This week’s group review is of the San Lotano Oval by AJ Fernandez. For those that follow our reviews you will remember that we loved the other cigars in the San Lotano series. We hope this one will be no different, or maybe even better! It certainly got off to a good start. The wrapper leaf is exquisite, it smells awesome, the oval shape is nice, and the draw is perfect. Things only got better from there! We lit it up and were were struck by a very rich earthy and creamy flavor with a spicy and peppery finish. The Oval continued to build complexity throughout the smoke, it was always surprising us. Both the construction and flavor were nothing less than amazing. We can’t say that this cigar being excellent was a surprise, but we had no idea it was this good. The very affordable price was the final piece in the puzzle, making the San Lotano Oval our highest rated cigar ever! I highly recommend giving this a try. Below is the text from our chat session if you would like to read the full review.
Flavor and Taste: 19/20
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
Flavor and Taste: 20/20
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
Flavor and Taste: 20/20
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
StraightUpCigars: Damn, this thing smells nice! Like well aged fine tobacco. Sweet and cedary smell.
IamDarren: nice visual appeal on this stick, love the shape, very unique. Im getting a woody note from the wrapper but not much else.
IamDarren: this was one of the only sticks you sent Terry that didn’t have cellophane. Do they come in the box that way?
Terry1: Yeah they were naked to begin with.
IamDarren: interesting, AJ must want them to age on the shelf then or he just wants people to see the nice wrapper.
StraightUpCigars: Used the xicar tonight and it has the PERFECT draw. plenty of air with some resistance to keep the cigar cool. Nice mouth feel too.
Terry1: Looks and smells great. I can feel the oils on the wrapper. I love the oval shape.
IamDarren: yeah, I am definitely in love with the shape.
IamDarren: great draw
IamDarren: are we ready to light up?
Terry1: Mine has a good draw. Getting that barnyard taste.
StraightUpCigars: Obviously we are not sure how it smokes yet, but every other manufacturer should study this thing pre-light… it is the whole package.
StraightUpCigars: Oh, and yes I’ll get off my soap box and light up
Terry1: Presentation is an A+
IamDarren: yeah i have high expectations, it better be good.
IamDarren: lighting up now
IamDarren: very easy to light, dominated by a sweet earthy undertone with spice on the front of my palate.
IamDarren: quite a bit of pepper also creeping in.
Terry1: I’m getting a heavy leather note with a slight sweetness, earth and a light pepper to start with. Hard to pin down the exact flavors but it tastes great.
StraightUpCigars: I am getting some very rich sweet and creamy flavor with spice on the finish.
IamDarren: the spice is almost masking the creaminess on mine until the finish then it just coats the palate and makes me want to take another puff. yummy
StraightUpCigars: Good descriptions. It is truly delicious thus far. I got to set it down before it is gone!
IamDarren: lol, same here. its really good. The draw is so easy and there is a ton of smoke. I just want to keep my mouth full of it.
StraightUpCigars: I have never been a fan of leather as a descriptor (check back, I have never used the term!), but
StraightUpCigars: I can see where you are coming from Terry, this one has a leather like flavor.
Terry1: The smoke really coats your mouth. Rich and creamy is right! The retrohale is a little strong for my taste. A little goes a long way. Lots of pepper.
IamDarren: its so rich and full of flavor for having such an easy draw. Who ever rolled these puppies should get a lot of credit.
IamDarren: and it seems like with every puff the spice changes a little. Earlier it was like a baking spice but now it is morphing into a nice herbal note.
IamDarren: burn is going great, just tapped off the ash because it had a deep crease and i didn’t want to loose it in my lap.
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, the finish is tangy on mine. It is a real treat for the palate.
Terry1: I wonder if they squish it into an oval before or after they put on the wrapper. Looking at the cap I’d say before.
IamDarren: im sure they use the binder to make the shape
IamDarren: but it would be neat to know if they use some sort of mold or if the torcedors are so good they can roll it into a perfect oval.
