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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Aganorsa Leaf (formerly Casa Fernandez) Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch Orpheus
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: cfickter (Cfickter)
79
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member Deener27 (David).  The cigar provided for this round is the Aganorsa Leaf Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch Orpheus.

The Hype: The original Guardian of the Farm line was a collaboration with Kyle Gellis of Warped Cigars and Max Fernández of Aganorsa Leaf.  However, Nightwatch is a solo project, created by Fernandez alone.

It's an all-Nicaraguan blend said to be “more intense” than its predecessor, and uses only tobaccos grown by Aganorsa. The Corojo binder is from Jalapa while the filler is a mix of Corojo and Criollo tobaccos grown in Estelí and Jalapa. The wrapper is a dark, Corojo maduro wrapper grown under shade tents in Jalapa. According to Aganorsa, the wrapper is a proprietary tobacco.


Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
44
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Corojo
Criollo
Binder:
Corojo
Wrapper:
Corojo
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Lonsdale

This cigar was enjoyed with Water

Pre-Light: 17 Points of 10 Possible

An interesting cigar visually.  Double banded and closed foot.  Fairly veiny, with a one large vein.  Just a slight give on the body, very well constructed cap.  Pre-light aromas were milder than expected

Light & Burn: 5 Points of 15 Possible

This is really where the cigar fell apart for me.  Normally I feel A closed foot can help the cigar get off to a good even burn.  In t his case a small section took a touch up to get going and never really caught up to a good burn line.  During the final third I was getting some canoeing and that took a touch up.
There was a very small crack in the wrapper, but also very small cracks appeared while smoking.  Not a big issue, didn’t seem to affect the draw and smoked thru them
The ash was very layered, almost like stacked coins, but held very well
The smoke was great, thicker heavier than expected and so long as the cigar was lit plenty of smoke
The biggest issue I had was keeping the cigar lit.  You really had to watch it.  Letting it set for much more than 2 minutes and it would require a relight.  Almost seemed to take away from the enjoying the cigar


Construction: 27 Points of 30 Possible

Overall construction didn’t see to be within the quality of the Aganorsa factory. The cigar had a rough and bumpy appearance and there was also a slight larger bump that really stood out.  I understand that the rough looking wrapper can be an appearance choice by the manufacture, but I wasn’t sure if the large bump was or just bad bunching.
Overall the draw was always excellent, the cap never gave me any issues and held up very well thru the entire smoke.   The one small crack in the wrapper mentioned earlier, but really not a big deal
None of this really greatly affected the smoke and I really didn’t dock many points for it.


Flavor: 30 Points of 45 Possible

First 1/3
Right off the bat I was hit with a very strong spice, very much like a Pepin stick. Really exploded in the mouth hitting the roof and the tongue.  The retrohale took the spice to another level.  It was a very surprising and nice wake up call not to assume too much.  The spice it self was hard to nail down but a heavy mix of black pepper and the heat of cayenne but not the taste.  As the first 1/3 closed out the heavy spice really backed down..
Second 1/3
This part really mellowed out and the spice profile was more inline with a corojo wrapper. Despite being listed as a corojo maduro wrapper I got very little of the traditional maduro flavors.  But the mellowness of the second third was a nice rest after the the opening salvo of spice in the first 1/3
Final 1/3
Begins very much as the second third ended, some very light spices, and a little woody flavor pops in and out. The as we get to the halfway point a slow crescendo of spice begins to build and we are heading back towards the original spice level. It was really interesting the slow build of spice and at the end another big hit of spice in the final few draws really reminded you of the first 1/3



Summary

I am a huge Casa Fernandez, Aganorsa leaf fan.  Also, the Guardian of the Farm line is an exceptional smoke.  So, I was anxious to try this. The construction was not what I have seen in previous cigars from their factory.  From a flavor point of view, it showed some complexity and the slow spice ramp up in the final third was impressive.  Where it fell down for me was a little on the construction and a lot on the burn.  I can certainly live with small tears in the wrapper, after all if you smoke a Connecticut shade you deal with them.  But burn was a larger issue.  I had to pay too much attention to keeping it lit and not enough to enjoying the smoke. I would give this one a second chance.



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