Cigar Review: Leaf by Oscar Maduro

Cigar Review: Leaf by Oscar Maduro

Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co.
Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras
Size: 6” x 50
Strength: full
Price: $9.50

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 9.0

The Leaf by Oscar has an interesting concept of replacing the cellophane most cigars are wrapped in with a tobacco leaf. Beyond the tobacco leaf packaging, all the Leaf cigars are actually quite good. Oscar Valladares has done a great job making a line of cigars with a unique signature flavor to them. The Leaf by Oscar Maduro has quickly become a favorite of seasoned cigar enthusiasts with its mix of strength and flavor. These are cigars definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

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Pre-Light: The Leaf by Oscar Maduro has a very rustic look to it. The cigar is wrapped in a tobacco leaf instead of cello or tissue paper, which really sets it apart on store shelves. There’s a beef jerky color and appearance to the cigar’s Nicaraguan wrapper. Even the band (the paper of which is made from pounded Agave plants) fits with the rustic look of the Leaf.

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There’s an interesting campfire smell to the Leaf Maduro that is similar to a fire cured scent, but not quite as strong. A sweet wood and natural tobacco scent can be picked up off the unlit foot of the cigar. The cold draw is neither overly firm or loose, and lets through flavors of natural tobacco, smoked wood and treacle.

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Burn: The burn on the Leaf by Oscar Maduro is extremely even in throughout the cigar. An easy draw allows through a good amount of smoke. The white ash is great looking, but does not hold well to the cigar after the halfway point.

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Flavor: The Leaf Maduro begins with an earthy mix of black pepper, creamy cocoa and oak flavors. As the first third of the cigar begins to get going there are earth, cocoa, coffee, hay, red grapes, oak, black pepper and mild floral notes. None of the individual flavors seem to dominate, and the only word I can think of is “natural” to describe the overall flavor profile. On the retrohale there is very peppery with just the subtlest hint of something floral coming through. At the transition to the second third of the Leaf Maduro there is an interesting fruity flavor in the background that almost resembles peaches. The pepper dies down a bit in the second third of the cigar which allows the fruity and floral notes to come through somewhat better. Toward the end of the second third of the cigar there is a bit more cocoa and earth that come back into the forefront. Black pepper begins to come back to prominence in the final third. The last third of the Leaf by Oscar Maduro is rounded out by flavors of cocoa, peaty earth, oak and black pepper.

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Overall: Some people are bound to look at the Leaf by Oscar being wrapped in a tobacco leaf instead of cellophane as a gimmick (and to a certain extent it is), but what makes these cigars stand out is that underwear the wrapping is an extremely good cigar. The construction is top notch, as the cigar has an even burn and perfect draw throughout. The very natural flavor profile has a good deal of earth, pepper and cocoa to it. While the strength may be a bit much for some, it never overpowers the cigar’s flavor. Personally, the Leaf by Oscar Maduro has become a somewhat regular smoke for me in the past year, especially after a big steak dinner. There seems to be the right balance of strength and flavor to the cigar. If you haven’t tried any of the Leaf by Oscar cigars, I’d suggest you give this investing line a chance. Making cigars like this is what landed Oscar Valladares on our Most Fascinating People in the Cigar Industry 2015 list.

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Pairing: The Leaf by Oscar Maduro pairs well with a sipping rum such as the Papa’s Pillar, Kirk & Sweeney 12 or Zafra 21. The scotch drinker will find that peatier single malt such as the Ardbeg 10, Laphroig Quarter Cask or Lagavulin 16 will compliment the Leaf nicely.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)