If the Casa Fernandez name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you know them by their other Moniker, Tabacalera Tropical. Whether or not that clears anything up for you (you’re not alone if it doesn’t), the chances are very good that you’ve burned some of their tobacco. It’s a hot commodity these days, appearing in many well received cigars out there, including smokes sold by Illusione and Padilla as well as some of the more recent Alec Bradley sticks. (And a few years back, Tatuaje and most of the other cigars made by Don Pepin Garcia featured it also.)
According to the Casa Fernandez website, this box-pressed Nicaraguan puro comes in boxes of 15 and is composed of Cuban-seed tobacco from the valleys of Condega, Jalapa and Esteli. And according to a tweet on the Casa Fernandez twitter account, it’s a blend of Corojo ’06 and Criollo ’98. The Aganorsa Leaf is available in three sizes, this robusto (5 x 52), the Toro (6 x 54) and a Torpedo (6 1/2 x 52). And in case you’re curious about the name “Aganorsa” (I was), it’s actually an acronym for Agricola Norteña S.A. (Hat tip to The Keepers of the Flame for the research on this.)
That covers the basics, let’s see how this Aganorsa Leaf burns.
Size: 5 x 52
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
The Aganorsa Leaf is a great looking box-pressed cigar with a dark rustic reddish wrapper, and few veins or imperfections. You might find a spot on a stick, or a little damage at the foot, owing to the lack of cellophane, but that seems be the exception rather than the rule.
In keeping with the box-pressed format, I found the cigars to be just a little softer than average, but consistent. Nothing that made me worry about possible construction issues later. I was a little surprised at how faint the wrapper aroma was, but I did pick up a little oily compost. The cold draw was good, and provided a rich, caramel-like sweetness.
There were few significant issues in the burn department. The only one to speak of was a tunnel in the last half of one stick that robbed the cigar temporarily of some smoke volume. Otherwise, I had to touch up the cigars occasionally, but they were pretty low maintenance. Thick smoke, good draw and a solid salt and pepper ash sums it up well.
The Aganorsa Leaf doesn’t mess around. The first few puffs were immediately rich to the point of nearly being oily, and tasted like a combination of wood, sweet graham and spice. As the cigar warmed up a little I started to pick up some great aromatic qualities and caramel. The wood gave some ground to roasted nuts and chocolate started to build in the finish.
Right around the second third, as if on cue, the cigar hit a pocket of really rich creamy caramel. A subdued version of that caramel was consistent throughout this section, pepper notes began to appear, the wood returned with a slightly charry vengeance, and there was a little coffee here and there.
As the cigar neared the final third, the dark chocolates, charred wood and espresso flavors took over the profile. The smoke still had a rich feel in the mouth, and the caramel had diminished somewhat but was still present. It often most obvious in the finish with a healthy dose of pepper.
It’s to complain about the price of the Aganorsa Leaf when you consider that it carries a much lower MSRP than other cigars utilizing Aganorsa tobacco. Comparatively speaking, it’s a deal.
The Aganorsa Leaf is definitely a cigar blended with the full-bodied smoker in mind. The smoke is thick, rich and fairly potent, but unlike many stout smokes, it doesn’t seem to sacrifice flavor for power. If the potency doesn’t overwhelm you, the rich profile is very satisfying. (There seemed to be a little variation in fullness and power between cigars, which may have been amplified somewhat by my V-cutting one of them.)
I really enjoyed this cigar, and if I had the humidor space and the free funds (the holidays are neigh), I’d spring for a box. Regardless, I do absolutely plan to smoke more of them in the future. While they aren’t as widely available as the better known Aganorsa alternatives, the price and flavor make it worth tracking them down. And I suggest you do.
Liked It: Yes, box-worthy
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.