Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf Maduro

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Welcome to another one of The Inked Autist’s cigar reviews! Today we are taking a look at this offering from Casa Fernandez featuring a Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and long fillers. The size reviewed today is the 5″ x 54RG box pressed Robusto Extra vitola.

The first light revealed a slightly loose draw putting off big puffs of thick, chewy, medium/full body smoke. Big pepper and earth blast right up front. Tinge of a nuttiness on the finish. A little bit of grit to the texture.

Getting into the first third we have largely the same but the pepper dials back a bit allowing a spicy, unsweetened vanilla extract to enter the draw flavors. There’s also a tiny hint of espresso on the finish going into the retrohale. Still that same grit to the texture.

The 2nd third sees no further changes, holding everything except for a tinge of strength entering the mix. Only a slight shift into the last third as the vanilla morphs more into a nutmeg. Ending at 55 minutes for a slightly better than average burn time for the size and bringing in a medium nicotine strength.

Flawless construction with a near razor sharp burn all the way down. High quality self-adhesive bands that were easy to remove and did not damage the wrapper. Ash holds on about a third at a time.

A lot of the prototypical Mexican San Andreas flavors in this stick. High on body and an overall savory, earthy experience. Enjoyable flavors, though personally I would have liked a tinge of sweetness in the mix to round out the package, but that’s just me personally. This would go well with a hefty red wine or a bourbon. Rating: 4/5.

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Cigar Review: Wise Man Maduro Lancero

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Today’s cigar review is an exercise in how a change in ring gauge can have quite a substantial change to the flavor profile of any given blend. The previously reviewed Wise Man Maduro Torpedo  features a 52 ring gauge, compared to today’s 7.5″ x 40RG box pressed Lancero edition.

The first light reveals a perfect draw putting off plumes of full bodied smoke. A big pepper and earth blast start things off with a tinge of leather in the background.

Getting into the first third we see more of the same while a heavy, smoky brisket note joins in the finish and retrohale with a bit of the espresso and dark chocolate notes joining in on the draw, but more of an undertone as compared to the Torpedo. As with the Torpedo, this blend was consistent start to finish, ending at 1 hour 10 minutes for an excellent burn time for a Lancero and the strength almost matching the body at medium/full.

Excellent construction with a near razor-sharp burn and the ash holding on about a quarter of the cigar at a time. This one featured the same elegant, quality self-adhesive band which was easy to remove without damaging the wrapper.

So where does this come in? Compared to the larger ring gauge which had more of the dark semi-sweet dessert tones, this one brought the heartier, more savory flavors to the forefront and had a little bit more power to the smoke. As for which one prefers, that’s a matter of opinion. If I had to pick one I’d say I like the Torpedo in this one slightly better, but it really just depends on what I want because they are both killer cigars. Same pairing recommendations as the larger size, though and the same rating of 4.5/5.

Now, I did get a question recently about ring gauge. I was asked why I don’t usually review big ring gauges. The answer to that is I don’t generally like big ring gauge cigars. The reason being is they tend to be very mild, airy and don’t burn very consistently. I’ve had blends that I normally like in an “average” ring size that went totally bland in a 60+ size. As such, that’s why I don’t typically buy large ring gauge cigars. Mid 50s is where I generally cap out. I’ve had a few 60s that were good but they’re few and far between.

As you notice my trend, generally I review a Robusto or Toro size (approximately 50-54 ring gauge) as my “baseline” for a blend when I’m trying it for the first time, and if it’s something I like then I’ll try like a Lancero, Corona or Churchill (38-48 ring gauge) to compare the sizes to. I usually will avoid the Gordo (60+) end of the spectrum for the reason above, though if a particular blend only comes in that vitola sure I’ll give it a whirl. Most have been underwhelming to my palate though.

Another question that’s sometimes asked by new people – how is ring gauge measured? Ring gauge is the diameter of the cigar measured in 1/64ths of an inch. So a 64 ring gauge would be 1 inch in diameter and so forth.

Cigar Review: Punch Signature

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This cigar from the Honduras maker Punch features an Ecuadorian Sungrown Corojo wrapper over a dual Connecticut and Habano binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan long fillers.

First light reveals a perfect draw putting off a good amount of smoke. Medium/full body flavors of nuts, earth and spice. Hint of cocoa and a buttery texture.

