Toro

Casa Fernandez Miami Aniversario 2014

 

Country: USA/Miami
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $12.50

Available in 1 size
Ares - 6 1/4" X52 (Toro) [pictured]

Q&A

Paul Palmer
President

In 2013 you released an Aniversario and then in 2014 you released another Aniversario. Both of them had a white label and silver lettering, so some consumers have had a hard time differentiating the two. Some probably didn’t know they were picking up a different cigar. Can you clarify the reasoning behind this and the difference between the two?

Yes, we’ve had two Aniversarios as we call it. The reason is simply demand, requests by customers for us to create an ultra-premium cigar. They said, “Give me the best of what you can make.” So the first one was the Casa Fern.ndez Aniversario 35 (a 6 x 54 released in 2013) and the second was the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Serie 2014 (a 6 . x 52 released in 2014). The blends are different. We amped up the strength and flavor on the Aniversario Serie 2014 and it has had phenomenal reviews (check out the Top 25 section on p. 53 to 62). You know, being blenders and growers and also having a cigar company, the Aniversarios really make sense. They are our flagship; sold in a box of 10 but affordable. They both have a retail price point of $12.50 and for that product we are exactly where we want to be.

My understanding is that you made a limited number of boxes. Will consumers still be able to find the Aniversario Serie 2014 that we are featuring in this breakdown as time goes by?

It’s funny you ask that because just this morning we were going over the numbers for both the CF Aniversario 35 and the CF Aniversario Serie 2014. We made 2,000 boxes of each but you know, the market leader in Aniversarios maintains those years and those blends into the future so we’re talking about doing that because stores are coming back to us and asking if they can have more boxes of the 35 and the 2014 and we don’t have them. So we’re talking about making the 35 and the 2014 part of our regular lineup so people will be able to g et them well into the future.

To my recollection, Casa Fernández’s greatest hits are always box-pressed. Are you guys just fans of the format or are you simply good at making it? Or perhaps both?

Again that comes from feedback from our customers. Ever since we acquired Tropical Tobacco in 2002 we’ve always had an advisory board. It’s made up of 10 of the customers who we hold in high esteem, who are incredible businessmen and oh by the way, are great customers of Casa Fern.ndez. They give us suggestions and we also bounce off ideas with them and the feedback is always box-pressed. Why? Because at the store, the consumer likes a box-pressed cigar and the perception is that a box-pressed cigar is harder to make. And we’ve refined the process of box-pressing cigars; it’s part of our production and we do it very well.

Is box-pressing in fact more difficult or is it just a perception?

Well, it’s a longer process, it’s a detailed process, but it’s something that we have down. It is more difficult in every aspect; in the draw, in the look, in the presentation, in the blend, everything about it is more difficult. But once you’ve refined the process, then it just becomes second nature.

It’s painfully obvious when a cigar company does not have the process down. The wrapper wrinkles on the top. Sometimes it looks like an accordion on the sides. Without giving away any trade secret, how do you guys manage to prevent that?

That’s really just expertise in cigar making. There are a lot of reasons why that would happen but generally speaking, that’s a result of cigar making. You just have to know how to do it. Now we don’t do a square cigar. We do what is called a Cuban box-press or a semi box-press. We prefer that over a square cigar. But it is difficult and the guys who are getting the wrinkled cigars just don’t have the process down.

 

 

 

 

Perfect Pairings – Buchanan’s Master & San Lotano – The Bull

 
photography by Andy Astencio

photography by Andy Astencio

Mexico’s long-standing obsession with Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Whisky is as fascinating as it is inexplicable. Let’s be clear, Mexicans are certifiably crazy about the stuff. Aside from the everyman who drinks Buchanan’s because, well, because everybody in Mexico drinks Buchanan’s. Popular corridos bands invite participants onto the stage during shows and pour straight Buchanan’s (or as they pronounce it, Bukanans) down the guests’ throats. To help you picture this, imagine if you were at a Kings of Leon concert with 80,000 of your closest friends and Caleb Followill started inviting people on stage and pouring straight whisky down their gullets while sing ing Supersoaker.

We did our own informal survey of Buchanan’s loving Mexican males living in the U.S., which is basically every male between the ag es of 21 and death. W e just wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery. In the process of surveying, we were gifted several bottles of Buchanan’s 12, gifted a set of Buchanan’s branded rocks glasses, gifted other bottles of Scotch that no self-respecting Mexican will ever consume, and given no concrete reason for their devotion. The question we posed was a simple one: “Why do Mexicans love Buchanan’s?” Here were some of the answers: 

“it’s jus t a damn good Scotch bro”

“I wouldn’t trade Buchanan’s 18 for any single malt Scotch on the planet”

“I can drink as much as I want and I won’t have a hangover tomorrow”

“it leaves me with no alcohol breath”

In the end we gave up trying to figure it out. Instead we bought a couple of bottles of Buchanan’s Master, took‘em back to the office, and took them down corrido-style!

THE PAIRING

A good Scotch is one of those spirits that easily pairs with almost any cigar so the issue for this pairing was finding a cigar that enhanced the whiskey. San Lotano

– The Bull was just that. The beautiful thing about this pairing is that the cigar has a rich oakiness that gets along famously with the Scotch’s barrel-aged flavor. But in addition it has loads of pepper, earth, nuts, and aged tobacco sweetness that take this pairing to the next level.

Unlike other pairings where we suggest you drink one before the other or wait for something to warm up, you can pretty much go to town with this one.

Buchanan's Master – Blended Scotch Whiskey
Distilled by Buchanan Distillery
(750 ml. ABV 40%)
Aged 15 Years
MSRP: approx. $40

paired with
San Lotano – The Bull
by A.J. Fernandez
Toro (6" x 54)

Strength: MEDIUM-FULL
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Origin: Nicaragua