Posts Tagged With: Aganorsa

Illusione OneOff Corona

Illusione OneOff Corona. A cigar that was released in the early 2000s but is a part of the Illusione book of cigars since 2017. The owner of the La Casa del Habano Milan had been trying to get a custom made cigar line from Cuba. After many attempts and just as many negative responses from Habano, he tried Nicaragua. Plasencia created the OneOff brand for him, with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Since then, the rights to the brands were sold a few times. And in 2017, Dion Giolito acquired it.

He moved the production to Tabacos Valle de Jalapa aka TABSA. It’s a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua where most of Illusione’s cigars are made. The factory is owned by Eduardo Fernandez from Aganorsa Leaf. Of course, the blend changed as well. OneOff is now a Nicaraguan puro, and available in many sizes. Brian Motola from Illusione gave us this 5½x42 Corona after the Intertabac trade show 2019 when we met for a cigar at Cigaragua in Amsterdam.

The first thing that stands out is the ring. Orange, with the international peace sign in white. No name, no mention of Illusione anywhere. Nothing. Just that white peace logo on an orange ring. Mysterious. It tickles the curiosity. The Colorado colored wrapper looks fine. The construction feels good. The cigar smells a little acidic, even though it has been stored for almost a year in our humidor. Hay and ammonia, medium strong.

The cold draw is fine. With a spicy hay aroma. Once lit, there’s leather, coffee, soil, gingerbread spices, and a mild black pepper in the retrohale. The sweetness gains some strength with the leather and pepper as base flavors. The leather remains, but wood is joining the palate with hay. The sweetness is gone. There is still a hint of pepper, but it’s faint. There is also a faint milk chocolate flavor. The chocolate slowly grows. The cigar is smooth, balanced, and easy-going. The final third has pepper, leather, and that lingering milk chocolate. Some licorice shows up too. A spicy, salty yet minty flavor appears too.

The draw is great. This cigar produces a lot of beautiful white smoke. The burn is good, there was a minor issue at the beginning that was auto-corrected. This is an easy-going, smooth, and balanced cigar. Not a lot of character, but very pleasant. The smoke time of this medium-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Illusione Rothchildes, which are more budget-friendly as well.

Categories: 90, Illusione, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , ,

JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro El Loquito

JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro El Loquito. This is the latest addition to the JFR brand. The brand exists since 2005 when Aganorsa Leaf released the line for brick & mortar stores. JFR stands for Just For Retailers. In 2014, a new JFR line emerged, the JFR Lunatic. And last year, Aragorsa expanded the JFR brand with the Lunatic Loco. In different blends, including Habano and Maduro. And all three sizes are perfectos. El Loquito measures 4¾x60, El Loco is 4¾x70. El Gran Loco is a crazy 5½x80 Perfecto.

The JFR Lunatic Loco Maduro is made with tobaccos from Aganorsa Leaf as the filler and the binder. Aganorsa grows tobacco in Nicaragua. The wrapper is Maduro from San Andres in Mexico. The El Loquito is the smallest of the three cigars and the size is similar to Drew Estate Flying Pigs. The El Loquito even includes a pigtail.

The cigar looks good. An evenly dark Maduro wrapper. It is not very oily but the color of the wrapper works with the ring. The ring is dark blue, almost black, with silver details. And that silver really pops, making the design stand out. The construction feels good. A pigtail is always a plus when it comes to aesthetics. The aroma is very mild, wood, and manure.

The cold draw is fantastic. It has a strong raisin aroma with some white pepper. After lighting the cigar has a thick creamy dark chocolate flavor with some earthiness and a hint of leather. The leather slowly gets the center stage, but the dark chocolate isn’t far behind. The creaminess disappears and the mouthfeel turns dry. In the first third, the flavors remain leather, wood, dark chocolate but then some black pepper and nutty flavors show up. There is also some sweetness. Halfway the dark chocolate disappears and makes place for hay. But the oak, earthiness, and leather are the dominant flavors. In the final third, the dark chocolate returns as a supporting flavor.

The draw is great. The smoke could be a bit thicker, which would score higher. The burn is slow and straight. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. This is a full-bodied cigar. The flavors are medium-full as well. Balanced, yet due to the thick ring gauge, the cigar isn’t dynamic. The smoke time is four hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I might.

Categories: 90, Casa Fernandez, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , , ,

Warped Eagles Descent Toro

Warped Eagles Descent Toro. Late last year, Warped announced a new cigar. That would be the Warped Eagles Descent. The cigar is to be expected this year, but in November the Hawaiian R. Field Wine Co. received an exclusive size for this cigar. R. Field Wine Co is an important cigar retailer in the state of Hawaii and had more exclusive cigars in the past. The Tatuaje Fausto is based on an R. Field Wine Co exclusive made by Pete Johnson for example. Trent Fermin of Fermin Cigars in Australia and Marvin Chang from R. Field Wine Co are friends. And so Chang offered Fermin a few boxes to be distributed in Australia.


