H. Upmann under Altadis USA has another collaboration between cigar visionaries Rafael Nodal and A.J. Fernández, releasing the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage earlier this year. The cigar marks the third entrant to the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez series (being joined by the 2017 original and the limited-edition H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Finca La Lilia 2009), though Fernández has also produced various other H. Upmann cigars outside this specific collection.

While most of the tobacco is from Fernandez’s own farms of Nicaragua, the distinguishing factor of the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage stems from the wrapper, which is a dark Brazilian Mata Fina leaf. This wrapper is being touted as having a triple fermentation as well as an additional two years’ aging post roll.

Altadis USA showcased the Heritage at the TPE 2022 trade show, shipping the cigars to retailers in January 2022. The Heritage is priced between $9.72 and $10.75 MSRP, with 20-count boxes debuting in five sizes: Corona (5½” x 44), Robusto (5″ x 52), Toro (6″ x 54), Torpedo (6⅛” x 52), and Churchill (7″ x 54).

H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Filler: Nicaragua | Brazil
  • Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernández Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitola: 6″ × 54 (Toro)
  • Price: $10.35 (MSRP)
  • Atlantic Cigar Sale


The 20-count box is a dark stained vintage wood design with the traditional dark blue H. Upmann logo. The band is a deep blue background with gold lettering and symbols; there is the traditional H. Upmann logo with the addition of “NICARAGUA” as a differentiator from the traditional line. The second band is of a similar color with “AJ FERNANDEZ” and then “HERITAGE” below that.

The Heritage cigar itself is a dark chocolate color with no seams and small palpable veins noted. The feel of the cigar is that of a dry wrapper and solid bunch. There is not much give when squeezing it. The smell coming off the toro is cedar with some wet concrete to it. The foot, however, has a very strong baking spice aroma.

Overall, the shade of the cigar and the colors of the wrapper present a very eye-catching appearance. The background blue seems to pop between the gold colors.

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Smoking Experience

With a straight cut, the cold draw reveals earthy and cocoa flavors. When lighting up, there is a sharp acetone-type flavor that lasts for the first couple puffs, but does go away somewhat quickly. Once that flavor subsides, charred oak and wet earth flavors fill the palate. There is some harshness that hits the back of the throat. It is not so much a flavor, but rather a physical feeling of roughness or scratchiness. The retrohale has cedar and black pepper spice.

H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro cigar smoking

Moving into the bulk of it, the H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage is a pretty strong cigar that I feel is fairly unique for this H. Upmann brand. The flavors of heavy charred oak continue during the smoke, with some sweetness and spice in the middle of the cigar. This flavor of sweetness and spice only comes every five to six puffs, and the mixture of these flavors brings to mind a light apple cider nuance. The mouthfeel is very dry, requiring a constant drink at hand to keep the palate moist. The retrohale is more cedar and charcoal flavor passing the halfway mark.

Closing out, the Heritage Toro continues with charred oak being the main consistent flavor, along with some sweetness, fermented fruit, and spiced apple cider. The retrohale at the end of the cigar is still cedar and charcoal in character.

With the feel of this cigar, I expected a very tight draw. I was surprised that it was just slightly tight, and that I was able to move air through it with just mild amount of effort. It’s a well-constructed cigar with a good even burn line and ash staying on one half-inch at a time.

H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro cigar ash

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

The H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage cigar is different from others in this lineup; and because of that, it’s definitely worth a try. Overall, however, the profile offers some flavors that just don’t quite match up during the experience. There is also a harsh physical feeling in the throat. This cigar would unlikely make it into my regular rotation, but it’s worth a five-pack pickup.

Additional Info

  • Flavor: Medium-Plus
  • Strength: Medium-Full
  • Body: Medium-Plus
Core Flavors
  • Charred oak
  • Fermented fruit
  • Spice
  • Cedar
  • Smoke Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Pairing Recommendation: Barrel-proof bourbon | Barrel-aged stout | Apple cider
  • Purchase Recommendation: 5-pack

H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro cigar nub finished

H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage Toro
H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage is a new addition to the core line of cigars for H. Upmann. It has a Nicaraguan-heavy recipe with a unique addition of Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, making this a bolder and richer smoke. Flavors of charred oak mixed with sweet fermented fruit and spice make for an interesting smoking experience. However, there is some off-flavor acetone at the start of the first couple puffs. This, coupled with the physical feeling of harshness, takes away from the overall enjoyment of the cigar.
  • Dark, strong flavors
  • Well-constructed and designed cigar
  • Initial off-flavors with acetone-type character, but does go away quickly
  • Very dry smoke
  • Harsh physical feeling at the back of the palate
87%Oak not Broke
  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
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