Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve
This week, we’ll keep it simple. Great weather, great pairing. Let’s take a look at Aganorsa’s Rare Leaf Reserve paired with a bottle of Trillium Brewing’s barrel aged Adjunction Junction beer.
The Good Stuff:
Follow the success of last years Supreme Leaf, Aganorsa Leaf swiftly released the Rare Leaf Reserve this year which is a cigar created to focus more heavily on Nicaragua Criollo tobacco. The blend features a Nicaraguan Jalapa Cafe wrapper over dual Nicaraguan Criollo 98 binders which were grown on two different farms which cover a mixture of Nicaraguan Corojo 99 and Criollo 98 filler tobaccos. Created at the TABSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, Aganorsa Leaf released the Rare Leaf Reserve in three sizes: Robusto (5 1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 54) and the Titan (6 x 60). All three sizes come packaged in boxes of 15 running between $10.99 and $12.10 a stick. I purchased mine over from our good friends at Cigars International.
- Size: 5 1/2 52
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan
- Binder: Dual Nicaraguan Criollo 98
- Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo 99 and Criollo 98
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium/Full
- Price: $10.99
- Pairing: Trillium Brewing Barrel Aged Adjunction Junction (Imperial Stout 14% ABV)
The Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve starts out with a beautiful, consistent, orangish-brown wrapper that displays a few darker areas around the foot of the cigar. The wrapper’s texture is tough, yet brittle while it carries a good amount of tooth and almost no oils. The cigar feels nicely packed and rather light while the foot of the cigar has a bit of a softness to it. The cigar carries some vey light veining and quite a bit of natural tobacco webbing in the wrapper leaf as it leads up to the cigar’s round, triple-wrapped cap. The cigar is then polished off with a great looking maroon, gold, white and black band that show cases the “Aganorsa Leaf” crest on the front as well as an added secondary band with “Rare Leaf Reserve” embossed across the front.
The wrapper on the Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve gives off tons of pecan and oak aromas while the foot of the cigar carries some great caramel and natural tobacco scents. The cap took a considerable amount of effort to clip using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter, but once it did come off the Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve released a ton of caramel, vanilla, musk, and natural tobacco on the cold draw.
The Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve starts out with a huge blast of cayenne pepper which really kicked the crap out of my tongue and lips for a minute. After the pepper faded out the cigar greeted me with bold notes of cedar, vanilla, musk and caramel over lighter notes of hay and earthiness over some lighter floral flavors. The draw was a bit snug through the initial inch or so but had completely opened up after that allowing the cigar to release a whole mess of thick, white smoke with each puff with the cigar itself releases only a very small amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is a bit wavy, but very sharp leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of light gray ash which held on for almost an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve and the flavors are still pounding. The cedar, vanilla, musk and caramel are still leading the charge backed up earthiness, pecan, and a sharp spice that keeps coming and going. The retrohale really brings the spice to the front of the taste. The draw is still great, and the cigar is burning a bit wavy, but very manageable as I close out the second third with a good little nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve and this is where the cigar is really starting to shine. The leading flavor is now that awesome, deep cedar flavor that the corojo and criollo are capable of pumping out along with those great cedar notes I tend to pick up in most Aganorsa Leaf blends. Underneath that the musk, caramel and vanilla are still rocking hard over lighter notes of spice and floral flavors. It took me an hour and a half to smoke this cigar down to the nub and I experienced no harshness, nor any extended heat while the cigar left me with a great little nicotine buzz.
I am a huge fan of Criollo 98 and Corojo tobacco and I think that the Rare Leaf Reserve is a perfect showcase on exactly the amount of flavors, and the nuanced profiles the tobaccos can offer. This cigar was very complex, but at no point did I feel like I needed to waste the experience on dissecting everything. The construction was flawless and the price point was very reasonable. Add another hit to the already packed Aganorsa Leaf portfolio.
Brewed by Trillium brewing in collaborations with some very heavy hitters: Monkish, The Veil, Other Half, and Cloudwater, this barrel-aged version of this beer comes in at a whopping 14% ABV. Brewed with coconut, coffee, vanilla, macadamia nuts, pecans, and almonds, this beer leads with a bunch of black coffee, vanilla, toffee, chocolate, plum and pecan with a very heavy, sticky mouthfeel before finishing with more flan-type flavors of caramel, pecan, toffee and still a ton of vanilla and a nice almond on the aftertaste. To say that this beer is sweet is an understatement. I’m really surprised with how this beer held up and how pronounced each of the adjuncts are. I would have figured it was just going to be a mash up of sweetness. The bold pecan, caramel, and vanilla flavors found in the Aganorsa Leaf Rare Leaf Reserve made for a perfect pairing.
Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.