As a cigar maker, how do you pay tribute to the glory days of tobacco in Cuba—the very tobacco that your father once smoked? Abdel Fernández answered that question with the introduction of Días de Gloria, which appropriately translates to “Glory Days.”

The blend pays tribute to what cigarmaker A.J. Fernández calls an “idyllic” time in Cuba for tobacco, prior to the day Castro seized power on New Year’s Day, 1959.

Días de Gloria Short Churchill Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Estelí)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí)
  • Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernández Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitola: 6½″ × 48 “Short Churchill”
  • Price: $9.00 (MSRP)

Días de Gloria was introduced at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, with A.J. Fernández remarking in a press release, “I want everyone to enjoy it like the glory days of old Cuba.”

To achieve this, Días de Gloria incorporates all-Nicaraguan tobaccos that are grown on Fernández’s four oldest farms in Estelí. “These are the four oldest farms I own and I’ve been setting aside tobacco from each farm and aging it for years for this blend,” continued Fernández. The cigars include well-aged tobaccos throughout, with some leaves said to be aged up to seven years.

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There are four different vitolas of Días de Gloria, each packaged in boxes of 20:

  • Short Churchill: 6½” x 48 | $9 (box of 20, $180)
  • Robusto: 5½” x 52 | $10 (box of 20, $200)
  • Toro: 6″ x 56 | $11 (box of 20, $220)
  • Gordo: 6″ x 58 | $12 (box of 20, $240)

Appearance

The cigar is presented with a wow factor. The primary and secondary bands are attractive, which are joined by a cedar sleeve and a red band on the foot. It gives the impression that you are about to enjoy something special.

Upon removing the sleeve, you will see a milk chocolate-colored wrapper, with a slight amount of tooth and a nice, oily sheen. The seams are tight and almost invisible, with just the slightest amount of veins running throughout. The cigar is firm to the touch, though having a subtle give near the foot.

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Smoking Experience

The aroma coming from the foot has a strong combination of barnyard and natural sweet tobacco. The pre-light draw, which has just the right amount of resistance, delivers more of the same, showing a hint of cashews and raisin.

First light gives a heavy dose of woodiness, coffee, leather, and toasted cashews; while the retrohale has a surprising blast of pepper, with a citrus and almost horseradish-like zing that lingers. It really wakes up the senses right from the start, but the power itself is mild to medium. It is quickly evident that the blend is flavor forward.

AJF Días de Gloria Short Churchill cigar smoking

Moving a little further along, the initial hit subsides and the cigar settles in, with the main profile being wood, leather, and barnyard. The retrohale mellows out as well and is predominately toasted cashews and raisin. The pepper from the start of the cigar is almost gone. The burn is on point and the draw is still right on the money. The ash is a nice, tightly packed light grey, holding on in solid chunks of one to two inches.

As a heavy amount of smoke pours off the foot, new flavors emerge to play with the palate. The woody notes have now turned to more of a hay, along with hints of baker’s spice and a semi-sweetness that is not quite identifiable. It is hitting nearly all areas of the tongue at this point (aside from the rear-center, as there really is no bitterness at all in the profile). Retrohaling continues to deliver more of the same, and the cigar has definitely settled solidly in the medium range in terms of power.

Coming into the home stretch, the cigar seems to settle back into the wood, barnyard, and leather profile, with almost all detectible notes of sweetness gone. The burn and draw have remained consistent throughout, as the cigar required no maintenance whatsoever.

AJF Días de Gloria Short Churchill review

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

While I would probably keep some of these in the humidor for those times when I want something different, this one didn’t quite deliver anything substantial or memorable for me. The cigar started to develop some interesting notes in the midway point, but proceeded to go right back to where it was at the beginning, making me want for just a little bit more.

Additional Info
  • A version of this blend was originally released in early 2017 but was later pulled to focus on other brands at the time.
  • The cigar was first announced in late 2016 as being made at Fernández’s San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua. The 2019 release is listed as being made at his primary factory in Estelí.
  • Uses tobaccos from the four oldest farms in the Fernández portfollio: Finca los Cedros, La Providencia 1, La Lilia, and La Soledad.

Profile
  • Flavor: Medium-plus
  • Strength: Medium
  • Body: Medium
Core Flavors
  • Barnyard
  • Cedar
  • Coffee
  • Raisin
  • Leather
  • Toasted cashew
Tips
  • Smoke Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Pairing Recommendation: Dark rum | Peaty scotch | Pilsner | Dr Pepper | Mineral water
  • Purchase Recommendation: Fiver

AJF Días de Gloria Short Churchill cigar nub finished

Días de Gloria Short Churchill
This is a good representation of the classic Cuban cigar from days of old, at least in terms of the recreations cigar enthusiasts have been introduced to over the years. While it may lack the "it factor" now expected from new additions to the market, it is a solid, well-constructed representation of what it is meant to represent. There is no question that A.J. Fernández is one of the premier cigar makers in the industry and this cigar certainly holds up, being easily approachable and demanding little from the smoker. If you want to experience what it was like in the glory days of Cuban tobacco, at least as far as you or I can imagine, Días de Gloria is certainly worth a modest purchase.
Appearance88%
Burn/Construction90%
Draw90%
Flavor90%
Complexity84%
Price/Value88%
Pros
  • Quality construction translates to great draw/burn
  • Easily approachable profile demands little from the smoker
Cons
  • Lacks progression from start to finish, with second half regressing in flavor
  • Not particularly complex
88%Classic Old School
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