Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Leaf by Esteban. This is a cigar we last assessed back in December 2013 when it was known as the Leaf and Bean by Esteban.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Jalapa Criollo/Corojo Hybrid (Nicaragua)
Filler: Estelí, Jalapa, and Condega (Nicaragua)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua ( Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueno)
Toro: 6 x 52
The Leaf by Esteban is a collaboration between Leaf & Bean retail shop owner Jim Robinson and Esteban Disla of Nica Sueno. A little over five years ago, Robinson decided to partner with three up-and-coming blends to produce some exclusive cigars for his shops. The cigars produced were: Leaf & Bean by Oscar (with Oscar Valladares), Leaf & Bean by Noel (with Noel Rojas), and Leaf & Bean by Esteban (with Esteban Disla). The Leaf & Bean by Oscar would become the popular Leaf by Oscar line – the cigar famous for being wrapped inside a tobacco leaf. Leaf by Oscar would eventually go national and become a staple in many retail humidors. While the other two blends did not go national, they still would build a hardcore following. Today we take a look at the Leaf by Esteban (the cigar originally released as Leaf & Bean by Esteban).
The Leaf by Esteban utilizes an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a hybrid wrapper of Jalapa Criollo and Corojo. The fillers come from the growing regions of Estelí, Jalapa, and Condega. The cigar was only produced in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. The cigar is produced at Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueno, the factory co-owned by Disla and Skip Martin. Nica Sueno is also the factory that produces the RoMa Craft Tobac brand.
Leaf by Esteban has been produced on a more limited basis – compared to Leaf by Oscar. The packaging has changed from the original, with the newer Leaf by Esteban’s having a more rustic look similar to the Leaf by Oscar.
The Leaf by Esteban delivers a mix of chocolate, cream, cedar,naturala tobacco, and red pepper.
The start to the Leaf & Bean by Esteban provided a mix of red pepper, cedar, natural tobacco, and chocolate notes. Early on the chocolate and cream notes were the primary note. Later in the first third, the cedar and natural tobacco notes emerged and took over as the primary flavor in the second half. The cream and chocolate notes diminished in the second half, but did not dissipate. The flavors started medium-bodied before progressing to medium to full in the second half. This was countered by medium strength.
The Leaf by Esteban is a completely different than the Leaf by Oscar series – and it’s completely different than anything released by Disla for RoMa Craft Tobac. This is a positive, as I found the flavors experienced were enjoyable and there was enough complexity to keep me interested. While the Leaf by Esteban scored lower than it did back in 2013, this is a product of the implementation of a different scoring methodology. This is a cigar I would recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one worthy of purchasing multiples of.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Cedar, Natural Tobacco, Red Pepper
Complexity: Medium to High
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Previous Assessment: Leaf & Bean by Esteban
News: Leaf and Bean by Esteban coming to Leaf and Bean Shops (Cigar Preview)
Source: Rodrigo Cigars
Brand Reference: Leaf and Bean
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop