At the beginning of July, Casa Fernandez announced that they would be releasing two Aniversario vitolas this year for the third anniversary of the Aniversario brand. Besides the fact that there would be two releases, what make these exciting releases was that both the vitolas were new when comparing them to past Aniversario releases. Traditionally, the Aniversario releases have been box-pressed toros, but this year we are getting a box-pressed lancero and a round parejo robusto extra. The cigars are being showcased at the IPCPR in New Orleans this weekend/next week, but before the show begins I am going to take a look at the box-pressed lancero offering, the Casa Fernandez Aniversario Voleur.
Cigar: Casa Fernandez Aniversario 2015 Voleur
Country of Origin: United States of America
Factory: Casa Fernandez Miami
Wrapper: AGANORA Corojo '99 Jalapa, Nicaragua
Binder: AGANORSA (Nicaragua)
Filler: AGANORSA (Nicaragua)
Length: 7 1/2"
Ring Gauge: 40
Vitola: Lancero (Box-Pressed)
Limited Production: 4,800 cigars (300 boxes of 16)
The lancero is rolled perfectly and it has a great press with a fantastic triple cap. The cigar sports few veins on the wrapper and it is very smooth and silky. There are some oils present on the wrapper leaf and to touch the cigar is firm throughout. The wrapper has a nice Colorado coloring, and it is showing some reddish brown soil qualities. The foot is delivering an aroma of sweet tobacco and spice notes, and I am finding there are some earthy and sweet chocolate notes with that. The wrapper is a little bit more natural and tamed, and it is showing some grassy and hay qualities with some dried wood notes.
The first third begins by showing some terrific AGANORSA flavors, and they are strong flavors. I am getting this nice dark cherry flavor profile that is accompanied with a sweet honey quality, and with that is a nice bit of rich earth and strong tobacco. There are some black pepper qualities present as well, and it is showing that sweetness from the quality tobacco and the strength of some higher priming tobacco as well. I would say that it is between medium-full and full in terms of flavors, strength and body, and this is a complex lancero. The construction is fairly solid and while the burn line has not been razor sharp, it has been consistent. There is a cool draw being produced with those strong concentrated flavors, and there is a nice light charcoal ash on the end of the cigar.
I am in the second third of the cigar now and with the second third comes some new flavors. The cherry notes have faded from this third and it is delivering a nice sugarcane sweetness with a touch of vanilla beans. I am still picking up some strong tobacco and pepper notes, and the finish is that of earth and rum with that oaky flavor. It is a complex third and it continues to smoke at that medium-full level with a nice bit of depth. The strength and body are remaining at that medium-full level as well, and it is a solid blend. The construction is remaining similar to that of the first third and it is showing a slightly uneven burn line with that charcoal ash on the end. The draw remains cool, producing a charcoal ash with a solid amount of smoke, and with a softer sweetness, it is a more natural third.
When I get into the final third of the cigar I find that there is some more transitioning present and it is beginning to show some more earthy and tobacco flavors. There is a rich earth flavor present and it is paired with a sweet tobacco flavor profile. There is a touch of pepper present as well, but it is not what it once was. The sweetness notes have faded completely from the sugar profile, and the cherry notes are not present either. It remains to smoke at a medium-full level for flavors, body, and strength, and it has been consistent in that sense from the beginning. The construction improves greatly in this third as well, and after the touch up in the second third it has burned perfectly in this third delivering an even burn line and nice charcoal ash on the end. The final draw is cool and flavorful, and it shows how well the cigar is constructed.
The Aniversario series is a series of annual releases that have always done well for me. I believe the blends show a great flavor profile with tons of complexity and depth, and they are cigars that smoke well young but do even better with age. In the case of the Voleur, this is a cigar that has gotten better the longer it has remained in my humidor, and I believe that it will smoke incredibly at the end of the year. I was "concerned" with how the lancero would smoke for this series initially, but after smoking it multiple times I think it is a great addition. The fact that they stuck to producing a box-pressed cigar with this size is a nice tribute to the releases, and it does well in a small format. Once again, I had my concerns with the cigar, especially with it being a box-pressed lancero, but in the end my concerns were answered. The Voleur delivers a great flavor profile that changes throughout, and with that the transitioning is a nice bit of complexity. The medium-full profile does well with the blend, and I believe this will be a well received lancero. AGANORSA tobacco is some of the best tobacco on the market right now and this is a great example of that premium tobacco with a focus on the high quality wrapper in the lancero format. Right now, the Aniversario Voleur gets an 89 rating, but I am confident in saying that in a minimum of six months this will be a whole new and improved cigar. This is a classic example of how a great lancero should smoke.
Cigars for this assessment were provided by Casa Fernandez