Team Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich

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Cigar Details: Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich

  • Vitola: Belicoso
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $11.10
  • Release Date: April 2019
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich is medium brown and has a few slightly raised veins present. It also folds over the foot and almost completely covers it. The seams are smooth and barely visible. The head is a 109 style and is finished with some slightly wrinkled caps. The cigar has no band. The aroma from the wrapper is a barnyard funkiness and the foot is more woody even though it is almost completely covered by wrapper. The pre-light draw consists of sweet hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich is unbanded and seems to have a ‘109’ style cap and has a closed foot as well. Nosing the wrapper, I pick up baking spices, graham cracker, bread notes and light leather. In the foot, sweet prunes or stewed raisins and tobacco. I’m surprised I’m able to get anything from a closed foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich has a near Colorado Red wrapper shade providing an ever so light red hue to the wrapper. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even but quite firm and tapered head finished off with a well applied triple cap. Wrapper and enclosed foot aromas tell floral perfume, sharp cedar, barnyard stank and hay. Cold draw gives hay, cedar and chestnuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with wood, baking spice and mustiness. At a quarter inch in, a nuttiness joins the profile. At a half inch in, the wood gains a toasted note. The retrohale brings toasted oak and a slight mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the wood is more defined as oak and maintains the toasted aspect. The nuttiness has left as some light, dry earth has joined to go along with the light mustiness. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

My first few puffs bring sweet graham cracker, and light spices to finish each draw. The retrohale adds creaminess to the mix, as the post draw spices begin to linger on my tongue and lips. As the cigar progresses, the retrohale evolves to add powdered cocoa through the middle flavors. Minutes later, dry tannins join the post draw, but the flavor does not linger. Once the cigar has firmly settled in, post draw leather has developed, as the post draw cedar has a significant drying aspect on the palate. Bready notes take over the middle of the flavor profile in the bottom half. The post draw leather moves up to medium strength and coats my palate.

First Third

The most noticeable note within the first third is a fresh red pepper spice. In the midst of this note, there’s also toast, dried generic nuts and a bright citrus especially prevalent on the retrohale. The finish has a softer version of the fresh red pepper and cedar lingering on for minutes. Strength is medium-full, body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness becomes even with the toasted oak while the dry earth is fairly faint in the background. The retrohale brings toasted oak and mustiness. At an inch and a half, the profile is becoming a bit dry. As the third comes to a close, char takes over the toasted note attached to the oak. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

The baking spices are fading in strength as the Ground N Pound shifts into the second third. The retrohale has become bread and baking spices, as the leather on the post draw backs down to medium minus strength. As the cigar progresses, the post draw cedar continues to push the leather strength down. Once the cigar has settled into the second third, light cedar defines the middle of the flavors and the cocoa is all but absent. By the halfway point, light earthiness joins, as the baking spices are down in strength on the retrohale, leaving only the bread notes.

Second Third

Second third continues the trend of the fresh red pepper spice but now, there is a char building up to the overall profile. The char is also starting to seep through on the finish (with the same lingering red pepper and cedar). Strength and body is unchanged at medium plus and medium, respectively.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the charred oak is up front with a light mustiness in the background. The profile still carries a dryness. At a half inch in, some bitterness has joined the profile. The retrohale has maintained the toasted oak and mustiness. At an inch and a quarter, the mustiness has crept back up to be just behind the charred oak. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

The leather character moves to the front of the flavor profile with earth at the end of each draw. No other evolution is present for the remainder of the smoking experience.

Final Third

The last third continues to have the char build and what’s even worse is a metallic note being introduced. These notes, compounded by the fresh red pepper spice, are just not a good flavor combination. Strength and body finishes medium plus and medium, respectively.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy and I did have to do a touch-up in the middle third to keep everything  in sync. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

It’s no surprise given the factory these are produced in that the burn is very straight. The ash refuses to knock off at several points.There is a slightly lopsided burn in the bottom half of the middle third, which corrects itself.

Burn

The burn performance was a bit disastrous. Multiple touch-ups, two re-lights and the burn was hot and unpleasant by the time it got to the last third.

Draw

The draw was pretty snug. A draw tool helped for a little bit but things tightened back up.

Overall

The flavor profile was pretty linear. Mostly toasted oak and mustiness until char replaced the toasted note. The smoking time was pretty good, but the Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich is a fairly expensive cigar for the experience I received. It’s also interesting branding from a company that is typically pretty traditional. I’d be interested how the other vitolas smoke, but it’s probably not an experience that’s high up on my list of things to tackle.

Draw

I initially rated the draw as average as the resistance was over 3 notches. As the cigar settled in, the draw opened to around 2-1/2 notches.

Overall

This is another solid release from Aganorsa Leaf. The blend hits its stride by the end of the first third and is quite enjoyable through the second third as well. I found in the final third the complexity dropped to average, and didn’t seem to have the same flavor impact. I’d happily smoke another Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich.

Draw

The draw was tight. Even cutting to the end of the wrapped cap and using a draw tool led to no relief.

Overall

The Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich may very well be the first mediocre cigar using Aganorsa tobacco that I have ever had. This is a big statement coming from someone that has a high level of respect for Aganorsa tobacco. The cigar overall had too much spice, char and ending metallic notes. It did not really posses that Aganorsaesque quality that I tend to love so much. Perhaps these will get better with time? I sure hope so.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Subpar
GoodBurnAmazingBurnSubpar
GoodDrawGoodDrawAverage
AverageOverallGoodOverallSubpar

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

4.90

Cost/Point

$2.27

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$1.70

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

4.53

Cost/Point

$2.45

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf Ground N Pound Knuckle Sandwich

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