Esencia Cigars by Brother of the Leaf, LLC | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 7 x 38 (Measures at 7.5 x 42) “Lancero”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: Unknown
Esencia Limited Edition Sampler w/Palio Cutter






Esencia cigars are made by Mark Aub who owns Palio Cutters.

“Our Brothers of the Leaf over at Esencia have hooked us up with a sweet deal on this stash of Esencia Samplers they offer. They’ve put together 3 vitolas that are exclusive to this sampler alone and tossed in their signature sister product to boot. For those of you who may not be “in the know” Esencia’s accessory sibling is the ever popular Palio cutter and this sampler includes a sexy black one with case that is emblazoned with the Esencia logo. Also, because of our great relationship with this manufacturer we even managed to get most, if not all, of these limited and numbered boxes also signed by the men behind the company.”

From the Esencia web site:
“Esencia is a completely handmade medium to full bodied Nicaraguan puro cigar available in four classic Cuban sizes. Each has been crafted in an old world Havana style using a traditional blend of Criollo and Corojo leaf of only the highest quality. Production of the Esencia is limited to the availability of the very best in raw materials.”
I was gifted this sampler box.
This Esencia Limited Edition 3-Cigar with Palio Cutter Sampler includes:
1 – Esencia Tres Petit – 4 x 40
1 – Esencia Canonazo – 5 1/2 x 52
1 – Esencia Lancero – 7 x 38
1 – Esencia Branded Palio Cutter
List Price: $75.00 Actual Price: $54.95

These cigars have been around a while…since 2008. They come in five sizes: 5.63 X 46, 5.12 X 42, 4.875 X 50, 5.5 x 52 Belicoso, and a 7 X 47 Churchill. Prices range from $7.00-$10.00 at MSRP single price. Cheaper by the box. And and 2 Guys Smoke Shop are the only places I can find that has the whole set of sizes.

Construction is very rustic. Lots of veins. A very oily medium brown wrapper. Some seams are good and others are totally exposed. And a nicely placed single cap. The wrapper is very smooth to the touch. The cigar band is very simple and old school looking.

I clip the cap and find aromas of dark cocoa, sweetness, hickory, nuttiness, and spice.
Time to light up.

The cigar starts out sweet. A very rich earthiness follows. A buttery nuttiness appears. And a very woody component.
The draw is great. The char line is nice.

Some spiciness shows up.

Some cocoa arrives and enhances the sweetness.

This should be a text book example of flavor bomb status due to the size. But let’s see.

The ash is dark gray to black.
The stick is really pumping out smoke now.

Lancero size is a very limited market. I’m not sure why. They are one of the most flavorful sizes.

I should add that when I checked the Esencia web site, there were only five sizes shown: 7 x 47, 5.625 x 46, 5.5 x 52, 5.125 x 42, and 4.875 x 50. Two of the sizes in the sampler box must be special made only for the sampler. That’s a lot of work for only 500 boxes.

An inch in, creaminess appears complementing the sweetness. The packing of tobacco in the cigar is hit and miss. Some parts are rock solid and others seem to need a bit more tobacco. Regardless, it burns very slowly. I expected this to be a quick smoke. Apparently, not.

The red pepper ratchets up bringing the cigar to classic medium body. The wood element gets stronger. I can taste some sort of fruit preserve in the background. Almost like peach or apricot.

I begin the second third and a sweet caramel flavor enters. So far, this is a typical Nicaraguan flavor profile. Nice but nothing spectacular. And since the line has a typical price point of $7-$10, I’m guessing this stick is somewhere in the middle should it come to market.

Based on the first third, is this cigar worth $8? Nope. I’ve reviewed $5-$6 cigars with much more character. By now, this cigar should have been a full-fledged flavor bomb.

Instead, it is just a very pleasant cigar. I smoked the robusto that came with the pack a few days ago and had the same reaction. I chose to review the Lancero for its potential…which, so far, is letting me down.

A small amount of bitterness enters the picture.

Here are the flavors in order: Creaminess, sweetness, caramel, pepper, wood, cedar, and fruit.

The problem with smoking and writing a review at the same time is the possibility of boredom. Most reviewers take notes and then review. I tried that at first but was not comfortable with that. It cut off my enthusiasm at the knees. It was too dry.

Flavors begin to pick up at the halfway mark. More pronounced. No changes, just bolder.
The bitterness is gone now.