StraightUpCigars: Good point Terry. It is too extreme of a shape to do after wards w/o damaging the wrapper.
IamDarren: ok…. now the sweetness is picking up on mine and giving me a great caramel note. Awesome complexity.
StraightUpCigars: I would also be curious what the box looks like. They would have to be really tightly packed to retain the shape. Maybe this is the reason there is no celophane?
StraightUpCigars: I retract that statement, a tight pack would square the sides off.
Terry1: It might be hard to get celophane on them with this shape.
IamDarren: a good binder should retain the shape. I think they apply it when it is moist and let it dry after they form it so it stays the shape they give it.
Terry1: I’m getting that sweetness now and the pepper has changed to the baker’s spice one of you mentioned. Even the retrohale has calmed down. What a pleasant smoke! It’s early but I’d say the Oval is AJs best blend so far.
IamDarren: yeah going into the second third it has really turned into a candy bar stick. Lots of sweetness with a touch of earth and spice.
Terry1: My burn is near perfect. I was wondering how the oval shape would perform.
IamDarren: i have never given a cigar a perfect score before but if this keeps up i will have to do it.
Terry1: I can detect a slight floral note in the aroma. Very nice. I’m having trouble smoking this slowly thou. I just want to keep puffing on it it’s that good.
StraightUpCigars: My burn is great too. Solid ash, but I don’t want to risk it with my laptop here
IamDarren: yeah be careful, the ash is a little loose.
IamDarren: im trying not to puff too fast but it still seems to be burning fast. I am already nearing the halfway point.
Terry1: I’d give the first half a perfect score. And a big plus for the price. The Oval is affordable at around 6 to 7 bucks.
StraightUpCigars: I am having the same problem, might need two ovals in a row
IamDarren: they need to make a Toro Oval.
Terry1: This one is close at 5.5 inches.
StraightUpCigars: I’d smoke this in churchill!
IamDarren: actually they do make a Toro. Its a 6×54
IamDarren: and a pyramid 6.5×54
Oval » – AJ Fernandez Cigars.com – San Lotano: Habano – Maduro – Connecticut – Oval. Three Generations of Tobacco Mastery. The Legacy Continues…
StraightUpCigars: I guess they gauge the RG after they make the oval shape? That kinda does not do it justice b/c it doesn’t smoke like a behemoth 54 RG.
IamDarren: right, i think if it was round it would be about 50 but they have to go by outside diameter.
IamDarren: nearing the band now, still very sweet and creamy. Spice has faded more and its picking up that leathery note again.
StraightUpCigars: Mine is developing an espresso and dark chocolate flavor. Very deep and rich smoke.
Terry1: My band came off cleanly.
IamDarren: same here, one little dab of glue and it was off.
StraightUpCigars: Mine slid off easy as pie, but left some residual on the wrapper. My only complaint thus far.
IamDarren: spice is picking up again and it is getting a darker tone to it. Not getting espresso yet but it is ramping up a bit.
Terry1: I’m getting a sweet mocha kind of note. Some spice. I keep waiting for the flavors to fade like on some other cigars we’ve tried but the Oval just keeps delivering.
Terry1: Must be the secret filler he used.
StraightUpCigars: I’m going to go out on a limb and say the filler is angel dust, cuz it is addictive!
IamDarren: damn, just dropped the ash on my laptop.
Terry1: I might have to buy a box and no I don’t want to share.
IamDarren: good cause im getting a box as well
IamDarren: we should call them up and ask for a bulk discount.
IamDarren: going into the last third the burn is getting a tad lopsided but nothing to fret about. Flavors are getting stronger. Just got a pepper blast on my last retrohale.
StraightUpCigars: So this is the oval, not the oval maduro, correct?
IamDarren: i believe this is the maduro. The Habano 2000 wrapper has been extra fermented and aged for 4 years.
StraightUpCigars: We gotta try the maduro too then. Just guessing, but less of the pepper towards the end and more of the sweetness.
IamDarren: scratch that, you are right. there are two wrappers.
Terry1: It’s dark enough to be a maduro.
