (the robusto is pictured right) with a generous 52-ring gauge and a smooth draw. Pinolero is a Nicaraguan puro with the filler identified as “Cuban-seed Nicaraguan and Fernandez family secret.” The toro retail price seems to be around $8 a stick.

On the negative side, the ash is thin and flaky. Don’t let it go far or it will end up in your lap. And the burn isn’t great. Not so bad that it required frequent touch-ups, but nowhere near razor-sharp. This isn’t a cigar you’ll want to nub; the flavors can turn harsh near the end.

Overall, I was impressed with the Pinolero and will certainly plan to smoke many more. I give the A.J. Fernandez Pinolero Toro four stogies out of five.

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

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

5 Responses to “Cigar Review: A.J. Fernandez Pinolero Toro”

  1. Scott Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Thanks for your review of a cigar that had previously passed me by unnoticed. It sounds a bit more like a 3 & 1/2-Stogie rating than a 4, but it's probably losing a bit in the translation to my own preferences. Keep 'em coming!

  2. cigars Friday, October 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Colorful band! Never tried this stick before but went i hop over to my B&M I will check it out (if they have it).

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  4. Ed Brandyberry Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    My experience was in the 5 stogies range, I had a Robusto that was a genuine 2 ash cigar. It was one of my favorite smokes of the year

  5. Carl Monday, August 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I'm hesitant to give away the secret, but one of the best I've smoked this year also.