The New World Oscuro by AJ Fernandez line has a new size beginning to arrive at retailers, a 7 1/2 x 55 double corona.
Keeping in line with the brand’s usage of 55 ring gauge vitolas, it’s a beefier version of the classic and often heralded size that has been used by a number of Cuban cigar brands, most notably Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch. That vitola, known as the Prominentes, measures 7 5/8 inches (194mm) long with a 49 ring gauge.
It is the seventh size for the line, which debuted in August 2014:
- New World Robusto (5 1/2 x 55)
- New World Belicoso (5 1/2 x 55)
- New World Gordo (6 x 58)
- New World Toro (6 1/2 x 55)
- New World Tins (4 x 36)
- New World Redondo (6 1/2 x 55)
- New World Double Corona (7 1/2 x 55)
The new vitola is priced at $8.50 per cigar and packaged in 21-count boxes. Its addition builds on a year in which the company released the Tins vitola in April 2020 and made the Redondo vitola a regular production size in November. It had previously been offered only to members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America, and is the only round vitola among the full size options.
When it debuted, the New World by AJ Fernandez line was a notable addition for the company. Its blend was developed by Abdel Fernandez and his father, Isamel, who had just joined his son’s company after working with the Plasencia family for 17 years. The blend, a Nicaraguan puro with a dark oscuro wrapper, Jalapa-grown binder and fillers from Ometepe, Condega and Estelí, was designed to deliver the flavor of a cigar with a $10 price tag but would sell for approximately half that price.
New World gets its name for a term used to describe cigar-producing countries that are not named Cuba. It has since gone on to blossom into a line with several extensions, including the New World Connecticut, New World Cameroon and New World Puro Especial, while the original New World line has also come to be known as the New World Oscuro.
There have also been a number of New World limited edition releases, including a 6 x 54 toro vitola released in December 2016 to Atlantic Cigar Co. in celebration of the store’s 20th anniversary. In June 2015, the distributor Zander-Greg received four vitolas with a slightly tweaked blend as part of its 20th anniversary: a 5 x 55 robusto, 5 1/2 x 55 belicoso, 6 1/2 x 55 toro and a 6 x 60 gordo. In May 2015, a 6 x 66 gran gordo dubbed the New World Brute was released for the Texas Cigar Festival.
Update (Jan. 8, 2021) — Added images provided by AJ Fernandez. Additionally, the company confirmed the accuracy of a previously unconfirmed report by Cigar Aficionado.