Casa Fernández AGANORSA Leaf TABSA Aficion | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.5 x 48 “Aficion” Toro Extra
Strength: Medium
Price: $7.00

Today we take a look at the Casa Fernández AGANORSA Leaf TABSA Aficion.
Bought a box of 15 from Famous Smoke on sale (Still on sale) for $50.00 instead of $105.00. All sizes are on sale for $50.

Release Date: August 2016
Regular production

From (Feb. 2017):
“During the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Casa Fernández launched a new brand that is named after both the company’s factory in Esteli, Nicaragua as well as the company’s Nicaraguan growing operation.
“Dubbed the AGANORSA Leaf TABSA, the new line is made up exclusively of Nicaraguan tobacco and is available in four different vitolas, all packaged in boxes of 15. Tobacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) is not new, though over the last handful of years its gone through a renaissance thanks to brands like Foundation Cigar Co., Illusione and Warped.

“As for the TABSA line, each of the four vitolas are named after various aspects of the Buddhist faith: The Bodhi is a fig tree that Buddha is said to have been sitting under when he attained enlightenment; the Dharam is a label used for one of the Buddhist doctrine; Aficion refers to a hobby and Sunyata refers to the concept of emptiness or voidness.”

From Cigar Aficionado (April, 2018):
“If you’re going to the IPCPR trade show this summer, don’t look for a sign that says Casa Fernandez—the company is changing its name. From here on in, Casa Fernandez is going by the name Aganorsa Leaf.
“The company is known for brands like Casa Fernandez, JFR, Lunatic and Guardian of the Farm, Cigar Aficionado’s No. 8 cigar of 2017.

“According to a statement, the name change and new logo are designed to align the company identity more closely with the Fernández family’s vast tobacco growing operation in Nicaragua—Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.—known as Aganorsa. The large agricultural conglomerate is owned by Eduardo Fernández.
“Most brands produced by Casa Fernandez/Aganorsa Leaf are made with Aganorsa tobacco.

“Aganorsa tobacco is our strength,” said Terence Reilly, vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s essential cigar aficionados associate our cigars with the incredible leaf we grow.”

“According to the press release, the name change is only the first step in a larger series of upcoming changes to rebrand the company.

“It should be noted that previous brands which incorporate the Casa Fernandez name (Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf, Casa Fernandez Miami) will not change, but the cigars will be packaged and adorned with the new Aganorsa Leaf logo and design materials.

“This is an important moment in our company’s history,” said Max Fernandez of Aganorsa Leaf. “The leaf we grow in Nicaragua has made our cigars distinctive in flavor and aroma.”

Bodhi No.1 ~ 5.25 x 50 $6.98
Aficion No.2 ~ 6.5 x 48 $7.00
Dharam No.3 ~ 6 x 52 $7.20
Sunyata No.4 ~ 6 x 60 $7.60

A very oily stick in the hues of gingerbread/mocha/pecan. The slightest hint of tooth. Seams are just barely visible. Veins are minimal with no large ones on duty. It has a beautifully crafted quad cap.

From the shaft, I can smell sweet cream, cocoa, caramel, cotton candy, red pepper, cedar, ginger and nutmeg, malts, floral notes, and earth, wind, and leather.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell strong cedar, cocoa, malt, creaminess, red pepper, floral notes, baking spices, barnyard, and oatmeal cookies.

The cold draw presents flavors of coffee, malts, cocoa, creaminess, red pepper, cedar, and various spices.

Clearly, this is a budget cigar from the new Aganorsa brand replacing the Casa Fernandez branding. I paid $3.33 per stick instead of the $7.00 per stick everyone but Famous Smoke is charging.

The stick is really plugged. This is my third cigar. All three had plug issues. Yep…out comes my PerfecDraw cigar poker tool and ream the shit out of it.
We are good to go.

Upfront are flavors of cream, red pepper, heavy malts, espresso, dark chocolate, cedar, and a nutty confection.
Strength hits medium immediately.

The red pepper is joined by black pepper. Black pepper coats the back of my throat but red pepper attacks my tongue and sinuses.

The cigars were not rolled by skilled folks. I had burn issues on all those I smoked and now this one is no different. I correct the burn but if it’s like the previous cigars, I will keep my lighter handy for more confrontations begin with the letters FU.

