In 2013, Casa Fernández released a cigar to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the company called the Aniversario Bohème No. 35. This year, the company followed it up with a related sequel, the Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares. Casa Fernández showed the cigar off at this year’s trade show and said it’s likely to be part of an annual series.
So far there are only two releases in the Aniversario series.
- Casa Fernández Aniversario Bohème No. 35 (6 x 54) – November 2013 – 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Casa Fernández Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares (6 1/4 x 52) – August 2014 – 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
This year’s version features a slightly updated appearance, including Casa Fernández-branded tissue on each cigar.
The cigars are once again rolled at the company’s Miami factory using tobacco grown by the company’s Nicaraguan tobacco-based operation, AGANORSA.
- Cigar Reviewed: Casa Fernández Aniversario Serie 2014 Ares
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Casa Fernández Miami
- Wrapper: AGANORSA Corojo – Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125.00)
- Date Released: August 8, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The Aniversario Serie 2014 has a really nice overall presentation with a beautiful medium brown wrapper that’s accentuated by a classy silver and white pair of bands. There is a luxuriously soft feel to the wrapper, with just enough oil to feel delicate and supple as well. Across both samples, there is a little universal give to the cigar, though not enough to be considered soft. The aroma of the wrapper consists of hay and a slight nuttiness while the cold draw is made up of hay, toasted almonds, powdered sugar and vanilla—overall very pastry like.
The first third of the Casa Fernández starts out pleasant enough with sweet dried fruit, a little black pepper and a smoky oak note. Though the burn line isn’t perfect out of the gate, a small touch-up fixes whatever caused the issue. The ash holds on surprisingly well, almost refusing to drop off after almost an inch and a half. The draw is ideal with smoke production fairly significant on the draw, though it drops to a trickle when the cigar is resting. A couple more touch–ups are needed as this section finishes out, while on the flavor side of things, the black pepper and oak notes ramp up.
Pepper continues to get stronger as the Ares transitions into the second third, while a charred meatiness replaces the smoky oak and the sweet dried fruit note is slowly fading into the background. There’s also a slight harshness that has entered the picture, which unfortunately puts a damper on the rest of the profile. The burn line is still needing touch-ups every now and then. Construction issues seemingly continue with the ash taking a surprising turn. Instead of holding on solidly, it’s become quite flakey with the majority of the outside falling all over the place leaving just the inner core of ash. After about an inch the harshness that suddenly showed up has mostly disappeared. With that gone the huge pepper and meaty notes return with some light earth notes and just the slightest bit of fruit left in the background.
The final third starts out with having to relight the cigar. The profile continues much as it has been with pepper and a burnt meatiness dominating and mostly drowning out anything else. A few more touch-ups and a reappearance of the harshness doesn’t speak well of things to come, so I finish the cigar with about an inch left.
- Eduardo Fernández brought Tabacalera Tropical from Pedro Martin in 2002, while Martin founded Tabacalera Tropical in 1978. The company has rebranded itself under the Casa Fernández name.
- Fernández also the AGANORSA tobacco-growing operations, TABSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua and Casa Fernández Miami factory in the U.S.—and that’s just his interests in the tobacco business.
- The tobacco used for this cigar was aged five years prior to rolling.
- Both samples had significant construction issues. One required almost constant touch-ups, but otherwise was okay, while the other sample’s ash was very loose and flaky.
- Strength overall was medium, though towards the end it was almost a medium-full.
- The secondary silver band was so shiny it had almost mirror-like properties making it kind of difficult to photograph. Since most people won’t be photographing the band that’s not a big deal, and overall, I really enjoyed the look of it.
- The samples for this review were provided to halfwheel by site sponsor Casa Fernández.
- Final smoking time averaged right around two hours.
From the beginning, I had high hopes for this cigar. The appearance was very pleasing, the cold draw was delectable and the first half an inch or so of the cigar really had me thinking I was in for an enjoyable two hours. Unfortunately, things devolved fairly quickly, first starting with some construction issues and then continuing with a profile that just seemingly fell apart. As good as the cold draw was it makes me think that the tobacco and blend were both on point but the construction issues affected the profile too much. It’s possible I got two bad samples and I’m hoping that’s the case, but for now, I personally won’t be seeking any more of these out.