On Wednesday, I got to hang a little bit with Island Jim Robinson, the man behind the Leaf idea. While created by Oscar in Honduras the concept belongs to Jim. As for the concept, it’s a gimmick, there is no hiding that however the cigars are damn good.
Leaf comes wrapped in a tobacco leaf instead of the traditional cello. You remove the ugly-looking tobacco leaf and underneath is a beautiful cigar. The benefits of the leaf is that it helps bring out the oils of the wrapper. Available in Connecticut, Corojo, Maduro and today’s Sumatra the Leaf continues to be one of the surprises of the industry.
Cigar: Leaf by Oscar
Size: Toro (6 x 50)
Source: Island Jim
The Look: If you don’t know the story behind the Leaf you would think it was the ugliest cigar on the market. I have seen customers try to smoke the cigar without removing the wrapper, and trying to explain the concept is comical. Once the outer leaf is removed the oily look Sumatra is begging to be smoked. In the hand the cigar is well packed with no soft spots and average weight.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Sumatra serves up a rich robust coffee note with some elements of grass and earth. The aroma off the unlit foot is earthy with a hint of wood notes. The initial light of the cigar has a subtle pepper note that is noticeable through the nose, and the initial notes are woodsy with hints of citrus.
Kicking back with my Leaf by Oscar Sumatra the pepper notes develop through the nose while the cigar looses the citrus notes. As the first third come to a close a chocolate note joins the mix with a hint of coffee developing.
The second third sees the pepper continue through the nose that has a hint of wasabi to it making it oh so flavorful. The chocolate begins to fade and the coffee takes over as the dominant note. A few times off the aroma of the cigar the chocolate made a cameo just before we transitioned into the home stretch.
The last third sees to pepper remain constant though the element of wasabi is no longer present. There is still some coffee notes that border on a strong espresso. Elements of earth come into play as the cigar nears the end.
The Burn: The ash of the cigar landed in my lap on a regular basis at around a half-inch just before I took an ash picture. It was white in color and showed no evidence of breaking but it just dropped. The draw of the cigar was near perfect though my personal preference would have liked to see a little more resistance and the cigar remained lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: Leaf by Oscar continues to surprise me with its multi layered notes that take control of the palate and invite the smoker into the experience. While we reviewed the Corojo and the Maduro in the past the Sumatra might stand at the top or at least side by side with the others.
Price: $9.19 /$159.99