I’ve been busy doing some blind reviews for Benjamin over at Cigar Jedi. He has a great site set up, and I was really honored when he asked if I would like to be a guest reviewer. You can find my reviews at cigarjedi.com along with reviews of other cigars that are hard to get in shops here in Montana. The first one here is a blind review of the Leaf by Oscar Maduro.
-Country – Honduras
-Wrapper – Nicaraguan Maduro
-Binder – Honduras
-Filler – Honduras
-Size – 6 x 50
-Price – around $10
A brown wrapper the color of dark-roasted coffee beans covers this very firm cigar. There are a few prominent veins running the length of the cigar and a small amount of damage (perhaps from over-stretching the wrapper leaf) near the head. I get very little aroma off the wrapper or the foot, but what I can smell is a slight sweetness. After clipping the triple cap the cold draw has a woodsy quality to it and quite a bit of resistance.
The foot takes fire easily and the first draws are mildly sweet with a touch of brightness on the retrohale. After the first few puffs the sweetness vanishes and the cigar settles into some slight earthiness without much character. A bitter finish follows each draw that is not overwhelming, but makes me reach for my water more than usual. The burn is fairly even so far into the first third, with only mild scalloping. Towards the end of this third some pepper comes in on the retrohale accompanied by some wood notes. This is a welcome change and has me eager to see where this cigar is heading.
The ash and burn line have stayed true up to the second third, and the woodsy/pepper flavors are still the main event. Smoke production is good despite the tight draw, and the strength is on the low side of medium. So far this has been a perfect example of a cigar that shows its flavor only during the retrohale, but the smoke is smooth (not creamy) and medium in body.
Well into this third, and things have (unfortunately) stayed the same. The only difference is the wood note has darkened into a distinct oakiness. When the ash finally fell it revealed a “pencil tip” of filler that is probably thickly bunched ligero. The finish is still bitter and turning a little ashy, and the strength has moved up a notch to a solid medium.
The final third is staying true to the pepper/oak formula. Although I get a sense of a deepening of these flavors, almost to a bourbon-like tannic quality, but any hope I had of a change up has been whisked away. The nub is not hot and the smoke has remained consistent, but overall this has not been a very exciting cigar.
If it sounds like I didn’t find the Leaf by Oscar impressive, it’s because I didn’t. The wood notes were fine, and the pepper added a nice bit of “oomph” to the smoke, but overall this cigar was extremely one dimensional.
That said, it burned great and I only had to touch up the wrapper once. I could see myself smoking this while fishing or at a BBQ with friends, but for a nice, sit-down smoke I would reach for something different. If woodiness is what you’re looking for in a cigar, then go for it. I wouldn’t buy this cigar, but I would gladly smoke it if someone gifted it to me.
Flavor – Medium-Full
Strength – Medium
Body – Medium
Construction – Good
2.5 out of 5 Not bad, just not a sit-down-and-enjoy kind of cigar.
You can find my rating system here.