Bellas Artes From A.J. Fernandez Coming To IPCPR

Bellas Artes From A.J. Fernandez Coming To IPCPR
The lid art for AJ Fernandez's upcoming Bellas Artes brand, which will debut at this summer's IPCPR trade show.

Cigarmaker and tobacco grower A.J. Fernandez will be releasing the Bellas Artes brand at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, and it showcases a hybrid wrapper and region-specific tobaccos.

The hybrid wrapper, which Fernandez refers to as "Rojita" is a cross between three strains of tobacco: Connecticut 8212, Corojo '99 and Havana 2000.

The binder is a Havana '92 varietal grown in Quilalí, a region of Nicaragua that has been producing black tobacco since the 1800s.

The Nicaragua-heavy filler consists of tobacco from Estelí, Condega and Jalapa, however Fernandez has added some Honduran leaf and a bit of Brazilian tobacco as well.

"There's viso from the Mata Norte region of Brazil," said Ricky Samoza of A.J. Fernandez. "It's high in nicotine and sweetness."

The viso classification refers to the filler tobacco leaves that grow on the upper-middle portion of the plant. Typically, ligero tobacco grows the highest on the stalk, followed by viso, which is less powerful than ligero, but stronger than seco (the next classification down).

"A.J. [Fernandez's] main focus with this specific project is on unique flavors and aromas produced by the tobaccos he selected from the excellent growing regions of Nicaragua, Jamastran and Brazil," Somoza said.

Bellas Artes is slated for four slightly box-pressed sizes: Short Churchill at 6 inches by 48 ring gauge; Robusto, 5 by 52; Toro, 6 by 54; and Gordo at 6 1/2 by 60. Retail prices have yet to be established.

According to the company, all the tobacco in the Bellas Artes blend is aged for a minimum of three years. They are made at Fernandez's Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory in Estelí.

This article first appeared in the April 19, 2016 issue of Cigar Insider.