Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sungrown
Filler: International Long Filler
Size: Double Corona 7.5″x52 ring

A. Pontillo is the creation of an Apex, NC man named AJ Pontillo. AJ in conjunction with the Oliva cigar family developed a blend for his own line of boutique cigars. The first blend came in a natural and a maduro wrapper. It is an excellent medium bodied smoke that gained a lot of popularity regionally in the southeast. With the building success of his first release AJ developed a strong full bodied blend. This new blend is called the Paragon.

One of the things that is immediately noticeable about all of the Pontillo cigars is the heft. These cigars are packed full of tobacco and you can feel it in the weight of the cigar. The Paragon sports a dark oily and leathery sungrown wrapper that is nicely patterned with very small veins. The pre-light aroma of this cigar lets you know you’re in for a robust smoke. It starts out very peppery, producing big clouds of thick white smoke with a heady, rich tobacco aroma. About an inch and a half in the pepper gives way as the cigar smooths out some. The predominant flavors were earth and cocoa with a pleasant leathery finish. This cigar is heavy in both weight and flavor. Not a cigar you want to try on an empty stomach. The cigar picked up a bit again towards the end bringing a return of the pepper that was prevalent in the beginning. Start to finish this was a great hour and a half smoke. The draw was perfect and the ash held firm on a nice straight burn.

AJ has an interesting business model right now. As he works to build the distribution of his cigars he is starting things off by giving market exclusivity as an incentive to the first shop to sign up for an account with him. For example, here in his home area of Raleigh, NC the only place in Wake County that you can get his cigars is at Capital City Cigars. So, if you can find A. Pontillo cigars in your area, I recommend you pick this cigar up and give it a try. It’s a great smoke.

Rating – B+