Still, it is shaping up to have a very intriguing flavor profile. Touches of complexity settle in early.

The Casa Fernández AGANORSA Leaf TABSA Aficion is showing off at an early stage that it is worth your time and attention. Just don’t be a jackass and spend $7+ per stick. Snag the Famous Smoke deal while it’s still available and tell my friends at Famous the Katman sent you. That should get their giddy-up.

Chocolate covered raspberry gel candy is impossible to ignore. Pumpkin spice is up at bat. Malts cover the spectrum. The creaminess is one of those elements that is especially decadent. All I can think of is French cream desserts.

Nuts are permeating through the barrage of other flavors by exacting components of almonds, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts. All creamy and sweet nuts. My nickname when I was younger but I don’t think it was a compliment.

Strength hanging in at medium.
At $3 a stick, this is a great knock around stick heads and shoulders above any like priced cigar. At $7+ per stick, it falls short. Nice but not exciting.

Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Complexity has died down some. The cigar experience is more of a linear road than a Moe saying, “Spread out.”

I’ve had these cigars in my humidor, naked of course, for two months. The first two I tried were underage and not ready for prime time. So should you choose to snag some, remember, patience is a virtue.

I commend the blend on having a spectacular finish. You can see for miles and miles and miles…
I watched a rock documentary on AXSTV last night. It was about the making of “Tommy.” I mistakenly believed it was about the movie, not the album. I thought that just maybe they would show where it was recorded at George Martin’s Air Studios. Which is where we mixed Curved Air’s “Live” album in 1974. We were right next door in the other studio where Townshend was producing the movie soundtrack. I was wrong.
There is an astringent flavor running amok. It is a weird combo of citrus and fruit cake. Odd.

The cigar blend has a conviviality that endures even though the complexity is not going to rock your world. Transitions are minimal. But overall, it’s a very nice blend…at $3.33

At that price, it would be nice to buy a few boxes for all sorts of occasions like a bris, or after eating a hunk of placenta from your newborn, or changing that diaper after the baby’s shit has become an environmental hazard. All good excuses to share this cigar with your friends and family; if you are expected to dole out celebratory cigars.

Halfway point and complexity finally finds a domicile. It took the entire first half of the cigar to get to this point in which the Casa Fernández AGANORSA Leaf TABSA Aficion takes a death grip on your palate.

I don’t know if a few more months will allow this blend to start with a bang or if it’s just another blend you must smoke at least half of before things really brighten up.

Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.

The Casa Fernández AGANORSA Leaf TABSA Aficion finds its soul at this point celebrating with a tantalizing array of flavors and complexity. If this blend had started out of the chute this way, my rating would have been higher. More humi time? Fuck if I know.

Remember the song, “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum from 1969? Greenbaum ditched the music business in 1972 and became a dairy farmer. I can respect that.

Depth and balance are in play and making this a totally different blend from the first half. There is redemption.
Strength slides up to medium/full.

Ever have the experience of your girlfriend trying to jerk you off under the table while at a big family gathering for Passover? Me neither.

I definitely recommend the Casa Fernández AGANORSA Leaf TABSA Aficion if you buy it from Famous Smoke for less than half the price that it is going for everywhere else. In fact, all 4 sizes are going for $50.

I’m going to allow this blend a few more months of humi time to see if it makes a difference in improving the first half.
Final smoke time is one hour 25 minutes.

RATING: 78 for first half. Rating: 90 for second half.

And now for something completely different:
1974 ~ Curved Air

Since we were a chick singer based band with classical musicians behind the helm; I was generally a loner on stage. There wasn’t room for a fifth actor on stage…especially a California bassist with no classical training…even though he was able to keep up with this group of snobbish egomaniacs.

So I did my job admirably, honing in on my bass riffs and always finding ways to make them better….stealing the thunder of the other instruments. This, of course, was the beginning of my long decline in the band. Don’t upstage the stars. But I was young…I was 24. What did I know?

Back in the day, the English motorways had truck stops every 25 miles. One day we stopped at one to have lunch out of convenience only. The food was served cafeteria style and it was always the same and always horrible.

At the news stand, I saw a yo-yo and bought it. I had an idea for that night’s performance.

