A. J. Fernandez Cigars

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Cigar band from a Man O' War Ruination, manufactured in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez Cigars.

Tabacalera Fernandez, best known to the English-speaking world as A.J. Fernandez Cigars, is a maker of cigars primarily grown and produced in Nicaragua and sold worldwide. The company is run by Abdel J. Fernandez, a third generation cigarmaker, and is a prominent manufacturer of cigars sold under a variety of labels, including "Man O'War," "Diesel," and "San Lotano"

Company history[edit]


A.J. Fernandez Cigars traces its roots back to San Luís, Cuba, where Abdel's grandfather started the San Lotano brand.[citation needed]


Tabacalera Fernandez started in a decrepit facility in Estelí, Nicaragua with just six rollers.[1] Rather than launching his own brand from the start, Fernandez first established himself as a manufacturer of cigars for other companies, such as the Rocky Patel Summer Blend 2008, which was produced in Fernandez's "Tafenic" factory in Estelí.[2]

A.J. Fernandez (born March 1979) first earned his stripes as the manufacturer of the brands "Man O'War" and "Diesel" for sale by mailorder retail giant Cigars International and its associated companies.[3] Man O'War, introduced nationally in the United States in 2009, is a medium-to-full bodied blend that quickly developed what contemporary cigar historian Richard B. Perelman has described as a "near cult status."[4] In 2010 two new additions were made to the brand, a mild-to-medium product wrapped in a claro colored leaf called Man O'War Virtue, and a full-bodied product wrapped in a Colorado-maduro leaf called Man O'War Ruination.[4] In 2011 a new blend made as a classic Cuban-sized corona with a ragged foot called the Man O'War Puro Authentico was introduced as well as a limited-production super premium called Man O'War Armada.

The Diesel line, also launched in 2009, initially consisted of a single vitola — a thick 5-inch belicoso that the company called the "Unholy Cocktail."[5] This was later supplemented by an even-shorter 60-ring robusto called the "Shorty."[5] A second full-bodied blend, called Diesel Unlimited, was launched in 2010 in 4 vitolas, including a massive 7-inch, 60-ring double corona.[5]

Company today[edit]

Today the Fernandez factory in Estelí is among the largest in Nicaragua, and produces some 9 million cigars a year.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2010, Fernandez revived the long-discontinued San Lotano brand which was previously made by his grandfather in Cuba in the years before the Cuban Revolution of 1959.[6]

A.J. Fernandez Cigars currently sells its products in more than 32 countries, with sales outside of the United States accounting for approximately 10% of the company's total sales in 2013.[7]


  1. ^ "Tabacalera Fernandez: A Small Start," puff.com/ video, 1:35 mark.
  2. ^ David Savona, Seasonal Smoke From Rocky Patel," cigaraficionado.com/, May 7, 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "A.J. Fernandez Revives San Lotano," cigarcyclopedia.com/, August 3, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Richard B. Perelman, Perelman's Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars: 2011 Edition. Los Angeles, CA: Perelman Pioneer and Company, 2010; pg. 441.
  5. ^ a b c Perelman, Perelman's Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars: 2011 Edition, pg. 208.
  6. ^ "A.J. Fernandez Revives San Lotano," cigarcyclopedia.com, August 3rd, 2010 [1]
  7. ^ David Savona, "Non-Cubans Go Global," Cigar Aficionado, vol. 22, no. 3 (March/April 2014), pp. 162-163.

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See also[edit]