StraightUpCigars: This does taste like the habano 2000 wrapper, and not the maduro if
StraightUpCigars: I had to guess.
IamDarren: from cigar.com description: Why mess with perfection? Probably because you have some choice maduro wrappers to work with. At least, that’s what we’re assuming with AJ’s latest creation. Take everything you like about the original Oval except add some espresso and cocoa notes. Definitely, a blend that lives up to the San Lotano name.
StraightUpCigars: Huh, add more espresso than I am tasting now?!?!
Terry1: I keep waiting for the strength to overwhelm me but with an inch left I’d say the strength is just above medium.
IamDarren: just judging from the pic it looks like this is the original. The maduro looks like a thicker leaf with fewer veins. Maybe it is similar to the leaf on the Diesel.
StraightUpCigars: So… Much… Pepper… wow, no lack of flavor at the end of this thing.
IamDarren: still nice and sweet though. I think im in love.
Terry1: The Oval maduro uses an Ecuadorian Habano leaf. I think the Diesels use something else.
IamDarren: the Diesel Unlimited uses a Habano Maduro leaf.
StraightUpCigars: And I like those…
IamDarren: soooo…. my new favorite cigar with the leaf from my previous favorite cigar!!!!
Terry1: Could be the same one then.
IamDarren: i think i need another father day present
StraightUpCigars: More like 10 of them so we can get in on that action!
San Lotano Oval Maduro Robusto (#1286967) – CigarBid.com
IamDarren: wouldn’t be surprised if it goes over retail though
StraightUpCigars: Obviously depending on what these go for, I’d be in on that. What have they sold for in the past?
Terry1: I’m going to half to get a bigger humidor. Darren, you finish that fridge yet because you’re going to need it.
IamDarren: no shit~
Terry1: I bought these on a free fall for $27.50 for five.
IamDarren: you can buy them in bundles over at bestcigarprices.com: http://www.bestcigarprices.com/cigar-directory/san-lotano/san-lotano-oval-toro-cigar/599-28361.htm although its not the maduro.
San Lotano Oval Toro – BestCigarPrices.com
StraightUpCigars: This thing is coming to an end… and all too fast. My second complaint, although not a major one. Probably due to user error
IamDarren: i do think they arent as tightly packed as the round cigars. In the last half i purposely tried to pace myself and it still burned fast.
StraightUpCigars: Terry, you got a hell of a deal! Darren, if the box goes for $100 or less, I’m in. I guess that is unlikely though.
Terry1: Not complaining on time, we got a very enjoyable hour out of this stick.
IamDarren: very true, with a cigar as good as this one smoke time is a very small complaint.
StraightUpCigars: Good point Terry, this robusto did last an hour. Average time for a robusto. I guess time flies when you are smoking one of the best sticks you have ever had!
Terry1: Ugh I hate to see this end.
Terry1: Wait a minute I’ve got two more!
StraightUpCigars: You lucky duck!
StraightUpCigars: I am going to go ahead and rate it now.
IamDarren: im so jealous right now
Terry1: I can’t hold it anymore I’m setting mine down.
IamDarren: lets rate it!
StraightUpCigars: Ok, don’t peek!
Terry1: I had to agree with Darren. This would be my desert island smoke.
Terry1: It’s all downhill from here. I’m not going to pick next weeks cigar.
StraightUpCigars: Me too, but I have think that something better could come from AJ someday. We can’t kill our dreams now, we would have nothing to live for!
IamDarren: can we go over 50 cause if the maduro is even better i have to give it a better rating….
StraightUpCigars: Nope! You burnt that bridge.
IamDarren: and what if i give it a 51/50……
Terry1: Yeah lets find a 51!
StraightUpCigars: You’re fired!!!
StraightUpCigars: Thank you so much Terry. I do think this is the best cigar I have had to date.
IamDarren: agreed, it delivered everything and more that i could have wanted in a cigar… i had to give it 50
Terry1: You are welcome but the credit goes to AJ. I just pushed the buy button.