First; I have been a big fan of Aganorsa Leaf for years, even before when the company was Casa Fernandez. I feel honored and humbled to share these next few moments with you in regards to this dynamite creation.
When one thinks of rare leaf, what comes to mind? Well, that’s exactly what I typed into my search engine and you know what popped up? Two topics to be specific; mind altering plants AND the four leaf clover. In fact, there was a question that happened to appear in my search “what is the rarest leaf?” Answer: The Four Leaf Clover Collections and to be documented that the most leaves found on a clover stem was 56 found in Japan. But this article is not being typed up for you to learn about clovers, yet; this article will in fact assist in broadening your horizons AND maybe learn something new today in regards to this absolutely fine cigar by Aganorsa Leaf named “Rare Leaf”.
It’s always nice when you have that moment to enjoy a tasty cigar. It’s even nicer when you have enjoyed that tasty cigar and then learn about the dedication that goes into making it. Which is why it gives me great joy to share my experience with you and learn about what serious dedication that not only goes into the process of day to day operations within Aganorsa Leaf BUT the utmost quality that Aganorsa Leaf produces within this “Rare Leaf” for YOU to enjoy.
“First you crawl, then you walk, and then you run. It’s a process you can’t skip or else it comes back to haunt you” spoken from Eduardo Fernandez, owner of Aganorsa leaf. The man who had a dream and followed his dream; in 1998 his dream had become a reality. In 2021 Aganorsa Leaf introduced another reality into this world, the release of a new line of cigars named “Rare Leaf Reserve”. As the Name indicates, it is a line to showcase some of Aganorsa’s low-yield tobaccos. Typically when a blend uses a significant amount of low yield tobaccos, it will be limited. But for the Rare Leaf Reserve, Aganorsa Leaf wanted to showcase some of its rarer tobaccos as an ongoing production. In order to do this, the Rare Leaf Reserve was made available to retailers that are a part of the “Aganorsa Select” program.
There are two tobacco crops that Aganorsa Leaf is known for; Corojo ‘99 and Criollo ’98. Over the past few years, it is the Corojo ’99 that has gotten much of the attention. The blend for the Rare Leaf Reserve is described as being predominantly Criollo ’98. The blend consists of 100% Aganorsa farm-grown tobacco. “A constant challenge is utilizing tobaccos to create blends which are outstanding expressions of our signature flavor and aroma while still producing them in quantities viable to sustain production consistently rather than just as one time limited editions or available only sporadically throughout the year,” said Terence Reilly, Aganorsa Leaf’s VP of sales and marketing “Rare leaf will be the first project using selections of our leaf in short supply that will be maintained in regular production. In order to achieve this, Rare Leaf will be available only to our Aganorsa Leaf Select Retail partners.”
Lets get into this Aganorsa Café Nicaraguan wrapper, Criollo ’98 double binder, Criollo ’98 with a touch of Corojo’99 dubbed the “Rare Leaf Reserve”. After taking a few dry draws I discovered my palate was picking up a bakers chocolate, some dried fig with a hint of cedar notes. Not a bad profile (for me) to pick up before lighting up. Upon light up; immediately a full strength of flavor came through, not a super strong smack you in the head kind of strength but a very robust, swirling notes of salted milk chocolate, white/black peppers, and cinnamon. Certainly wasn’t expecting the explosion of goodness right off the rip but definitely peeked my curiosity to say “WOW, what’s next”
The first 1/3rd calms down and settles in to a nice bakers spice profile with some dried dates, toasted walnuts, cocoa, and a super subtle hint of dried cherries . Very smooth, consistent, exactly what you would hope for on the start of an amazing journey. The second 1/3rd stayed consistent with certain profiles like milk chocolate, dried dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, with a very light cedar taste coming through. During this second 1/3rd session I did run into some tunneling issues, nothing that had taken away from the complete enjoyment of my experience, through my years of smoking cigars I’ve learned a few tricks to fix such issues without altering the cigars taste or construction. With that said, problem was fixed; a few touch ups with my single flame touch and moving on to the last 1/3rd of the cigar. Some notes that came back around were the hints of white and black peppers. I want to take a second to express what I mean when I say “White and Black” peppers. For me; white pepper has that soft subtle almost creamy kind of peppery taste, yet; black pepper, well, most of us know that profile of black pepper and I will say that I get more white pepper profiles then black pepper but that spice of the black pepper still lets my palate know what I’m experiencing. Continuing on my journey, I will say that some nice dark rich chocolate and molasses came through which was adding to the nice finish of this Rare Leaf Reserve cigar.
There is currently three different sizes and come in boxes of 15 that are offered: Titan (6×60) $12.10, Toro (6×54) $11.50, Robusto (5 ¼ x 52) $10.99. So, your step is to find your nearest “Aganorsa Select” brick and mortar shop and pick yourself up one, two, or a box! You will not be disappointed! And I’ll leave you with another inspirational quote from the Owner of Aganorsa Leaf Eduardo Fernandez “Along the way, people say that it can’t be done… America taught me that it can be done.”
Wrapper – Nicaraguan Jalapa
Binder – Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler – Nicaraguan
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 pints.