San Lotano Oval
I still have not been able to find the San Lotano Oval on my local B&M’s shelves. I think this cigar is rather difficult to come by judging by all the internet chatter out there. Luckily this was sent to me in trade from my pals over at r/cigars! When I got this cigar in my trade I didn’t know to think about it. Honestly, I had never heard of it. So I left it in my humidor for a couple weeks waiting to give it a try. I gave this cigar a once over and wasn’t blow away by the packaging or the band. I was however intrigued by the shape. A true oval shape kind of had built up some mystery in my mind as to what this cigar would unveil.
As I said from an initial look at the San Lotano Oval I wasn’t blown away. I don’t know if I’m just getting too jaded with cigar packaging or if I wasn’t a big fan of the color combination. The band has a dominate black background that is trimmed in gold. The bottom margin of the band has a reddish/orange ribbon overlayed with a yellow ribbon that serves as the backdrop to A.J. Fernandez’s brand. Above this the lettering depicts the name of the cigar San Lotano Oval. Even as I’m writing this I still can’t figure out what about the band I don’t particularly like.
The Habano wrapper looks beautiful though. A nice dark brown in color, and velvety all the way down to the foot. The oils just shine off of this thing and I can tell that a lot of attention was paid to the tobacco. When I look at the foot the wrapper looks very thick on this cigar. Also when I look at the foot I can really tell why it’s called the San Lotano Oval. It’s similar to a box pressed cigar, but obviously more rounded. I tried snapping a couple of pics of the foot, but they didn’t turn out so you’ll just have to take my word that it’s an oval shape.
I’m always a little leery when it comes to new shapes and rolling techniques with cigars. I know box pressed cigars have been around for awhile, but I’ve yet to see an oval before. So when I began examining the San Lotano Oval I made sure to give it a thorough rolling between my index finger and thumb to test how well it was constructed. I was delighted to find that the filler didn’t contain any soft spots in fact it was rather firm. Not much give at all. That of course initially worried me that there might be an issue with the draw.
I took a look at the head of the cigar and it looks as if the San Lotano Oval has a triple cap on it. I could see two distinct lines and in certain areas of the head there was a faint line, so I’m just going to say it’s a triple cap.
I tried a new cutting style with my double guillotine. I laid the cutter down on a flat surface and tried to pinch the blades together to give myself a nice even cut. Talk about total and complete #CigarCutterFail. I picked this little trick up from Ben over at Nice Tight Ash, so I’m just going to blame him for it. I was however able to prove to myself that the wrapper was fairly thick. When I went to cut it again, my cutter had some trouble getting through it, and usually it slices through cigars like … butter?
Anyway, the dry draw on the San Lotano Oval was wonderful. It was a little snug, but I prefer it that way so I don’t choke myself up when I’m lighting it! Speaking of lighting it, lets get to that so I can begin enjoying this cigar.
I got some fantastic new matches the other day at an Oliva event here in Nashville. They are NUB matches and they seriously have the best striking surface that I have even seen with a set of matches. So of course I used my zippo lighter to torch this thing up. I kid I kid, I got this San Lotano Oval lit with just one match! Imagine what I could do with 20 matches, I could probably light 20 cigars! Right away this cigar starting burning like champ. The burn line was straight as an arrow who’s flight path was laser guided , yeah pretty freaking straight!
I ran into a little bit of trouble half way through the first third on this stick. It started to canoe on me just a bit, but I refrained from touching it up and it evened itself out. I was so glad there wasn’t any wind tonight it allowed me to really bask in the smoke that this cigar was putting out. It was a fairly thick white smoke and when I exhaled the and it just bellowed out nice and slow. It was quite enjoyable and it made me feel quite dignified.
I burned the San Lotano Oval fairly far down the stick. I laid it to rest with almost an inch left. It was getting dark, I was getting hungry and I had been smoking this thing for an hour and a half already. I guess I’m a really slow smoker when I do these reviews. Which is a good thing for you all. Nothing too crazy happened while smoking this, it was a very balanced cigar that smoked incredibly well.
Balance, Balance, Balance, thats how I’m going to sum up the flavor of the San Lotano Oval. There were quite a few flavors that I could pull out of this cigar, but none of them were overpowering and they were all very subtle. Nothing too complex, but a great balance all the way through.
In the pre draw I picked up on some coffee and earthy notes. This blended right into a light peppery flavor at the first light. This disappeared into woody flavor with some floral notes to it. I would have to say this is a very medium bodied cigar. I could tell the strength was there in the tobacco because I got a nice nicotine buzz, but it over powering whatsoever.
During the 2nd third I began picking up on some more spice in the blend. It started hitting me in the back of my tongue and making my taste buds do a little dance. Again nothing too crazy, it was all in great balance with one another. This must the magical mystery to A.J. Fernandez’s special filler blend. I’ll go out on a limb and say it right now, I’m a big fan of this cigar.
The final third went back to the opening third flavor profile for me. It mellowed out and just rode a nice smooth wave to the end. I was left with a great cigar flavor of woody and earthy notes and a little floral aroma to send me on my way.
Would I Buy It Again?
Absolutely, if I could find this cigar in a shop I’d be sure to pick some up.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
It can be for sure. I would opt for the smaller vitolas even the corona was a 1.5 hour smoke for me.
Would I Buy a Box?
It’s definitely up for consideration. This is one of those cigars that will go with almost any occasion. After dinner drinks, coffee in the morning, or even on the golf course. I would call this cigar my utility cigar.
Even though I wasn’t WOW-ed by the presentation of the San Lotano Oval, it’s still a wonderful cigar. Between the oval shape and the overall balance in the flavor. This cigar is definitely going to find it’s way into my humidor more than once. If you come across these in your local shop be sure to pick one up. If you do make sure to stop back here and let us know what you thought about it!