Maduro blends have been nothing new for Aganorsa Leaf (and its former name Casa Fernandez Cigars). While Aganorsa Leaf is known for using its signature Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99 tobaccos grown on its Aganorsa farms, the company has historically sourced the tobacco for its maduro wrappers from the San Andres region of Mexico. That would change this past year as Aganorsa Leaf would announce its maduro counterpart to its Aganorsa Leaf Signature line known as the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro. The company would announce that this cigar would utilize a Shade Grown Corojo ’99 maduro wrapper from the Jalapa region in Nicaragua. In the weeks leading up to the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, Aganorsa Leaf would announce two other lines that would utilize this wrapper- the JFR Lunatic Loco and a maduro version of its Guardian of the Farm line known as Nightwatch. The use of this wrapper was something that many considered to be a game-changer and it led to Aganorsa Leaf becoming Cigar Coop’s selection of “The Company” for the 2019 IPCPR. Today we take a look at one of those cigars, the Aganorsa Leaf Maduro in the Robusto size.
The original Aganorsa Leaf Signature made its debut a year earlier. It was a Nicaraguan puro highlighted by a Jalapa grown Rosado Claro Corojo ’99 wrapper. The binder and filler consist of Aganorsa grown Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobaccos from Jalapa and Estelí. The filler also utilizes a half a leaf of the rare high priming Medio Tiempo from Aganorsa farms. Because of the low yield of the Medio Tiempo wrapper, the Aganorsa Leaf Signature would be a limited production cigar. The Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro would also incorporate tobaccos from the original Aganorsa Leaf Signature, including the Medio Tiempo leaf – the difference would be the Shade Grown Nicaraguan Maduro wrapper from Jalapa.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Like the original Aganorsa Leaf Signature, the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro would utilize 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos. The big differentiator would be the Shade Grown Corojo ’99 Maduro wrapper.
Wrapper: Shade Grown Corojo 99 Maduro (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (including Medio Tiempo)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa (TABSA)
The Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro is offered in four sizes – each presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Belicoso (109 Head): 6 1/4 x 52
Corona Gorda: 6 x 44
Toro: 6 x 52
The Shade Grown Corojo ’99 Maduro wrapper had a milk chocolate color to it. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling could be seen on the surface. There was some oil on the surface of the wrapper. This was a wrapper that was on the smooth side with minimal visible veins and minimal visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro. The primary band is white with light gray and gold trim. On the center of the band is a circular field – also surrounded by light gray and gold trim. On the circular field is the text “Aganorsa” in a large black cursive font. Below that text is the text “LEAF” in gold font. The text “SIGNATURE” goes across the top of the circle in a curved fashion. To the left and right of the circular field is the text “ESTELI” and NICARAGUA” respectively.
The secondary band is also white with light gray and gold trim. On the center of the band is the text “SIGNATURE SELCTION” in gold font. Sitting behind that text is a signature of Eduardo Fernandez in a light gray font. Finally, there is a silver foil sleeve covering about half the length of the Robusto from the footer upward.
After removing the foil sleeve from the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto a straight cut was used to remove the cap. From that point, it was time to commence the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered notes of chocolate sweetness, earth, and cedar. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point it was time to light up the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto and move into the heart of the smoking experience.
The Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto started out with notes of white pepper, cedar, earth, and mocha. The mocha is what I describe as a fusion of sweet chocolate and coffee notes. During the early stages, the mocha notes went primary with the sweet chocolate component the most dominant. The cedar, earth, and white pepper settled in the background. The white pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale. Later in the first third the white pepper on both the tongue and retro-hale morphs into a black pepper varietal.
During the second third of the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto the mocha component transitioned from more of a chocolate-forward flavor to more of a black coffee-forward flavor. The cedar and earth remained in the background. There was a slight increase in the black pepper during this stage.
By the last third, the coffee notes were the most dominant from the mocha component. The pepper notes inched their way into the forefront. Meanwhile, in the background were still subtle notes of cedar and earth. This is the way the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperate and firm to the touch.
The burn of the Aganorsa Leaf had some jaggedness along the way. This required some touch-ups, but the burn was never in danger off getting off the track. The resulting ash had a light gray color with some darker streaks mixed in. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it was not a loose one. The burn temperature was ideal. I did find this cigar to burn on the slower side, but this didn’t result in any adverse effects unless you consider a longer smoking time one of them.
The Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. At the same time, this cigar was low maintenance in terms of deriving flavor. This was also a cigar that produced an ample amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto started out at a medium to full level for both attributes. By the midway point, the intensity of both attributes increased and progressed into the full range. The strength increased at a slightly more rapid rate in the second half.
When looking at strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely in the first half. By the second half, the strength would have a slight edge.
While the flavor notes of mocha, pepper, and earth might seem common for a maduro cigar, there was something intangible about these flavors that really clicked with the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto. There was a robustness of the flavors produced from this cigar. While this wasn’t the most complex of flavor profiles, the cigar still excelled in terms of the flavors delivered. One point of note is I found dry boxing for about 1 to 2 weeks had a big impact on these cigars. I live in the Southeast U.S. and these cigars arrived at retailers during the humid summer months – and I’ve heard they smoked on the wet side. The 1 to 2 weeks really made a big difference.
The Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro Robusto is a cigar I would steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one that garners box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee, Chocolate), Pepper, Earth, Cedar
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted