Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary

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In what’s become a common phrase on this site, a cigar business is celebrating a milestone anniversary with a cigar. In this case, it’s the retailer Tobacco Haven in Brookline, N.H., the milestone is the store’s 30th anniversary, and the cigar comes from Casa Fernández, which recently rebranded itself as AGANORSA Leaf.

It’s a 7 x 52 double robusto that bears the Casa Fernández Miami banding, as well as a secondary band indicating the cause for its creation. It’s a limited edition run, with just 100 boxes of 12 cigars being produced, a total run of 1,200 cigars. Each cigar is priced at $9.99, while a full box sells for $99.99.

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The store did not release much in the way of details about the cigar, other than to say it is a Nicaraguan puro, using a corojo 99 wrapper from the country’s Jalapa region. At a surface level, it’s a blend very similar to the Casa Fernández Miami, which is also a Nicaraguan puro that uses a corojo 99 wrapper, per details on the company’s website.

While the cigar got its official release at an in-store event on April 26, it went on sale nearly two weeks earlier via the store’s website.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Factory: Casa Fernández Miami
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragaua
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Double Robusto
  • MSRP: $9.99 (Boxes of 12, $99.99)
  • Release Date: April 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 12 Cigars (1,200 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary is a firmly rolled double robusto wrapped in a Nicaraguan corojo 99 wrapper that is on the lighter side of medium brown, tanned with a hue that falls somewhere between peanut butter and an iced latte. There’s not much in the way of oil on the leaf, but it does have a very fine texture to it, not soft enough to be velvety, not rough enough to warrant the term grit. Veins on the leaf are generally small and spaced out, the color is generally very even, seam lines are only occasionally visible, with two of the three slightly rounded caps well-applied, as the last didn’t lay totally flat. I get a bit of popcorn from my first sniff of the foot, though it’s easy to see there’s more behind it, and pepper quickly appears to beef up things, while an attempt at a sweetness between fruits and floral adds some lightness. The cold draw skews firm with occasionally noticeable resistance, offering flavors that lean towards peanuts and wheat bread, with just a bit of pepper appearing on the finish.

The Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary opens up on a medium-plus profile that has a bit of pepper and char coloring the peanut note in the core. There’s a bit of dry woodiness to be found, but a fairly potent white pepper does most of the talking early on, and the resulting physical sensation occupies more of the experience than any particular flavor; it’s an interesting mix between a fairly medium-bodied profile and some characteristics that give it some rough edges. The burn line is fairly slow to make its way up the cigar, taking nearly 30 minutes to hit the one-inch mark on the first sample, at which point the initial clump of ash seems ready to go. Once it does, the flavor brightens up just a bit, with pepper becoming noticeably crisper through the nose, and much of the char getting traded in for Frosted Flakes and a bit of fried batter, including a slightly oily finish on the smoke.

While I’m not getting as much of the white pepper on the palate, a retrohale seems to reveal where it’s been hiding, as one near the start of the second third delivers a clean punch to the nostrils. The cigar seems to be getting closer to balance and complexity, yet with each sample smoked I find myself adding new notes about not quite being there, despite what the previous cigar might have suggested. Meanwhile, the flavor as turned a bit toastier, as in actual toast, while peanuts join the mix and add a bit of saltiness. As the Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary moves through its midpoint, it has varying levels of success shedding the char from early on; in the first sample it’s completely gone, it lingers just enough to be detected in the second, and in the third, it’s hanging on more voraciously.

The Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary doesn’t make any noticeable moves as the final third gets underway, though in all three samples the char has largely left the profile. It starts getting a bit fuller bodied though I can’t attribute to any particular component, though the end result doesn’t go unnoticed. There’s a shift back to the clean and bright pepper as the burn line passes through the space previously occupied by the primary band, which creates a counterbalance to the increasingly heavy body of the smoke as it hits the palate. There’s a bit of earthiness, some bagel like chewiness, and some heavier flavors of mixed nuts as the peanut is gone as a soloist. There is also just a bit of nicotine strength to be found in the tail end of the cigar; for the most part it’s pretty mild in that regard, though it does leave a parting shot of strength. When the smoke gets hot in the final inch, it’s a pretty clear signal of the end to what’s been a generally enjoyable cigar.

Final Notes

  • Tobacco Haven has been home to some other single-store releases over the years, including the La Flor Dominicana Meaner Digger that debuted in 2011 in response to a request from a customer, then formally released in 2012 before being brought back in 2015. As you might recall, that cigar was a 10 x 60 barber pole that I had the pleasure of reviewing in 2013.
  • It was also home to the Leroy VS Dark Master project from 2014, in which Edgar Hoill of EH Cigars and Christian Eiroa of CLE Cigars each created blends for the project. They were sold in coffins containing one of each cigar, or you could get a box of five coffins.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 15 minutes on average.
  • AGANORSA Leaf advertises on halfwheel.
  • The cigars for this review were provided by Tobacco Haven.
  • The only place to get the Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary is Tobacco Haven.
90 Overall Score

Every so often I get asked why we insist on reviewing multiple samples of a cigar for each review, and I think the Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary is a prime example. For as much work as cigar manufacturers put into making sure their offerings are consistent, there really is no way that I’m aware to completely homogenize premium cigars, and the three samples showed just how subtly yet noticeably one cigar can differ from the next. The starting point was generally the same, but the progressions had some marked differences, even though the landing points clustered fairly tightly. There were points in individual cigars where I’d have been tempted to pull out my wallet and buy a box, and yet others where it seemed like a decent smoke but one that I wouldn’t be quick to revisit. Having smoked three, I can comfortably and confidently say that the Casa Fernández Tobacco Haven 30th Anniversary is a solid if slightly less than spectacular cigar that offers several very enjoyable points, yet still leaves a bit to be desired in terms of smoothness, with hopes that additional time may be the cure.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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