Brave New World | Tobacconist magazine

Brave New World

One of Nicaragua’s new wave of cigar makers, A.J. Fernandez is thrilling cigar enthusiasts since 2010 by following a simple recipe.

By STEPHEN A. ROSS

One of Nicaragua’s new wave of cigarmakers, A.J. Fernandez has been thrilling cigar enthusiasts since 2010 by following a simple recipe.

Although the physical distance between the new A.J. Fernandez factory and the old factory where the company got its start is no more than a couple of miles, the two places might as well be worlds apart. Located in the heart of Nicaragua’s cigarmaking capital, Esteli, the old factory site where Abdel J. Fernandez initially started with six rolling teams in 2003 was tiny and a little run-down. Workers bunched and rolled cigars, such as Man o’ War and Diesel for Cigars International and the Rocky Patel Summer Blend 2008, just a few feet away from the tobacco bales stacked behind them. As demand for those cigars grew, finding the space to add personnel became an ever bigger challenge—a challenge that became damn near impossible once Fernandez introduced his own first brand, San Lotano Requiem, in 2010.

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