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While the general trend in cigars over recent years has been to go big, there are still cigar makers willing to go small, and in the case of one of AJ Fernandez’s 2020 release, quite small.

For the fifth size of the New World line, AJ Fernandez released a cigar named for its packaging, the New World Tins, a 4 x 36 short panetela offered in five-count metal packs.

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The blend is the same as the rest of the line, a Nicaraguan puro that uses an oscuro wrapper from Estelí, a binder from Jalapa and fillers from Condega, Ometepe and Estelí. The blend is notable as it was developed by Abdel Fernandez in collaboration with his father, Ismael, who joined his son’s company after spending 17 years with the Plasencia family.

The line debuted in August 2014, named for the term that refers to tobacco growing countries not named Cuba. It is one that is more common outside the U.S., where Cuban cigars share shelf space with cigars from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Mexico, among others.

 

With the addition of the Tins, the original New World line now offers five regular production sizes:

  • New World Belicoso (5 1/2 x 55)
  • New World Gordo (6 x 58)
  • New World Robusto (5 1/2 x 55)
  • New World Toro (6 1/2 x 55)
  • New World Tins (4 x 36)

Beyond the noteworthy collaboration of father and son, the line was also developed with the intent of creating a Nicaraguan puro that could sell for $10 but was originally priced around half of that.

  • Cigar Reviewed: New World Tins
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Estelí Oscuro)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Estel & Ometepe)
  • Length: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 32
  • Vitola: Petit Panatela
  • MSRP: $4.16 (Tins of 6, $24.98)
  • Release Date: April 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

It’s hard to look at this size of the New World and not want to say “awwww…” at least just a bit. It looks as well rolled as its bigger counterparts, though with the smaller band and its petite size, it’s hard not to give it a second or even third look. There’s a decent bit of give to the cigar, certainly more than what I would expect to find from bigger vitolas, but otherwise, it is rolled and capped well. Aroma off the foot is very mild if present at all, hinting at a bit of tree bark and melted chocolate, though the clarity is reminiscent of trying to read a license plate from 100 feet away. While I generally prefer to smell the foot as a collective of the tobaccos as opposed to just the wrapper, the size makes me spend more time with the cover leaf, which gives me a bit more of the chocolate but with an expression that makes me think of a beverage, such as a bottled Frappucino or even an espresso martini. The cold draw is spot on with airflow and shows more vibrance via the bark and wood flavors, with chocolate syrup much more in the background, leaving room for some damp earth and black pepper to fill the gap.

While the New World Tins might be small in stature, the first puffs are anything but small in flavor. There’s a dry earth and black pepper combination that goes right for the taste buds, and the pepper makes an even more direct beeline for the nostrils and olfactories via retrohales. It’s not the most complex flavor, and I’m inclined to think that there just might not be enough tobacco to really get the flavor into the deep end of the pool, but it’s plenty to contend with out of the gate. There are also hints of milk chocolate both on the palate and through the nose, which when it hits is easily the most unique aspect of the cigar. It should come as no surprise that the ash isn’t terribly durable; the first cigar starts to bend pretty quickly before breaking off at about half-an-inch in length. The draw is very good, smoke production is reduced but commensurate with the size, and the combustion is problem-free.

The start of the second third brings on a bit of chalkiness but largely holding onto most of the same notes that the New World Tins was offering in its first third. As the burn line progresses, the flavor gets a bit drier and then begins drying out portions of my tongue and the roof of my mouth, a sensation accompanied by the earthiness of the profile drying out and becoming lighter and more vibrant. A dry wood note comes along near the end of this section to further this transition and sensation, making me long for some water if not another beverage. The technical performance has been very good; the draw is problem-free as is the burn, but puffing too quickly or too frequently turns the flavor a bit sharper. Smoke production is also good, especially given the size. Flavor now sits at a dry, somewhat sharp medium-plus intensity, body is medium, and strength is medium at most.

Chalk continues to be in the mix as the New World Tins begins its final third, an unfortunate distraction from what would seemingly be an otherwise good profile that is trying to replicate what was offered at the start of the cigar. When I can get my taste buds to look past that chalk, they find hints of dry earth, a bit of thin black pepper, and some occasional woods, but as the burn line progresses, they fall farther and farther into the background. The draw gets a bit less productive in the final inch or so, mainly because I’m getting less contact with the cigar due to the encroaching heat, but it still burns quite well. The New World Tins finishes up medium-full in flavor due to the chalk and related flavors, while body is medium and strength is medium-minus.

Final Notes

  • There have a number of limited edition releases in the New World line, including the New World Redondo, a 6 1/2 x 55 toro extra that was released to members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America in May 2019. In December 2016, Atlantic Cigar Co. received a 6 x 54 toro vitola in celebration of the store’s 20th anniversary, while the distributor Zander-Greg received four vitolas as part of its 20th anniversary in June 2015: 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.
  • The New World line also has three extensions: a Connecticut version in 2015, the New World Puro Especial in 2017 that used tobacco solely grown in Nicaragua’s Estelí region, and the New World Cameroon in 2018, the latter of which was the first time the company used a Cameroon wrapper.
  • I’ve smoked my share of cigars in similar vitolas from a number of different manufacturers, and I’m amazed at how often the dry, chalky, and occasionally sour note seems to come about time and again. There are times it feels like an inherent flavor in this vitola, regardless of the blend.
  • I often recommend smoking the same blend in different vitolas to compare and contrast the effects of the size; doing that here would still have merit, but I have to think the differences would be so profound that it might not deliver the same intended results as doing so with the other sizes.
  • Looking at this slender vitola makes me think of the opportunities I’ve had to bunch and roll a cigar, and the resulting feeling of not having the dexterity in my fingers that I think I have. I can only imagine how trying to roll these would make me feel.
  • There doesn’t seem to be much—if any—nicotine strength from the New World Tins. If anything, there simply might not be enough time and tobacco to impart a noticeable effect.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was 40 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. carries the New World Tins.
85 Overall Score

The New World Tins, and cigars like it in terms of size, tend to serve a very specific purpose first and foremost, which is delivering a good smoke in a very compact format for when time is limited or other constraints prevent a person from smoking something a bit bigger. As such, it feels beholden to doing that more than it is delivering a truly developed flavor profile, especially compared to the other sizes in the profile. In my experience, this means a profile that gets marked by chalk and sourness at points, which quickly overshadows whatever else the cigar may be trying to offer. On the plus size, consistency was very good, and construction was fantastic, something I'm very happy to report given the dexterity it must take to create these incredibly slender vitolas. For a quick smoke, the New World Tins is a decent option, and certainly as good as any I've tasted, but even at its best it just can't deliver the overall experience of its bigger counterparts.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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