Getting into the first third we get some more complexity while retaining the same core flavors. Pepper dies down somewhat allowing a distinct raisin and plum note to join in. A hint of caramel in the background. A tinge of smoky mesquite is also detected on the retrohale.

The 2nd third sees a slight shift with the pepper diminishing almost completely and the smoky and mesquite notes blending together into a meaty taste and aroma. No further changes were noted. Ending at 1 hour for an average burn time for the size and bringing in a medium nicotine strength.

Construction is where this one fell a bit flat. Fairly wavy burn that required a couple of touch ups along the way. Also some slight splitting of the wrapper in places. The band is quality and self adhesive and came off with no effort.

This one I’m kinda torn on. It’s a fairly price-point oriented stick (about $6 average from what I’ve found) and the flavors are really nice but the construction left something to be desired. Was it worth enduring for the flavors? For me yes, but maybe not if this isn’t a flavor profile you seem crazy about. Maybe I just got a one-off, but I’d have to try another just to see. Pairings for this would be a smooth red wine or a nice Jamaican rum for best results. Rating: 3.5/5.

Cigar Review: Southern Draw Jacob’s Ladder

I figured I’d close out my year in cigars by trying something new. I also wanted something powerful to close out with a bang. Well this one definitely delivered both.

Jacob’s Ladder is the fullest body offering in the Southern Draw lineup. It is stuffed full of Nicaraguan long fillers under an Ecuadorian Maduro binder and a Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. The size reviewed here is a 6″ x 52RG Toro vitola.

First light reveals a smooth draw putting off big clouds of thick, chewy, full bodied smoke. Flavors of a deep earth and dark chocolate core tantalize the palate straight away. This is supported by a huge pepper blast and cedar note on the retrohale.

Getting into the first third the smoke retains its intensity but the pepper dials back slightly allowing a distinct caramel tone to join the draw and a zingy lemon zest to join in on the finish. Despite the power it is incredibly smooth textured and flavored.

The 2nd third is much the same as the first, which is ok by me as I’m absolutely loving the flavor package. Strength starts setting in quickly though. The only notable shift is the earth moving more toward a leather. Ending at 1 hour 45 minutes for a truly impressive burn time for the size and the strength almost matches the body at near full – my head was spinning by the end of it!

Flawless construction with an absolutely razor sharp burn, which is quite surprising given the binder and wrapper. Ash holds on about a third at a time. High quality self-adhesive bands that come off effortlessly and do not damage the wrapper.

What a way to close out the year. Bursting with flavor and a lot of complexity, this cigar wowed me in every way. At about $10/stick the price is right for what you get too – I would almost call it a budget stick given what you get for that money. Pair with a heavy, oaky bourbon or an peaty scotch for best results. Rating: 5/5.

Cigar Review: Wise Man Maduro

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This offering from Foundation Cigar Company features a dark Mexican San Andreas wrapper over Nicarguan binder and long fillers. The size reviewed here is a 6.2″ x 52RG box pressed Torpedo vitola.

First light reveals a slightly loose draw putting off thick plumes of medium/full bodied smoke. Core flavors of espresso and dark chocolate awaken the palate, followed by a substantial black and red pepper finish and retrohale. A tinge of earth and leather on the back of the palate.

Getting into the first third we see the same great flavor profile but it is now enhanced with notes of cream and vanilla onthe draw as well as a woody, smoky brisket undertone on the finish and retrohale. Incredibly complex and smooth all around. Everything is very well blended. The strength starts setting in early on this one.

The flavors were consistent start to finish, which was OK by me as I was absolutely digging the robust, complex flavors. Ending at 1 hour 20 minutes for a solid burn time for the size and the nicotine strength comes up to match the body at medium/full.

Flawless construction with a razor sharp burn. Ash holds on about a third at a time. High quality self-adhesive band that came off easily. Everything about this cigar screams quality.

This was a “wow” cigar for me – bold, complex flavors on both the dessert and savory side of the spectrum and everything plays well together. Well worth its price point of approximately $11/stick. Pair with a Russian Imperial Stout, a hefty red wine, a nice bourbon or peaty Scotch for best results. Rating: 4.5/5.

Cigar Review: Marrero Fuerte Lancero and Colibri V Cut Update

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Today’s cigar review will be an exercise in how much ring gauge can change a particular blend. I already love the previously reviewed Marrero Fuerte, but today we’re trying it in a new size: this 7.5″ x 40RG Lancero version. The original size is a 54RG so quite a bit smaller.

