Earlier this year, Casa Fernández announced that it would change its name to AGANORSA Leaf, a nod to the Nicaraguan-based agricultural company that is also owned by Eduardo Fernández. As part of the transition, the company announced it would be changing the packaging of some of its existing lines, though the most radical design came in the form of the new AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series.
The four-vitola line is a limited edition offering made entirely of the tobacco from the farms of the aforementioned AGANORSA. Inside there are fillers from Estelí and Jalapa, while the wrapper is a corojo 99 rosado claro from Jalapa.
- AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Robusto (5 x 52) — $9.80 (Boxes of 20, $196)
- AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52) — $9.90 (Boxes of 20, $198)
- AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Corona Gorda (6 x 44) — $9 (Boxes of 25, $225)
- AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Toro (6 x 52) — $9.90 (Boxes of 20, $198)
As for the packaging, each cigar features bright white bands, including a secondary band with the signature of Fernández, though the most notable feature is some bright gold foil that covers nearly three-quarters of the cigar.
- Cigar Reviewed: AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Corona Gorda
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo 99 Jalapa)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- MSRP: $9 (Boxes of 25, $225)
- Release Date: Aug. 30, 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 25 Cigars (12,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Once the gold foil is removed from the cigar, there’s somewhat of a transformation process in terms of its visual appearance. It’s a pretty looking cigar, particularly when paired with the rather metallic band. The aroma off the wrapper has some faint leather over an even fainter funky cheese smell. Overall it’s very smooth, though not particularly detailed and only around medium. The foot is sweeter, stronger and more distinct with the aroma of a Kahlúa and coffee over an oatmeal cookie-type smell. There’s a combination of raw sugar and some very sharp peppers on the cold draw, though if I take a slower and deeper pull I’m able to get a softer mixture of cotton candy, some soy sauce and at times, some citrus.
The AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series doesn’t start with a ton of flavors. I pick up some dry peanuts, earthiness and a sawdust like sensation with a mild amount of pepper. The most notable part is that I can smell some sweetness radiating from the cigar. For the first inch, the retrohales are punishing with a plethora of red pepper that trickles all the way down the throat. Eventually, there’s a sudden shift and the retrohales deliver a creamy flavor with some grapefruit and orange citrus, peanuts and then a starchy finish that reminds me of lo mein noodles. Flavor in the mouth is a bit less exotic with nuttiness, some paprika and a lemonade-style sweetness behind it. Flavor is full, body is pretty much full and strength is medium-full. Two samples require touch-ups in the first third due to uneven burns.
Things are quite similar to the first third, the core is a mixture of lemon, earthiness and creaminess. What’s quite different is the retrohale, now dominated by a crisp potato chip before it finishes with some toastiness and some white pepper. My throat is still impacted by a heavy amount of red pepper, though there’s not much continuing to come in the way of added pepper. Flavor is full, body is full and strength is similar, though a bit reduced. Touch-ups are needed on two cigars, though now more because of a smoke production issue than an uneven burn.
The final third sees the nuttiness increase, though the sweet lemonade and creaminess remain a large present. Two of the cigars bitter a bit at the inch-and-a-half mark, though oddly one of them avoids the bittering. There are more hints of the red pepper returning, though it’s not at all consistent. Flavor reduced down to medium-full, body is full and strength finishes medium-plus. Burn issues continue to plague two of the cigars, requiring additional touch-ups.
- One sample had a noticeably tight draw for the first dozen or so puffs, but it eventually opened up to an enjoyable level.
- There was clearly a deliberate attempt to try to price these cigars under $10.
- On a similar note, this is probably the tightest pricing distribution, a statistical term, I’ve ever seen on a four-size line north of $5.
- I think the bands are really well done, but they sit too far up the cigar meaning that my lip is oftentimes touching them, which is irritating.
- This is a radical shift in packaging design for AGANORSA Leaf, or more specifically, the company formerly known as Casa Fernández. I think it’s a step right in the direction, particularly in the sense that it doesn’t look like just another Casa Fernández product.
- I feel confident in saying this is the fire time that the company has used foil on one of its cigars.
- AGANORSA Leaf advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop carry the AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Corona Gorda.
- Final smoking time was just under tw hours.
If you judged the cigar based on the first inch, this is going to be a massive disappointment unless you are looking to have your throat lit on fire via pepper on the retrohale. That being said, the AGANORSA Leaf Signature Series Corona Gorda developed into something quite smooth and complex. There were times in which it seemed like the pepper wanted to come back, but each time there were hints of a return, there was no triumphant comeback. It allowed for the cigar to continue down its path of complexity. Unfortunately, consistent burn issues—particularly in the latter half—impacted the score.