La Herencia Cubana CORE July 26th, 2011 Brock 94 Share: Just when I think A.J. Fernandez has finally put together a cigar so grand that I consider it his pièce-de-résistance he puts together a new blend that proves me wrong. How can this one guy make so many terrific cigars, really? Never before have I become so fond of a cigar that falls near my upper price-range of my cigar budget (that price is at the $10.00 mark if you’ve read my AVO 85th review) that I’ve purchased so many 5-packs & eventually a box of the new La Herencia Cubana CORE cigars. And not only have I purchased so many of these cigars, but instead of taking them home to put in my aging humidor, I’m enjoying them one after another. I honestly do not know if these cigars will benefit much from aging them because they are made using such quality, well-aged tobaccos that they are in their prime as soon as the shipment came in. If these cigar do get better with more age I will not only eat my words, but I’ll certainly be buying even more of these!! After trying every size, it was tough to pick one. There are 3 classic vitolas & one that’s pretty unique – The Dagger (which, unlike the rest of the lineup, is a round cigar with a chisel-type torpedo head.) Just to be fair, I randomly picked - and I blindly chose the Belicoso for this review. The hearty torpedo measures a healthy 6.25” x 52 that’s gently box-pressed, being more rectangular than it is square which then rounds out as you approach the cap of the tapered head. The cigar is beautiful - solid in my hand with considerable heft and ‘gift-wrapped’ in a toothy, oily, dark-brown Habano sun-grown Ligero wrapper that’s almost oozing with oily goodness. And it’s packed with 3 different Nicaraguan ligeros as well as a little PA Broadleaf tobacco making this one of the most unique blends out there. Upon toasting the foot & lighting up I’m met with chewy, dense smoke that fills my mouth causing my salivary glands to kick into overload. It’s as savory as a dry aged, N.Y. Strip Steak from the finest steak house. Its initial flavors stand out as rich, toasty with sweet spice. It produces a very “chewy” plume of smoke that’s starting to form a beautiful blue-white cloud all around me with a nice oaky aroma. I’m in sheer bliss at the one inch point, and the ash is light gray, rock-solid & hangs on until almost the 2-inch mark when I gently tap it off into my tall Stinky Ashtray. As I’m getting down into the ‘meat of it’ now it’s gaining flavor with each puff and the spicy-sweet, leathery character I love about fine, aged Nicaraguan tobacco is coming out along with a creaminess that complements the strength & flavor - bringing together a harmony of rich-toastiness that I’ve never experienced with any other cigar. The flavors are so unique that I know my description isn’t doing it justice, but it’s the best that words can do. I’m into the last third of this incredible cigar now, and I’m in a very relaxed, almost trance-like state. A few guys hanging out at the shop are laughing at me because I’m talking so slowly & typing much more deliberately at this point. I pay them no attention; nothing can separate me from the enjoyment that this cigar is giving me at the moment. The flavors are quite intense now, but still not overbearing & still amazingly balanced. The creaminess is still present, but the predominant flavors are toasty spice & leather. I finish the cigar with less than an inch of it left & leave it in the ashtray to extinguish itself gracefully, with dignity.