In general, Lanceros are quite concentrated in wrapper flavors which usually results in a more robust experience. This was no exception.

Using the Colibri V cutter (note: the following was not the case with a straight cut, see below) the first light reveals a perfect draw putting off a ton of thick, chewy full-bodied smoke. Huge pepper blast right out of the gate supported by notes of espresso, dark chocolate and leather. A bit of a red pepper spice on the finish and retrohale.

Getting into the first third the smoke retains its intensity but the pepper and spice dial down just a touch, but still very assertive. This allows a slightly sweet creamy and nutty note to join the mix; very complex and very full-bodied still. Flavors fairly consistent start to finish which was totally fine by me because I was digging the flavors. The smoke started going too hot for my liking at 1 hour 10 minutes for a solid burn time out of a Lancero and bringing in a nicotine kick that damn near matched the body. My head was spinning by the end of it!

Performance was excellent throughout with a near razor-sharp burn and the ash dropping off about an inch at a time – not too surprising for a small ring gauge truth be told.

This is a case where the flavor profile was not just night and day different but there were definitely differences. I can’t even tell you which I like better. The Toro, predictably, has a longer burn time but a slightly creamier and less peppery smoke. This Lancero has a much bigger pepper blast and is “punchier” on the palate. It would have to do with what I’m drinking or have eaten I would think. This Lancero definitely calls for a strong sipping whisk(e)y to pair with and would be great after a hearty steak dinner. Rating: 4.5/5.


Now, going back to my side note up top. I’d had a few of these prior to writing this review, but they always had a very snug draw and I never felt like I was getting everything the cigar had to offer. This was before I got my Colibri V cutter and had just used a straight cut on them (my Cuban Crafters Perfect Cutter). I decided to try the Colibri on the above review sample, as apprehensive as I was about taking such a deep cut on a small-ish cigar. Alas, as you can see, enough of the cap remained intact to prevent unraveling.

I also tried a stick this morning which in my experience has had draw issues with some samples and cut it using the V cutter for the first time. Draw and smoke production? Fantastic. You can even see where the knot was:

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Alas the Colibri cut through it and freed it up. Now, this morning’s smoke was obviously a mild cigar as that’s what I like in the morning but regardless of body and strength a bad draw will ruin your day.

For these reasons, I have totally fallen for the Colibri V cutter and the “deep V” is my new favorite way to cut a cigar. Some will claim that a V cut concentrates the smoke on the palate and blah blah blah, but I don’t believe that. Just for me, the V cut gives me the best draw for my preference and I think it just plain looks cool. As always though, there’s no right or wrong. It’s about what you like.

Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection

Tonight we have a cigar review! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these so I figured it was about time I get back with it. Tonight’s selection is a great one so let’s get to it!

This offering from Casa Fernandez cigars features a Rosado Corojo ’99 wrapper over Criollo ’98 binder and Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo long fillers. The size reviewed here is a standard 6″ x 52RG Toro vitola.

The first light revealed an absolutely perfect draw producing a good volume of medium/full body smoke that’s buttery and nutty supported by a bit of cocoa on the nose. Features a big blast of pepper and spice on the nose.

Getting into the first third the initial pepper blast dimishes slightly and the cocoa and sweetness take a more prominent role. Smoke is thick on the palate. There’s also a smooth leather that joins in the retrohale as well as a hint of rose petal. Everything is so smooth and well blended.

Only subtle changes in the 2nd third as the pepper continues to diminish and the smoke getting creamier. In the last third the cocoa diminishes and is replaced by a robust espresso and the pepper starts to return. Ending at 1 hour and 25 minutes for an excellent burn time for the size and bringing in a medium nicotine strength.

Flawless construction with a near razor sharp burn line and holding an ash about a third of a time. Good quality self adhesive bands that were easy to remove and did not damage the wrapper.

This was an absolutely delicious cigar. At a price point of about $10/stick this one deifnitely smokes above its price point. Smooth yet robust and with just enough transitions to keep things interesting. This is a limited edition so be sure to check it out while you have the change. Pair this one with a dark roast coffee, a smooth red wine (think a Pinot Noir or Merlot) or a nice Jamaican rum. Rating: 4.5/5.


Smoked this Monday night of the 10th of December, 2018 in memoriam of my beloved great-grandmother (who would have been 100 years old today) and in memoriam of my beloved Greyhound/lab mix Chocolate who passed away this afternoon at the age of 16. Thanks for the wonderful years of companionship.