Back in August, Jerry, Brian, Charlie, and I had the pleasure of attending the annual IPCPR Trade Show in Orlando. One of our earlier stops was the AJ Fernandez booth. We got to talking with one of the reps when he began handing out Pinolero samples. The cigar came with a warning “This is the most powerful cigar that AJ makes.” At the time I thought, yeah right, this is probably just like the warning label on a box of Rocky Patel Edge Cigars. I mean, how powerful could this thing really be?
Prior to the show, I hadn’t heard any hype about this cigar and its appearance didn’t leave me itching to light it up right away. I gave it some time after returning home then fired up my first sample on a clean palate. Looks sure are deceiving, less than an inch in I was giving some serios thought to giving up in the Pinolero. Simply put, it was the most powerful cigar I had ever smoked and the strength was overwhelming.
I posted my thoughts on Twitter and received some heckling from Brian Hewitt, who coincidentally was smoking one of his Pinolero samples. I gritted my teeth and continued on. After the first third that cigar toned down considerably and wound up being an excellent smoke.
Since then I’ve smoked the remainder of my samples and have found the power to be very inconsistent. Some have been overwhelming while others have been rather gentle, for lack of a better description. Flavors have been consistent across the board, producing wood, salt, pepper, and even a smokey sort of sweetness on occasion. Construction has been solid. Every one has burned wonderfully and produced plenty of thick smoke.
This cigar isn’t for the faint or heart but it is most definitely worth a try if you enjoy cigars that may make you break out into a cold sweat. As I mentioned in the video, this review is based on an IPCPR sample and may vary from what arrives on store shelves.