The Bellas Artes from AJ Fernandez is inspired by the Bellas Artes National museum in Cuba, and if you’ve ever been able to go there it’s easy to understand why it’s an inspiration. The Bellas Artes stands as AJ Fernandez testament that making cigars is a fine art.
When looking at the cigar the most obvious thing to notice would be the incredibly dark Brazilian Malta Fina wrapper. It is burnt umber in color with lite veining, a slight oily sheen and a bit of toothyness to it. The seams are tight and the cigar has that pillow like feeling that box pressed cigars have and no dead spots could be found along the body. The smell from the body is cedar, tobacco and hay while from the foot a sweeter black licorice sent is noticed. The cold draw has the flavor of sweat tea and tobacco.
The first half has flavors of earth and spices with a sneaky sweet finish to it. The burn stays even with the exception of having to touch it up once early on but we can chalk that up to user error. The ash hold tightly for about 3/4″ before I chicken out and knock it loose. There is plenty of medium weight aromatic smoke that adds to the smoking experience.
In the second half the flavor kicks up a bit with stronger flavors of full tobacco and spice taking the wheel. The burn continues to be even throughout the cigar, the ash is perfect and the smoke production does not disappoint. Like most every thing from AJ the construction is flawless and smokes perfectly down to a nub.
The Bellas Artes Maduro is definitely finishes off strong and full in flavor it never becomes harsh. Typical of blends from the Fernandez cigar lines. This is a great smoke for an experienced smoker but, I would only recommend this for beginning smokers if you give them the caveat that this will be a lot of flavor and a fair amount of strength. Like I always say, how is someone going to know what they like if they don’t try things different from what they normally smoke. For me this is an easy go to cigar when I’m having trouble deciding what to smoke, if you haven’t tried it yet grab several the next time you see them at your local shop.