If one is looking at Aganorsa Leaf’s portfolio, the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario line stands as the company’s most premium offering. The line made its debut back in 2013 as the limited production Casa Fernandez Aniversario. As many know Casa Fernandez is the previous name of Aganorsa Leaf and that cigar was released to commemorate Casa Fernandez’s 35th anniversary. At the time the cigar was released with a Corojo wrapper. Since then the line has gone through several iterations. It has been released in different sizes, was rebranded as the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario, and became a regular production. Along the way, the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro was introduced in 2020. Like the Corojo, the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro was first a limited production release before becoming core in 2022. Today we take a look at one of the limited offerings from the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro, the Short Churchill from 2021.
Most of the tobaccos used in Aganorsa Leaf blends are grown on the Aganorsa Leaf farms in Nicaragua. For its maduro wrappers, Aganorsa Leaf has leveraged Mexican San Andres. In 2019, the company introduced its own Shade Grown Corojo wrapper. This wrapper began to show up on several newer maduro lines including the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Series Maduro, Lunatic Loco, and Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch. As mentioned the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro, would leverage this wrapper.
The line was originally released with a 109 (bullet cap) in 2020. In 2021, the line returned with a Short Churchill and Toro limited edition offering. The Short Churchill size from 2021 is the one being assessed. In 2022, Aganorsa Leaf took the Aniversario Maduro to regular production, offering it in three sizes: Gran Robusto, Toro (a different size Toro than 2021), and Gran Toro. The Short Churchill size was not released. When the Aniversario Maduro went into regular production in 2022, the band color was changed from white to charcoal.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Short Churchill and see what this cigar will bring to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Aganorsa-grown Shade Grown Corojo Maduro wrapper, the remainder of the tobaccos in the blend of the Aganorsa Leaf Shade Grown Maduro all come from the Aganorsa farms in Nicaragua. Production comes from Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Shade Grown Corojo Maduro (Aganorsa)
Binder: Nicaraguan (Aganorsa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Aganorsa)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.
The following are the limited releases for Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario. Each was presented in ten-count boxes. A total of 1,000 boxes of the Short Churchill were produced.
Short Churchill: 5 3/8 x 48 (2021 Limited)
Toro: 6 x 54 (2021 Limited)
109: 6 1/4 x 54 (2020 Limited)
The following are the three regular production sizes introduced in 2022. These are denoted by the charcoal bands. Each of these sizes is presented in ten-count boxes.
Gran Robusto: 5 x 54 (Regular Production)
Toro: 6 1/4 x 52 (Regular Production)
Gran Toro: 6 x 58 (Regular Production)
The Shade Grown Corojo wrapper of the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill had a medium to dark roasted coffee bean color. The surface of the wrapper had some mottling as well. In addition, there was some toothiness present on the wrapper. Upon examination, mottling can also be seen on the surface of the wrapper. There were a few visible veins and some visible wrapper seams. The box press itself was a softer box press with a slight rounding effect.
Prior to cutting the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill, the parchment sleeve that covered about half of the cigar was removed. From that point, a straight cut was used to remove the cap and it was then on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered mostly coffee notes with a touch of cedar. While it was a simple pre-light draw in terms of flavor, it was a very satisfying one. From that point, it was time to toast up the footer of the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill and move on to the smoking phase.
The Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill opened up with notes of black pepper, earth, mineral, coffee, and cedar notes. The coffee notes quickly moved into the forefront. The earth, mineral, black pepper, and cedar notes moved into the background. Toward the end of the first third, the earth and mineral notes became the most prominent background notes. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill, the coffee notes became primary. During this time a cocoa note joined the other flavors in the background. The mineral and earth notes increased in intensity and just past the midway point they displaced the coffee notes as the primary notes. The coffee joined the pepper, cedar, and coffee notes in the background. Toward the latter part of the second third, there was an increase in the pepper notes on the tongue.
The final third saw the earth and mineral notes remain primary. The pepper was the most prominent secondary note. Meanwhile, there were still some residual coffee, cocoa, and cedar notes remaining. This is the way the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the burn of the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill had a straight burn path and straight burn line, the cigar required frequent touch-ups to do so. The resulting ash had a silver-gray color. This was an ash that was skewed toward the firmer side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature both had ideal levels.
The draw to the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill was excellent. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance – which is something that I consider a positive. This was also a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
Overall, the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill was one of the more dialed-back cigars with the Aganorsa Shade Grown Corojo Maduro wrapper. This still was a cigar that was medium in strength and body – not mild by any means, but not as bold as the other Aganorsa Leaf offerings with this wrapper. Throughout the smoking experience, there was a slight increase in the intensity levels of the strength and body. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overpowering the other.
Banding and Packaging Notes
While I liked the white bands that were originally part of the Aganorsa Leaf Anniversario Corojo and Maduro lines, I liked the change to the charcoal bands better on the Maduro. Not only does it look nicer, but it also does a good job of contrasting the Maduro and Corojo. I’m still glad the Corojo is keeping the white bands.
One note – the bands on each of the Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Short Churchill were difficult to remove. Almost in each case, I had to tear the band to remove it.
While I was excited that Aganorsa Leaf added a maduro offering to the Aniversario line, the Short Churchill experience never was at the level the Aniversario Corojo offerings were at. The cigar had a nice start, but it became more ordinary in the second half. In addition, to me it didn’t seem like the Short Churchill size did any favors to showcase the Aniversario Maduro blend. Being this is a $13.75 cigar, this is an offering I would recommend trying a sample first before purchasing. At the same time, while the Short Churchill didn’t have me doing handstands, I’m open and curious to smoke this blend in some of the other sizes in the line.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Mineral, Cedar, Cocoa, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Aganorsa Leaf Aniversario Maduro Toro and Short Churchill to Debut at PCA 2021
Brand Reference: Aganorsa Leaf
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted