I can’t believe it’s been about six and a half years since I reviewed the original Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf with the sun grown corojo wrapper. I declared it box-worthy back then (also in 2016), and still stand by that verdict. I also stand by my liberal use of the tribal textile in my pictures back then. (It could return to my reviews at any time.)
A few years later, Casa Fernandez released the San Andres-wrapped maduro line. I remember smoking it around that time, and thinking I preferred the original. After trying a couple, I never got back to the line for a review. I might have forgotten about them completely if I didn’t run into a good deal on the robustos. It was a perfect opportunity to reacquaint myself with the cigar, and at the same time write up the review I should have done nearly five years ago.
Size: 5.0 x 48
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $8.00
The Pre Light
I’ve always like the band designs of the Aganora Leaf lines, and the maduro might be the more attractive cigar of the two. The finely-toothy, chocolate-colored wrapper leaf and the second band with the deep reddish color make for a very sharp looking smoke. The cigars I burned for this review were consistent in appearance, felt a touch firm for a box press, and had few fine veins visible.
Across the board, each cigar had a rich, chocolaty beginning, followed by a varying amount of sweetness. In most cases it was pretty subdued, like a touch of caramel or sweet cream, but one stick grabbed my attention with some great sherry and raisin notes early on. Earth and coffee notes were also present at this point. While most of the cigars drew perfectly, I had a few that were a little on the firm side. I would have preferred them a little easier, but it didn’t have a significant impact on flavor or evenness of burn.
If any problems with the burn were to be encountered, the middle third is where they would manifest. I had several minor issues here with cracking wrappers and unevenness. For the most part these issues were cosmetic. Rich flavors of chocolate, espresso, earth, nougat and more subtle sweet notes of vanilla, cream and anise were typical of this third.
The end of the cigar saw chocolate drop off a bit, while earth, coffee, pepper and woody notes grew in prominence. Time and time again I was reluctant to give up on the cigar. It would burn my fingers before it ever delivered an unpleasant flavor. And as a bonus, the sticks with tighter draws had generally loosed up a little by this third.
One Friday night I lit up an Aganorsa Leaf Maduro after drinking a number of IPA’s. I didn’t take any notes on that smoke, because it didn’t seem fair to factor that into a review. I expected a palate shock, as cigar did battle with the bitterness of the hops. But there was no struggle. To my hop-coated palate the Aganorsa Leaf Maduro tasted richer, brighter and maybe sweeter than before, and with pleasant lingering citrus notes. Any cigar that smokes well with an IPA is a one I can always use in my humidor. And as the previous parts of this review illustrate, it also smokes very well with just water or coffee. Like the original, the Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro is box-worthy, not to mention an great value for the price. As to which is better, the natural or the maduro, it’s a tough call that really depends on my mood. You can’t go wrong with either.