Fernando Leon Family Reserve
Now here’s a brand we haven’t had a review of in a little while. If you rewind a good chunk of time, you will see that at one point La Aurora was knocking out all kinds of new brands, including the very popular La Aurora 107 (which is still a very tasty stick). They followed up that success with Guillermo Leon’s own blend and line called the Signature series. Here’s the review of the Guillermo Leon Signature Series. Also make sure to check out Jeremy’s contest+review post on the Aging Room – Small Batch M356!
Now today we have a new blend from La Aurora called the Fernando Leon Family Reserva. Fernando León Asensio was the “Father” of La Aurora and passed away in 2009. This particular blend was actually made for personal consumption and reserved for friends and family only. To commemorate his father, Guillermo Leon decided to push out this special blend for the masses to enjoy.
The cigar comes wrapped in a very similar band to what the Guillermo Leon Signature had, only with a different color scheme. The lion logo still adorns the top middle of the band and instead of Guillermo’s signature, we have Fernando’s signature in gold print across the middle of the band.
The Fernando Leon Family Reserve comes in the same classic sizes as the Guillermo Leon. A Corona, Corona Gorda, Robusto, Belicoso and Gran Toro. For today’s review I’m picking up the Corona Gorda vitola, which is also becoming one of my favorites of all the vitolas lately. It turned out to be a warm(warm to me at least, it’s still only like 35F) afternoon with only a little bit of wind. So let’s get to it and see how this new cigar stands up!
Cigar: Fernando Leon Family Reserve
Drink: Wellington Breweries Imperial Russian Stout
Vitola: Corona Gorda (6 x 47)
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
Binder: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Peruvian, Brazilian, Dominican
Price: About $8
Burn Time: 1.5 hours
• The Fernando Leon Family Reserve has a rough, but soft, wrapper with a touch of toothiness to it
• There is a definite softness when squeezed from head to foot, pretty consistent the whole way through
• Looks to be a triple cap that is finished extremely smooth and well, blends right into the wrapper
• The foot has some small gaps, so it’s not too tightly packed
• Golden brown is the color of the wrapper, with some shiny hints of oil
• The cut was very easy and smooth leaving me with a perfectly sliced cap
• Draw was just perfect with enough resistance but not with too much
• Toasting was nice, even and slow with only the foot catching and leaving me with a nice amber to start off with
• No burn issues through the first third, razor sharp and thin burnline, just the way I like it!
• It’s also burning at a nice slow pace, allowing me to enjoy it slowly without burning out
• At about the half-way mark I hit a tunnel that ended up requiring a touch-up, now we’re off to the races again
• After that touch-up, we had smooth sailing right to the end, a very well constructed cigar!
Smoke & Ash:
• Right from the start I’m getting a nice mouthful of billowy smoke with very little effort
• The ash is nothing spectacular here, it’s a light grey and dark grey mix, it is nice and clean and string though
• The first ash made it to about an inch before I tapped it off
• The next couple of ashes both fell off at about a half-inch even though there were looking strong
• Smoke continues to be very full with very little effort on the draw
• The ashes continued looking strong but always seemed to fall unexpectedly or really shatter in the ashtray
• The wrapper is giving off a sweet woodsy sort of aroma
• A little more boldness on the foot where the aroma is adding a bunch of spices like nutmeg
• Pre-light draw was a big kick of cedar with some touches of spice
• First few draws started with a small spice kick but that quickly disappeared
• I’m now left with a smooth and creamy cedar flavor backed by some light coffee notes
• Through the first third, the body seems to be in the medium range and I’m also getting some accents of nutty notes
• The retro-hale is giving me a nice little bite with a smooth creamy finish, nice touch
• Through the first half, the cedar and coffee notes are prime with a smooth creaminess to round it all out
• As I get into the last third, the coffee is ramping up a bit but sadly the nice creaminess has toned down a notch
• I’m also getting a little more of the early spices as we sneak into the last bit here
• The last inch or so turned into a bit of charred wood type of flavors, not off putting, but not as exciting as it was before
• The Fernando Leon finished with lots of wood and spice flavors and I was able to nub it happily
I was a huge fan of the Guillermo Leon Signature so I was pretty excited when there was another cigar added to Guillermo’s lines. Now I can’t help but compare the Fernando Leon Family Reserve to the Signature and I feel it fell a little short. That’s not to say this was a bad cigar, it was actually quite tasty(minus the last part which got boring). I just felt that the Signature brought all the flavors together a little better and made it enjoyable from start to finish. I would probably pick up more of these up again in the future but if the Fernando Leon Family Reserve was right beside the Guillermo Leon Signature, I’d go with the signature every time. Maybe I’ll pick out some different vitolas as well to see if that changes the profile much. Either way I’m happy to see more additions the La Aurora line-up and I hope to see more coming up as well
Today’s beer is actually a pretty rare find for me up here. Most of the local breweries tend to stick to typical stouts and dark ales and rarely venture outside of that territory. Welling Breweries took a step outside the comfort zone and came out with an Imperial Russian Stout. This brew clocks in at 8% alc./vol. and has a dark and thick consistency with a very thick head as well. The flavors bring lots of coffee and cocoa notes, but one interesting thing was that I was actually picking up some citrus notes. That made for a very interesting brew and paired quite well with the spice that the Fernando Leon had to offer. I’d like to try this cigar with a nice strong coffee as well, maybe with a little cinnamon sprinkled in there!