Enclave Broadleaf by AJ Fernandez
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
AJ Fernandez continues to pump out new blends at a prodigious rate, including cigars for other brands. The Enclave Broadleaf is an extension of the original Enclave line that was introduced in 2015, and is the first cigar in the AJ Fernandez portfolio to utilize a Broadleaf wrapper. I reviewed the Enclave Habano wrapped original blend back then (review here), and enjoyed it a lot. The Enclave Broadleaf comes in four sizes – Robusto 5 x 52, Toro 6½ x 54, Churchill 7 x 52, and Gordo 5½ x 58 – and is made at AJ’s Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua, in Estelí, Nicaragua. Prices run from $8.50 to $9.50 for the first three sizes. While the Gordo is listed on the company’s website, I have not yet seen it advertised for sale anywhere, so it may be a future release.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua Pueblo Nuevo, Esteli, and Jalapa
Size: Churchill 7 x 52
Smoking time: One hour, fifty-five minutes
Pairing: Founders Sumatra Mountain Imperial Brown Ale (ABV 9 %)
The Enclave Broadleaf comes draped in a fairly rustic and extremely dark brown wrapper that features a few fine to medium veins and patches of toothiness. The roll is very firm down to within a couple of inches of the foot, where it becomes a little softer and springier. The wrapper offers up aromas of earth, wood, and faint barnyard, while the foot gives off soil and a savory cracker-like scent. A clean and easy clip of the cap reveals sweet earth and cocoa.
Right off the bat, the Enclave Broadleaf offers up medium bodied flavors of the same sweet earth and mocha, along with oak, sweet floral spice, and white pepper. Both the wood and pepper are more prevalent and much sharper on the retrohale. The cigar is having not trouble producing a large amount of smoke with each puff ad is burning with just a slight wave in the sharp burn line, leaving behind a compact light gray ash that lasts for over an inch before falling into my ashtray. By this point, the sweetness has moved up slightly, while the pepper has backed off on the palate, but not on the retrohale or the back of the throat. However, the tail end of this first third brings forth a sudden smoothness to the proceedings, while maintaining its medium body and introducing a small bit of muskiness.
As the Enclave Broadleaf enters its middle section, the cocoa has turned more coffee-like and the sweetness has dialed back further. A slight char has also entered the picture, joining the earth, coffee, and some leather. This profile doesn’t waver much throughout the central third.
The final portion of the Enclave Broadleaf brings in a bump toward the medium-full range while also gaining back some of the sweetness and pepper bite. The strength, which had been in the mild area, has also picked up. The little bit of char and musk that have hung around make for an interesting flavor combination. With a little over an inch to go, and the flavor starting to fade, it’s time to put the Enclave Broadleaf to rest. It has smoked nearly dead-even and firm down to the nearly full bodied, medium-full strength end.
I found the Enclave Broadleaf to be a very enjoyable smoke, although I would have appreciated it even more had the sweetness hung around throughout the experience, so I would probably prefer the shorter robusto size, which I have not yet had the opportunity to smoke. Aside from that, I think that this is a cigar that is well worth picking up to give a shot. Construction and smoking properties were excellent, although I will warn you that it pumps out a crapload of resting smoke, so that might be something to take into consideration when lighting up. Other than that, thumbs up.
You can get the Enclave Broadleaf from our good friends over at Cuenca Cigars.
Founders Sumatra Mountain is an Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Sumatra coffee that clocks in at 9% ABV, which it hides quite well. What I love about this beer is that the coffee really stands out in a fresh ground way, unlike so many others that I have tried. With a nice moderately sweet maltiness, the coffee bitterness balances things out well, and the beer proved to be a great match for the Enclave Broadleaf, complimenting the cigar’s coffee/mocha notes and helping to maintain its sweetness. Any number of darker beers would also pair well with this cigar, such as a strong ale, brown ale, or porter, as would a bright, rich port or sweet, fruity rum.