General Cigar Company unveiled a number of collaboration blends with A.J. Fernandez. What makes this project special is that AJ grew up near the Hoyo de Monterrey factory in Cuba. All the tobacco for the La Amistad also comes from A.J. Fernandez farms.
Sold in 20 count boxes, with 4 vitolas to choose from: Rothschild (4-1/2x50), Robusto (5x54), Toro (6x50), and Gigante (6x60).
Check out our interview with Elizabeth Maksim at the IPCPR 2016 in Las Vegas:
Check out my video review here:
The nose on the Hoyo La Amistad is a bright cedar and spicy nose, with the cedar dominating the profile. Out of the food I’m getting hay and barnyard.
The draw is well into the open spectrum, with minimal resistance, although it does produce a satisfying amount of smoke.
The first few draws produce the same cedar and spices I was picking up on the nose, but also this creamy undercurrent which I find compliments the strong initial flavors nicely. The spices on the retrohale are much more intense, I’d rate them as medium-full. Once the Hoyo La Amistad settles in, the spices start to settle in strength and a wonderful powdered cocoa comes through which results in something very similar to a Mexican hot chocolate.
As the first third winds down, the spices continue to fall in strength on the retrohale to a medium minus, with the creaminess picking up.
The chocolate becomes richer and more nuanced in the middle third, becoming the most dominant flavor. Once the middle third settles in, the spices have fallen to almost a background flavor.
There is some earthiness coming through as the Hoyo La Amistad transitions into the final third. Once the final third establishes itself, there’s a sweet citrus component adding into the mix. With all the flavors falling in intensity I do find the cigar to be less complex than the first or middle third.
Total smoking time 1 hour and 25 minutes.
With a very approachable price point, General Cigar Co. has knocked it out of the park with the Hoyo La Amistad.