Since celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2013, Casa Fernández has released a limited edition release using the same name and packaging. This year was no different, except that there were two different cigars.
At the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July, the company showed off the Aniversario 2015 in the form of the Voleur, a 7 1/2 x 40 box-pressed lancero, and the L.F. Celines, a 6 x 56 toro gordo. Both cigars use the same blend: a Nicaraguan puro with a five-year-old corojo 99 wrapper.
Like the rest of the company’s releases, the Nicaraguan leaf comes from AGANORSA, the Nicaraguan growing operation owned by the Fernández family.
- 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)
- Casa Fernández Aniversario Serie 2015 Voleur (7 1/2 x 40) — October 2015 — 300 Boxes of 16 Cigars (4,800 Total Cigars)
- Casa Fernández Aniversario Serie 2015 L.F. Celines (6 x 56) — October 2015 — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
Whether or not the Aniversario series will continue remains to be seen; when the 2015 editions were announced, it was described as potentially bringing the line to an end.
- Cigar Reviewed: Casa Fernández Aniversario Serie 2015 Voleur
- Country of Origin: U.S.A.
- Factory: Casa Fernández Miami
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 16, $200)
- Release Date: Oct. 1, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 16 Cigars (4,800 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I remember the days when a box-pressed lancero was still vogue, now we’ve seen a few other iterations. This is the first time I can recall seeing one close to the traditional El Laguito No.1 size (192mm x 38, i.e. 7 9/16 inches) and with the box-press it would be challenging to definitively say this was a bit thicker. The wrapper smells like many other AGANORSA-wrapped cigars: barnyard and some leather. There’s no cellophane and the paper doesn’t do much to hold anything in. From the foot there’s oatmeal cookie, some vanilla, cedar, caramel and some isolated oatmeal. The cold draw is similar, although with different flavors: sarsaparilla, spices, caramel, earth, floral, a bittersweet cocoa and some cola.
The Voleur begins with cedar, some paprika, orange peel in the nose and nuttiness mid-tongue. The finish is nutty and funky with some touches of blue cheese, leather and some vegetal flavors. For better or worse, the funkiness dissipates quite a bit and the first third of the Casa Fernández settles into an earthy mixture with orange peel and peanut butter. There’s some citrus zest in the nose alongside floral, caramel and a bread. In many ways, it’s reminiscent of some younger Cubans. The flavor is bright, medium and without any noticeable harshness. Body is medium-full and strength is medium.
While it wasn’t a pedestrian start for the Aniversario 2015, the second third is on a different level. There’s a ton of tannins joined by chicken skin, nutmeg and lime. In elementary form, it’s earth, but the brightness from the first third allows for some of those flavors to be dissected into much greater levels. Through the nose there’s some harshness with a white pepper and oaky bourbon flavor adding themselves into the mix of the Casa Fernández. Towards the latter half of the second third, the chicken gains a smoky characteristic and coats the mouth. The flavor is much fuller with strength in the medium-plus range and body at medium-full. The construction hasn’t been mentioned, and that’s a good thing, solidly burning with above average smoke and a good draw.
The cola flavor from the early stages of the Voleur reappear about two hours in. In the mouth it’s joined by some sweet candied ginger, a more generic meatiness and the lime. Between the lime and the sweet ginger, there’s somewhat of a ginger ale sensation, which reminds me just how long it’s been since I’ve had one. Through the nose there’s an added fruitiness, but I’m unable to identify any one flavor in particular.
- Casa Fernández priced both the L.F. Celines and the Voleur at $12.50. It perhaps highlights the largest reason why lanceros won’t sell. Try convincing a typical consumer that they are getting any value for the noticeably smaller Voleur.
- I had a conversation with Paul Palmer early on into the IPCPR trade show and he indicated that not only had the Voleur sold out quickly, but that the company would be making more of them. It seems that wasn’t the case and they stuck to the original 300 released.
- While Casa Fernández makes a lancero, it’s definitely not a size for which they are known. That being said, between releases for Illusione and Viaje, they’ve made a few lanceros.
- Voleur means thief in French.
- The bands on the lancero are ridiculously small by today’s standard, or entirely appropriate circa 10 years ago. I don’t mind personally.
- At one point, Gurkha was the only company on the market to have a box-pressed lancero. Since then, we’ve seen examples from: 1502 Cigars, Rocky Patel, Tatuaje and others.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Casa Fernández advertises on halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 55 minutes.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Serious Cigars have the Casa Fernández Aniversario Serie 2015 in stock.
Put it in a lancero. That’s supposed to solve every problem and yet as I’ve written about in recent occasions, it so oftentimes does not. As for the Casa Fernández Aniversario, I think it worked. I haven’t smoked the L.F. Celines, but the lancero rendition was the first new Casa Fernández-branded product I’ve smoked in the last two years that reminded me that I once argued that the brand was easily the most underrated on the market. The more cigars Casa Fernández puts out that perform like this, the better the (cigar) world is.