The Warped Eagles Descent is made at the factory from Eduardo Fernandez. The factory is acclaimed and renowned. Fernandez is also known for his Aganorsa Leaf. The Tabacos Valle de Jalapa produces more cigars for Warped, but also for Illusione and many other highly rated brands. The brand new Gurkha Treinta also comes from TABSA, as the factory is called in short. For the Warped Eagles Descent, Warped owner and blender Kyle Gellis picked all Nicaraguan tobaccos. The exclusive size for R. Field Wine Co is 5⅝x52, that’s either a short Toro or a big Robusto.


The cigar looks tasty. A dark chocolate colored wrapper, smooth and oily. It feels silky. And the ring is detailed, dark but detailed. Black, orange and white, with a beautiful eagle. It’s almost the logo of a stylish, rugged jeans brand. The construction feels good, no plugs can be detected while gently squeezing the cigar. The aroma is quite strong. Barnyard, stable and spices are what come to mind.


The cold draw is good. The flavor in the cold draw is nothing by dry, spicy tobacco. Once lit, the cigar has a flavor of autumn leaves. Dried leaves with some soil and coffee bitterness. The flavors then turn to more spices. But the spices taste a little burnt, a little harsh. After a centimeter, the cigar gets more pepper and sweetness. But the spices are still around as well. The burnt sensation disappears, making the cigar more accessible. The soil, leafy flavor is getting stronger. And there is some leather and wood too. A nice nut flavor emerges. After a third, there’s coffee, soil, leather, dark wood, pepper, and some sweetness. Now and then a hint of vanilla can be tasted. The cigar becomes more pleasant with toast, vanilla, sweetness, and pepper. Almost like a peppery version of French toast. The next flavor change comes around the halfway point. Dry leather, wood, coffee, and pepper. With a dry mouthfeel. Slowly some salt comes into play as well.


The draw is phenomenal. And the smoke is great too. Thick, white and plentiful. The light gray ash is like a stack of dimes. The burn is razor-sharp. This medium to medium full-bodied cigar packs plenty of flavors. But it takes a while before it becomes good. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, there are better Warped cigars out there.
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Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA, Warped | Tags: , , , , ,

Gurkha Treinta Toro

Gurkha Treinta Toro. This cigar was released late 2019 to commemorate the 30th year since Kaizad Hansotia bought the Gurkha brand for $300 while on vacation. He noticed a man rolling cigars under the Gurkha name and selling them. He bought a few, loved them and offered to buy the brand. For just 300 US dollars he got the name and the rest is history. From that, he built a brand that is loved and hated in equal parts. Some swear by Gurkha, others hate the brand with a passion. But everybody has an opinion about Gurkha cigars, there is no in-between.

For the Gurkha Treinta, Hansotia worked with Aganorsa Leaf and the cigars are rolled at Aganorsa’s TABSA factory. That factory produces a lot of great private labels and is highly respected in the cigar community. The cigar utilizes an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper. The fillers and the binder are from Nicaragua. The binder is an Aganorsa Corojo 99. The fillers come from Esteli and Jalapa and include Criollo 98 and Corojo 99. The Toro is 6×54 in size.

The cigar looks good. The Habano Rosado wrapper doesn’t look oily but has a nice deep color with a reddish glow to it. There are a few thin veins. The cigar feels well packed. The white and gold ring features the Gurkha logo on the ring but is quite modest for a Gurkha cigar. The aroma is deep, manure and dark wood. It’s medium-strong in smell.

The cold draw is on the loose side. The cigar has a dry and slightly spicy tobacco flavor. From the start, the cigar has grass, coffee, leather, wood, and pepper. But all nicely balanced, although there is a little harshness on the back of the throat. But not unpleasant though. There is some nutmeg too. The cigar then turns smooth with lots of spices and a little wood and leather. Slowly some cocoa flavor shows up on the background as well. The flavors are smooth, it’s easy to retrohale this cigar. The second third starts with that beautiful mix of spices, some sweetness, hay, leather, and soil. The mouthfeel is creamy. Slowly there’s a toasted flavor that starts to emerge underneath the spices. The toast is becoming stronger, with more wood and still those nice, balanced mix of spices, pepper, and sweetness. In the final third, the flavors intensify. Still leather, wood, spices, and pepper but stronger. The finale is a little darker in flavor, more soil, wood and leather, fewer spices.

The draw is a little loose, but still within margins. The ash is white, dense and firm. It’s a stack of dimes. The smoke is good in volume and thickness. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar is well balanced, smooth, and very pleasant. The cigar is medium-bodied, yet full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 91, Gurkha, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Condega Serie F Maduro Robusto

The Condega brand was founded by Eduardo Fernandez. He came into the business in 1998 as a tobacco grower and years later he founded the brand Condega. The brand was particularly popular in Spain because of the price-quality point, but it was also sold in the United States. But since Fernandez, famous for his Aganorsa leaf, is more interested in growing tobacco than selling cigars, the brand never really took off outside of Spain. And that’s where the Spanish tobacco distributor Gesinta comes in. Their premium cigar division, Casa del Tabaco, purchased the brand from Fernandez for the international markets. In the last few years, the brand is quickly expanding distribution to other European countries, Africa, and the Middle East. Fernandez still holds the rights for Condega on the American market.