The last third starts now. And based on what I’ve tasted, I don’t think the Esencia line of cigars is going to take the cigar world by storm. I am surprised actually. Mark Aub is a sharp cat and I think he settled. It reminds me of the guys with lots of bucks who want to start their own boutique blend. So they go down to Nicaraguan and visit several farms.

The owner throws a bunch of blends on the conference table and they rich guy sits and smokes cigars all afternoon until he exclaims, “That’s the one!”

Now, I’m not saying that this is what Aub did, but it feels like it because a man with a thriving cutter business should have been more selective of the first cigar to represent the company.

The flavor profile begins to pick up speed now. Flavors are very potent. But it took 4” to get here. Too long.

Maybe this is old school blending at its best. The cigars need 6-9 months of humidor time. But that doesn’t make sense.

I’m enjoying the last third and if these flavors were present, in this form, near the beginning of the cigar, I would have highly recommended it. But for $8, I can recommend a couple dozen other cigars that are better.

I’m also surprised at the quality control. So far, neither of the two cigars was the size advertised. They were off by quite a bit. Were the rollers rolling the cigars on their laps?

I’m down to just a couple inches.

The cigar finishes with the strength moving up to medium/full.

Well, you know how I feel. Spending $55 or $75 on this sampler box of only 3 cigars and a custom Palio cutter ain’t worth it. So whoever sent this gift to me, thank you. And I appreciate the gesture.

If you are looking to buy some Esencia cigars, you can get them at: 2 Guys Cigars and

And now for something completely different:

Ever shit your pants?
On the road with Black Sabbath in 1975, this was something Ozzie like to do…a lot.

The first time were traveling convoy style in three limousines. We were somewhere in England. Traveling down their version of a freeway.

Ozzie was in the first limo with, the band was in the second limo and we were in the last.

The driver put the separator window down and yelled for us to look at something. We opened the top and all cramped ourselves into it so we could see.

Ozzie was leaning out of the limo window with a big handful of his shit. He kept pretending like he was going to throw it at the second window. We were grossed out and laughing at the same time.

And then he threw it. It hit the second limo’s windshield square in front of the driver. The limo swerved and pulled over. So did we.

We got out only to see the driver using an oil soaked rag from the trunk to wipe it off; the whole time gagging.
We started sympathetic gagging and rushed back to our limo and told the driver to take off.

After the gig that night, we all met at some hip club. It must have been around 2am. Around 10 of us sat in one of those half circle booths. Ozzie was in the middle. I sat two people away.

We were having a great time. The gig went really well. And we didn’t have to be tortured by the audience yelling for Black Sabbath while we played a shortened set of 45 minutes. We were a big band making its comeback and lots of people came to see us.

Black Sabbath had a roadie that was the stupidest man on the planet. Ozzie kept him on so he could prank him.
This roadie sat right next to Ozzie this night. He leaned behind him and told us to watch.
Oh no.

Ozzie managed to slip his trousers around his ankles and wasn’t wearing underwear. He then took a big shit into his hands.
As soon as the aroma hit the table, half the people left….but not me. This was worth the price of admission playing with Black Sabbath.

Ozzie dropped the turd into the roadie’s drink while he wasn’t looking. Ozzie motioned for me to get the roadie’s attention. I sighed and did so.

As the roadie gave his attention to me, he lifted his drink to his mouth.

The roadie stood up, screamed, and said, “Wot the fock is this?”

The people still at the table started gagging. We all got up and left.
A huge crowd of people stood about 10 feet away laughing.

Fortunately, we only did 3 gigs with Black Sabbath.



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5 replies

  1. Thanks for yet another honest, entertaining review. Oh and note to self: NEVER under ANY circumstance shake Ozzie’s hand!!!!!

  2. I really enjoy your reviews but I do have one suggestion. It would be very helpful when you say “this cigar is not worth the money for this flavor profile, there are plenty of cigars in the X$ rage that are better”., if you could list a few examples of cigars with that flavor profile in said dollar range. I honestly purchase a lot of cigars based on your reviews so I do appreciate them.

    • Matt,
      I appreciate your comment. But listing all the cigars in the $5-$6 price range that are excellent cigars will take a long time. I have written over 1700 reviews.
      I will do an abbreviated version and just pick cigars from…say…2012-2014.
      Give me a few days to come up with a list.

      • Completely agree that the data would be overwhelming, and what you suggested was exactly what I would like to know… “these are my top 3 with this profile for 7$” type of thing. Thanks for doing all the leg work!