Viva La Vida Jester – Cigar Review

Viva La Vida Jester

This is a cigar review of the Viva La Vida Jester, which is a collaboration between Artesano Del Tobacco and AJ Fernandez. The size chosen is the 5×56 (Jester). This cigar is made up of a Habano Oscuro wrapper followed by a blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos. This is a full bodied smoke that retails around $11.60 per stick.


This cigar is reddish brown in color with a sandpaper like texture. Minimal veins present and tight seams.


Aromas of cedar radiate from the wrapper. We utilized a straight cut, which produced notes of nuts and cedar on the cold draw.

After Toast:

First third – ​Nuts and cedar come on full force upon toast up. A spicy peppery component hits the palate too. Some oily notes come into play as well the balance out the pepper note. This cigar is full bodied, burn is sharp and ash holds through the third.

Second Third – The nutty like notes with some oils and spice come out in this third with that peppery note still biting on the finish. Great balance on this stick. This remains full bodied with a sharp burn. The ash falls at the mid point.

Final Third – The nutty notes carry into the third with a vanilla spice like note entering the fray. The pepper dies off leaving the nut notes on the finish to carry this stick home.

Suggested Pairing:

  • Bourbon – Heritage Dual Barrel Bourbon
  • Scotch – Macallan 12 Double Cask
  • Tennessee Whiskey – Uncle Nearest 1884

Overall Experience:

We have searched for this cigar a long time as it was slow to get to the Miami market, however now that we are in Pennsylvania we came across it at our favorite retailer Atlantic Cigar. This cigar smokes really well with an abundance of distinct flavors in the profile it really is a treat for your palate. The nuts, pepper, cedar with some oils dipped in and out it definitely made for a unique smoke that we would gladly smoke again and again.


Other AJ Fernandez Cigars

About Artesano Del Tobacco and AJ Fernandez


Cigar Aficionado press release, May 20, 2019 –Viva la Vida, a new Nicaraguan cigar brand, was launched on the U.S. market in March. Created by Artesano del Tabaco and cigarmaker A.J. Fernandez, the cigars are rolled in Nicaragua from an all-Nicaraguan blend.

Artesano del Tabaco is a company formed by Billy and Gus Fakih, two of the three brothers who owned and ran the two Cigar Inn stores on the east side of Manhattan. (Bass Fakih is not involved in Artesano del Tabaco.) The brand has been in the works for the past three years, as the brothers began working with Fernandez not long after selling their stores to Britain’s Imperial Tobacco PLC (known today as Imperial Group PLC) in June 2015 for undisclosed terms. The stores were renamed Casa de Montecristo after the acquisition.

Viva la Vida comes in five sizes, which range in price from $10.50 to $14.50, before taxes. All are relatively fat, and the thinnest is a 52 ring gauge figurado called a Diadema Fina, which is 6 1/2 inches long. There’s a Gran Toro measuring 6 inches long by 60 ring, and the remaining three sizes are all 54 ring gauge: Robusto (5 by 54), Toro (6 by 54) and Torpedo (6 1/2 by 54).

The cigars are entirely Nicaraguan, made with a variety of Nicaraguan leaves including a wrapper grown by Fernandez himself, who is a tobacco farmer as well as a cigarmaker. The Fakihs were in the cigar retail trade for 23 years, from 1992 to 2015. Billy Fakih told Cigar Aficionado that he and his brother Gus got to know A.J. Fernandez while running the stores, particularly Fernandez’s San Lotano brand. “Me and Gus, we fell in love with San Lotano. It was our everyday cigar.” Fernandez’s name appears on the black box of Viva la Vida, but not the band.Fakih said the brand was already available in roughly 75 stores around the United States. He said he and his brother have plans for other cigar brands in the near future.

Viva La Vida Jester