The Serie F Maduro only comes in one vitola. That’s the 5×50 Robusto. And it’s the only Condega cigar that isn’t a Nicaraguan puro. The Maduro wrapper comes from Mexico. It’s grown in the San Andres region. The binder and wrappers are all Aganorsa leaf from Nicaragua. The Condega cigars are known for their great price-quality point. In The Netherlands this cigar is 5 euro, in Germany, it’s even cheaper with a price tag of €4,70. And that for a Maduro robusto, packed in a box instead of a bundle.


The wrapper looks good, beautiful Maduro darkness. And it’s natural darkness, as you can see darker smears, it’s not evenly dark. The cigar looks well constructed, with a triple cap. It has the right amount of bounce when squeezed gently. There aren’t thick, ugly veins on the wrapper, so the cigar looks smooth. And the aroma is medium strong with stable, barnyard and wood smells.


The cold draw is smooth. The flavors are pepper, wood, and hay. Right from the start, the cigar is sweet with coffee, pepper, and earthiness. But without the bitterness that often comes with a strong coffee flavor at the beginning of a cigar. There’s a hint of spices too. And then suddenly a lot happens, wood, coffee, spices, pepper, sweetness, and hay. The mouthfeel is quite creamy. The flavors are smooth yet full. After that, the explosion of flavors mellows out, it’s now wood with some spices and a bit of pepper. Halfway the cigar gets very nutty, with sweetness and pepper. There are hints of grass and wood too, but those are faint. The creamy nuttiness is the dominant flavor. The mellow, creamy nuttiness continues to be the main flavor of the cigar, with wood and sweetness. There’s also a faint leather flavor as well.


The draw is great, just the right amount of resistance. The cigar is full-flavored, yet medium to medium full-bodied. The light-colored ash isn’t firm. The smoke could be a little thicker though, but just a bit. The burn had to be corrected once. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes. The cigar is well balanced, smooth and full of flavor.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

number91

Categories: 91, Condega, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month March

Last month I reviewed 15 cigars and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst, and the worst was really terrible. One of the lowest ranking cigars on my blog ever!

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Don Lino Africa Kifaro with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Don Lino Africa Kifaro (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
3) Casa Fernandez Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
4) La Aurora Para Japon Sumo (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Liga Privada #9 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Montecristo Half Corona (cuba) 90 points
7) C.A.O. Anaconda (Honduras) 90 points
8) Viking Horseman Toro (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Don Lino Africa Gorilla Knuckle (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Quesada 70th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 89 points
11) Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan (Honduras) 86 points
12) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Herencia (Nicaragua) 80 points
13) Avo XO Intermezzo (Dominican Republic) 79 points
14) Avo Dominant 13th Toro (Dominican Republic) 79 points
15) Di Grisogno For Women Only Corona (Dominican Republic) 73 points

 


 

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Casa Fernandez Lancero

Back in 2009, before facebook groups were so popular, I used to hang out at Cigar Asylum, which was created from the ashes of Club Stogie after it merged into the horrible puff.com board. And I made a lot of friends so in the spring of 2009 four of us, two Dutch and two Americans from Gainesville, decided to do a little road trip all along the east coast and then fly to Las Vegas and we would herf every night in a different state. It was an epic trip.


The day we landed in Orlando one of my American friends (who actually had the Casa Pineda named after him) hit me with a cigar that was hot on that moment but hard to get, a Casa Fernandez lancero. And much to my surprise I hadn’t smoked it yet, it was still laying around in my humidor so I consider this an aged, maybe even vintage, Nicaraguan puro made in Honduras at Raices Cubanas. Casa Fernandez is from the Aganorsa/Tabacalera Tropical family and named after owner Eduardo Fernandez, who also helped the Pepin family get started in America at the now closed El Rey de los Habanos factory in Miami.


When I grab the cigar I suddenly hear The Beatles in the back of my head singing “they call me mellow yellow” because of the yellow cello after 9 years wrapped in the packaging. The corojo wrapper feels like very fine sanding paper, it still has a little oil and a nice dark wood color brown, with thin veins. It looks good. The ring has different colored gold, black outlines and a red curly F in the middle, on top it says Casa Fernandez and on the bottom Nicaragua, even though the cigar is made in Honduras. The cigar is straight, feels evenly packed and has a nice small pigtail. The medium strong aroma is quite dark, like dog poo with some wood.


The cold draw is great with a mild lemon and raisin flavor. After lighting with a soft flame I taste coffee with a little marzipan sweetness. After an inch I taste nutmeg, cinnamon and a little pepper. After a third I taste a mild salty nuts with some sweetness. Slowly the flavors change to herbs, spices and sugar.


The draw is great and the white smoke is medium full in thickness and medium in volume. The light gray ash is not very firm but the burn is razor sharp. The years of rest really smoothed the cigar, it’s mellow yet flavorful, smooth and tasty. I can even retrohale, something that I usually can’t. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored with a great balance. The smoke time is an hour and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I have a few oldies, now I want more to age.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Casa Fernandez, Honduran cigars, Raices Cubanas | Tags: , , , ,

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