The week of January 25 saw a return visit to Nicaragua where we hung out in Managua and Estili. The latter is quickly becoming the new tobacco capital of Central America. The amount and quality of new hybrid variations of leaf growing there is ridiculous, especially when you think that less than 20 years ago the country was just pulling itself out of years of civil war. Our host once again was AJ Fernandez. AJ is both a total vertical manufacturer – New World, San Lotano, Enclave are 100% his brands/his tobacco etc – but he also supplies tobacco to the likes of Padron, Rocky Patel and Davidoff.
AJ has football field size storage facilities for millions of pounds of tobacco. He began making our the Cigar Studio Private Label Nicaraguan Maduro in 2013 with a blend and shape unique to our store. Today those cigars represent our # 1 selling brand in the shop, and this year AJ is making our 20th Anniversary cigars. Special thanks to Erick, AJ’s new right hand man in Estili, and Sal and Ang @ PTI, exclusive distributors AJ’s cigars in Canada.