During our first encore, Sonja Kristina approached the mic and thanked everyone; and since she was really high, most of it was rambling muck. So I would move to the front of the stage and stand next to her; not saying a word…and play with my yo-yo. It sounded like fun when I bought it.

All was going according to plan as I approached the chick on the massive stage and stood beside her. I played with the yo-yo and not a single snicker from the crowd. They wanted her, not me.

And while I felt the gag going flat, I heard from the side of the stage the band leader, Darryl Way and violinist, yelling, “1-2-3!”

He was counting in our first encore song and I was a good forty feet from my amp and not plugged in. I looked at him and with beseeching eyes, begged him not to do this. He was a sadistic fuck and the song began without me. Naturally, it was a very bass line heavy tune and there was no bass in play.

I dashed to my amp, plugged in and attempted to get the hanging yo-yo off my finger. I couldn’t. It was stuck.
I tried to play with the string stuck to my finger but it was getting caught up in my bass strings fouling them dead.

I screamed for a roadie and our head roadie came to the rescue. I screamed at him to cut the string and instead of doing that, he took a screwdriver and began to unscrew one of the pick-ups on my bass. WTF?

Beric Wickens was a big man and with him bent over in front of me, I could not see anything but a big expanse of fat. So I pounded on his back until he stopped and he looked up, with his sweaty face, and listened to what I was saying. He snipped the string and I joined the song.

Of course, by that time, we were at least halfway through the song. I missed my bass solo and, now….I got my laughs from the audience.

In the dressing room later, the band leader and I screamed at each other and pushed each other around. I was furious. And adrenaline took over my 165lb frame. I shoved him right into the buffet table, knocking it over, and everything spilling on to him

Darryl and I didn’t speak for a week. Neither apologized. We just went back to work and pretended it never happened.
I, never again, tried to be the focus of attention. Not when you are playing with a gaggle of narcissists.


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5 replies

  1. Hey katman, I’m Adam P from Arlington VA, I have been reading your reviews for several months now I read them almost every night while enjoying my cigars and I’ve never commented before. I know you probably don’t take much stock in what random people or first time commenters say on here but I’m a huge fan and highly respect your experience and decades of knowledge and I was wondering if you would ever considering compiling a list of New Breed blends kind of like your list of 174 great cigars in the $xx range? I, like many others, don’t have the time and money to wait 6 months before a cigar is ready to smoke to truly experience blender intent and the full potential of my cigars. I hope to hear back and will continue to read your reviews and stories! Btw I bought a PerfecDraw because of your endorsement and absolutely love it!

  2. Hi Adam,
    Where did you get the idea that “I don’t take much stock in what random people or first time commenters say.” The only comment I’ve ever made is that sometimes I get readers who tell me they like my rock n roll stories better than my reviews. Other than that, I always welcome comments or emails from readers no matter if they’ve contacted me before or not. I respond to every single message and email I receive. I’ve developed many friendships with my readers over the years.
    That being said, No. I won’t go through the thousands of reviews I’ve written and make some sort of list that delineates some sort of additional information on all the New Breed cigars I’ve smoked. I’m 68 and get $165 for personal consultation.
    I just don’t have the will or inclination…or TIME…to do this. You will just have to do your own research. I’m sorry but I’m lazy and the task you are asking of me will take longer than my own expiration date.
    On the other hand, if you feel like writing without asking me to do some sort of instructional lesson, please feel free to drop me a line at
    Didn’t mean to be rough but hopefully other readers that ask me to do their bidding read this as well. I get a request like yours almost every day. I’m just too old…lol.
    Be well,

  3. Thanks so much for your reply Phil, this is exactly what prompted what I meant about “not taking too much stock” as I did not want to waste your limited time as I’m sure others have and definitely do not wish for you to do my bidding. You do a great service to us smokers every time that you write a review. Just wondered if you had have ever considering doing such, I understand now that would be a much bigger task than I considered originally I will continue doing my own research as you suggest. I would suggest other readers who might be interested in this and may read this comment to browse through your archives and search for the keywords “New Breed” which yields a couple results at least. Thank you nonetheless for your response and knowledge. Have a great day.

  4. II like Aganorsa stuff and was looking for some cheap cigars. So, I ordered 2 boxes. They’re dated 8/16 and 5/17. That doesn’t sound so bad. 🙂

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