HBTC Review: Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro Belicoso

It was nearly two years ago that Casa Fernandez changed the name of the company to Aganorsa Leaf. Even decades prior to that name change, Aganorsa tobacco was known throughout the premium cigar world for quality and consistency. When the company announced that this cigar would have a Shade-Grown Corojo Maduro wrapper leaf, most people in the premium cigar industry raised an eyebrow. People at Aganorsa say it took close to 20 years to perfect the process for growing, curing, and fermenting this unusual wrapper leaf. How unique is it? Let’s find out.

In addition to the Belicoso reviewed here, the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro is also available in a 5 x 52 Robusto, a 6 x 52 Toro, and a 6 x 44 Corona Gorda.

Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro Belicoso
MSRP: $10.99
Size: 6.25 x 52
Origin: (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Corojo 99 Shade-Grown (Nicaragua)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

This Belicoso is really what’s known as a 109 style head. Instead of a sharp point, the head of the cigar has a gentle taper that is slightly rounded. After removing the silver foil paper that covers most of the cigar I get the first look at a rich and dark wrapper leaf. It has a color that reminds me of an 80% cacao chocolate bar. It is rich, oily, toothy, and cleanly rolled. The wrapper has a gentle cedar and pepper aroma. The foot smells of pepper, anise, and charred wood. Those same notes are also present on the cold draw.

Act I
When the fire hits this cigar, it immediately has a ton of smoke output. The smoke has flavors and aromas of espresso, wood, bittersweet chocolate, and a little leather aroma in the background. There is also a presence of above average spice on the palate and in the nose. The retrohale is definitely spicy, but has a small touch of sweet cocoa notes on the finish.

Act II
When I get to the center of the cigar, the spice and depth increase. There are more notes of charred wood, earth, and a spice more like white pepper. The cocoa and espresso hints are still there, but way in the background. The retrohale now has a very interesting anise note, mixed with black pepper and a tiny bit of dark raisin sweetness.

The end of this cigar has a very unique combination of dark coffee, mixed with an earthy kind of barnyard aroma. There are still some notes of charred wood and cocoa, but lots of earth, pepper, and still some fleeting hints of anise and leather. The nose is very spice forward, mixed with more anise and something like dried cherries.

It’s been a while since reviewed a cigar with a good deal of complexity, but this one has a lot going on. Not only is it complex, it’s a range of flavors and aromas that complement and contract each other very well. There are no moments during the smoking experience when I think the flavors are competing for top billing. It has plenty of smoke output, and a deep spice that should please experienced cigar lovers.

Aganorsa Leaf Signature Selection Maduro Belicoso – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 91
PAD: +0.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Espresso, Earth, Anise
Strength Assessment: Medium-Full
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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