When it comes to cigar makers boasting about the quality of their tobacco and cigars, there is plenty to be found. Earlier this year, AGANORSA Leaf took cigar naming to a new superlative with Supreme Leaf.
The company began teasing the cigar in December 2019 before announcing it would debut at the Tobacco Plus Expo 2020 (TPE 2020) trade show the following month. The cigar would then begin heading to stores in early March.
It’s a Nicaraguan puro that is described as being “corojo 99 dominant,” but beyond that nothing is specified about the blend. Supreme Leaf is being released in a single 5 x 52 box-pressed robusto vitola priced at $9.95 before taxes. The company produced just 500 boxes of 10 cigars for the cigar’s first run at its Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) factory in Estelí, though also noted that it is not a limited edition.
“We believe our leaf is our strength and so we wanted the presentation clearly to reflect that confidence in the quality of our cigars,” said Terence Reilly, vp of sales and marketing, via a press release in December. “The packaging has a bold and assertive look and feel that demands the consumer’s attention on the shelf. You don’t use colors like this unless you are confident in the product.”
- Cigar Reviewed: AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $9.95 (Box of 10, $99.50)
- Release Date: March 4, 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Even though I haven’t had one in quite some time, the shape of the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf immediately makes me think of a Twix bar, without the chocolate, of course. The wrapper leaf is a bit darker than true medium brown and has a bit of an oily seen to it, even though I don’t pick up much oiliness on my fingers. Veins are fairly typical in both size and number; noticeable but not distracting. The box press is done well and results in the firm, pillowy give that is synonymous with such vitolas, with neither the seams nor cap showing any ill effects. The foot has aromas of raisins and dates, backed by toast and touches of black pepper and in one sample a slightly herbal aromatic spice that I can’t place but makes me think of bay leaves or savory, though it’s been a long time since I’ve spent time near a proper spice rack. The cold draw is a bit brighter, shifting to white pepper and a green grape jelly, while the toast hangs around but now contends with a bit of graham cracker, and in that same cigar, a bit of an herbal taste.
While taking the cigar out of its cellophane, it would be easy to overlook the fact that the wrapper leaf stretches down and partially covers the foot of the cigar, though once lighting begins, it is hard to miss. The first puffs of the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf have a familiar Nicaraguan tobacco profile, meaning good amounts of earth and black pepper, and what I’d assume will be some strength before long. One sample is very upfront with that flavor, while two show a bit of creaminess to the smoke, which could be easily be overshadowed by the bigger flavors, but when given some space to shine contributes very productively to the blend. The flavor begins to lighten up just a bit as the burn line move through the first third, shedding the heavier earth for lighter wood and medium roast coffee, both of which can have a bit of funkiness but are generally enjoyable. There are also spots where there is more of the creaminess, now tasting a bit like condensed milk. The black pepper stays around and even intensifies a bit, or at least hits the palate with a bit more force due to the supporting notes. Flavor is full before backing off a bit, body is just shy of full, and strength isn’t quite what I thought it would be, but still sits above the medium mark. Technical performance has been very good, with my only note being a slightly uneven burn line.
The second third of the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf sees the flavor pivot and introduce a bit of nuttiness and baking spices, the latter mellow but noticeable. Compared to the start of the cigar, the flavor intensity has backed off yet it’s not necessarily any less flavorful with the shift to less pronounced flavors. Retrohales are still fairly pepper-forward, not overpowering but capable of delivering a hearty tingle to the nostrils. While I might be over-smoking the cigar a bit, I’m getting a touch of harshness emerging around the midpoint that tickles the back of the throat, though the consistency of that sensation across the three samples is a bit concerning. The final puffs of the second third see the flavor get a bit more vibrant, with some slower puffing helping ward off any irritation, though it’s still there. Creaminess, baking spices and some woodiness drive the profile into the final third, while technical performance has been good save for a wavy burn line. The flavor intensity is medium-plus, strength is at medium but I still think I’ll feel this more once I stand up, and body is medium-plus and quite enjoyable.
Flavor intensity begins a bit of an uptick at the start of the final third, as the wood notes become more pronounced and now have a much drier character than earlier. The baking spice note has largely faded, with a mix of white and black pepper quickly stepping in to fill the role, then black pepper stepping forward out of the combination. There’s a bit of harshness that begins to emerge from the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf with a little more than two inches to go, as the flavor shifts once again. There is still some creaminess, woods and pepper, but they now taste a bit funky and deliver irritation on the throat. I’m also now feeling the nicotine strength of the cigar, which is more potent than I might have anticipated. The cigar finishes with a bit of irritation still, while the flavors have stuck fairly close to woods and pepper, with the earthiness from the first puffs not seen for some time. The burn line has evened itself out, while the draw and smoke production have remained very good from the start. The cigar finishes at medium-full in flavor and body, and I’m inclined to say full in strength after the recent buildup.
- I’m known to talk about bands a bit in reviews, and the one on the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf is one that certainly stands out for its colors. Ultimately I’m indifferent to it, but it makes me think of what someone looking to replicate an Arizona sunrise or sunset might design.
- That said, it is an interesting jumping off point to think about the colors you don’t generally see on cigar bands, and the ones you see all too often.
- I had forgotten of some of the other cigars that use the word supreme in their names, notably the Nat Sherman Timeless Supreme and the Future Corona Supreme.
- Speaking of Supreme, I wonder how any people might wonder if the New York City-based clothing label is involved with this cigar. Now that would be an interesting collaboration.
- There is definitely some strength to be found in the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf. It doesn’t really hit until about the halfway mark and in my experience, only once I stood up. It wasn’t dizzying, but it was definitely noticeable.
- AGANORSA Leaf advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was just about two hours on average.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler and Corona Cigar Co., carry the AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf.
Superlative name or not, any cigar has to deliver the goods when it comes to flavor, balance and complexity, among other things. The AGANORSA Leaf Supreme Leaf starts off strong both in flavor and performance, showing a good amount of complexity and progression throughout its first half before picking up just enough irritation to overshadow whatever else the cigar might contain, at least distract from that offering. The second half of the cigar seems to have just as much to offer in the first, and maybe even more given its mellower profile, unfortunately, that won't be what I remember about it. Everything else about the cigar is quite good, the occasional wavy burn line notwithstanding, so while I'm not shy about recommending the cigar, I do so only with a bit of restraint when it comes to its ability to live up to its name.