“The spirit of the Enclave lays within the special brotherhood created by those who enjoy a great cigar,” are words spoken by A.J. Fernandez himself. The Enclave is a tribute to Native Americans who were well known to be purveyors of tobacco. This cigar is a collaboration between A.J. and his father, Ismael.
WRAPPER: ECUADORIAN HABANO ROSADO
FILLER: AJF NICARAGUAN FILLERS & AJF NICARAGUAN PILOTO CUBANO
FACTORY: A.J. FERNANDEZ
APPEARANCE: Upon inspection, the ENCLAVE appears very well constructed. The triple cap is applied so seamlessly that appears as if it was part of the cigar from the get go and not added after the fact. The Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper is dark in color like a chocolate bar, feels velvety to the touch, and looks oily with many veins visible. The foot of the cigar is closed.
PRELIGHT: Prior to lighting, I sniff the foot of the cigar to see what aromas I might pick up. Due to the closed foot, the only flavor I am picking up is chocolate from the wrapper.
CUT: I cut my cigar with my Xikar guillotine cutter and check the draw. For having a closed foot, the ENCLAVE actually draws pretty well. The cold draw reveals rich tobacco and chocolate.
LIGHTING: I use my Xikar soft flame to toast the foot of the cigar thoroughly before puffing on it to make sure it is nice and lit. Once lit, the draw was effortless.
Now let’s get into smoking this cigar!
FIRST 1/3: The first few puffs reveal pepper on the retro hale and a light spice on the palate that lingers throughout the experience. As I get into the cigar, I am picking up cedar mixed with cinnamon and spice. The pepper on the retrohale has died down a little bit and has been joined by a creamy cocoa flavor. The ash is a light gray and is holding steady. The burn line is a little wavy but probably due to human error. The smoke is creamy on the palate and plentiful. As I am getting through the first 1/3, the spice picked up at the beginning is now identified as nutmeg. The ash falls off after an inch and a half. The pepper on the retrohale is picking back up, and the cocoa is sticking right with it. As I near the end of the first 1/3, the flavor profile is that of cedar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. So far, this is a very enjoyable cigar with a little bit of complexity.
SECOND 1/3: As I get into the second 1/3, the flavor profile hasn’t changed much, and that is okay with me. The pepper on the retrohale has died down again, but not as much as it did in the first 1/3. The cocoa has been replaced by cinnamon along with the pepper on the retro hale. The flavor profile is still that of cedar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The ash is now a little flaky and not holding very well. The burn line is still a little wavy but not hindering the smoking experience. As I am getting through the second 1/3, there is now a leather note added to the profile to go along with the cedar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As I near the end of the second 1/3, the pepper on the retrohale has all but faded, leaving cinnamon as the lone flavor. The main flavor profile has stayed the same, but as with the retro hale, the cinnamon is edging into the predominant flavor.
FINAL 1/3: As I get into the final 1/3, the cigar seems to mellow a bit. The retro hale is still that of cinnamon, with cocoa making a return. The cinnamon has now become the dominant flavor in the profile, followed by cedar, leather and coffee. The nutmeg has disappeared. The ash is once again holding strong, and the burn line is razor sharp and finally even. As I am getting into the final 1/3, the cocoa on the retrohale is replaced by the return of the pepper, and things are starting to pick up. The flavor profile is also starting to pick up, as this cigar went from medium to medium plus. As I get near the end of the final 1/3, the flavor profile and the retro hale have intensified immensely, and now the cigar is full body and strength to round out a very good cigar.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a cigar that, even though the flavor profile changed little, was still very complex. It went from medium to medium plus and then ended up full flavor and body near the end. What a way to finish another great cigar by A.J. Fernandez! I give it a 5/5 on the overall rating, as it was that good, and 4/5 on the strength, as it didn’t get full body until the end. I really enjoyed this cigar and could see it ending up in my humidor and even as an everyday cigar. It is a must try. I think you will like it.
SMOKE TIME: Will vary from person to person. I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar and took it right down to the nub and got an 1 hour and 45 minutes out of it.
If this cigar sounds like something you might be interested in, give Rocky’s a call or stop in and tell them Cookie sent you.