Cigar Ratings & Reviews

CA Review Panel: JFR Lunatic by Aganorsa Leaf


JFR Lunatic by Aganorsa Leaf Backstory

In its earliest days, Lunatic was available in just one huge size. Something beyond a cigar; maybe what you’d expect one to look like in the late Cretaceous period. “Basically, the line started out with an 8” x 80 only,” said Terence Reilly, Vice President of Aganorsa Leaf. “The idea was, you need to be a lunatic to smoke something like that.”

And while we’re not braving near-baseball bat sized cigars (here’s a link to the behemoth if you’re brave enough) for this review, we’ve settled on a respectively hefty 6” x 54. It’s going to be an interesting review because none of us are prone to seeking out big-ring cigars, though we’ve been surprised by them in the past. Most notably, from a mellower sibling of this very stick—Lunatic Torch.

Will history repeat with a redux of the bolder original? That’s what we’re here to find out. Dive into our reviews below and see if you’d have to be crazy to smoke Lunatic—or not!

JFR Lunatic by Aganorsa Leaf – Cigar Details

Factory: TABSA Esteli, Nicaragua
Size Reviewed: 6” x 54 Hombre Libre (Toro)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction: Each agreed the cigar was well made.
Draw: John’s draw was quite firm. Paul’s had a touch of resistance, and Gary’s was just right.
Pre-Light & Toasting Flavors: Hay, earth, sweetness, nuts, and spice.
Key Cigar Flavors: Wood, spices, nuts, with sweet tobacco and hay.
Smoke Aroma: Woody, rich, pleasant, and better than expected.
Burn & Ash Color/Quality: Consistently firm light grey ashes with fewer-than-expected burning issues for the price.

Presented in boxes of 28

John’s Tasting Notes…

Summary: I know people like Aganorsa Leaf for the Rare Leaf, the Siboney Reserve, and all the freaky-boutiquey sticks they do with Warped. JFR is more my speed; cigars like Lunatic Hombre Libre speak volumes on value…if you’re comparing the flavor profile against the (relatively) low price. If we’re being truthful, there are other guys who would double the price of this cigar in a heartbeat, and still totally be able to sleep at night.

The heavier-bodied profile throughout is definitively Habano – but aside from the introductory puffs, not strong. Hombre Libre’s opening notes are wood, a mellow coffee bean, and a spice that starts to bloom. The finish is a little sweet, and that comes forward in the first third to develop a raisin quality. Even sweeter by the midpoint, it’s more like Fig Newtons with a touch of spice on the lips. The smoke is almost buttery as all that sweetness peaks. That rich raisin/fig note falls away by the time I hit the nub, teasing out a straight wood/earth/nuts taste balanced against fermented tobacco.

If you count them up, JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre doesn’t have many flavors – but the ones it has are great. It’s very well-rounded, very well-balanced, and blended, as this 6×54 is a great size. And it burns realllly slow. A pretty straightforward smoke, but Hombre Libre definitely gives you what you came here for.

Gary’s Tasting Notes…

Summary: You may be impressed by the flavor and performance of the JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre but wait ‘til you see the price.

Earthy and peppery through the first half inch, my first impression of the JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre was that the cigar had a very broad and dark quality to it. The cigar put out plenty of ambient smoke from the get-go, and I picked up a curious tartness early on that I couldn’t fully identify. Once the cigar rounded-out, an appealing creaminess ensued. The smoke was medium-bodied and sweet with a caramel, earth, and mixed nuts combo. By the second inch, the flavors balanced out nicely.

By the mid-section I was enjoying the journey even more. Caramel, nuttiness, cedar, and some Nicaraguan earthiness abounded with excellent balance and a creamy mouthfeel. Yet even with its medium body its strength appeared to have more weight.

The final inches shifted to medium-full but remained creamy as the flavors were earthier and more cedary while some sweetness remained.

I was very impressed with the JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre. It’s an attractive cigar, too. Sometimes manufacturers will use sleeves to hide a sub-par wrapper, but that’s not the case here. The blend performed beautifully on all the technical counts and smoked for over 90 minutes, all the while oozing dense clouds of ambient smoke. I enjoyed the mix of flavors and how well the cigar maintained its medium body and balance, which makes it a good anytime smoke. The only con for me was the closed foot—not a fan. Most notable is the cigar’s price, which is way more affordable than I would’ve guessed.

Suffice it to say… (as Paul might put it) the Hombre Libre was like a movie you’ve heard about; you’re not sure about the plot or even if you’ll like it. Then you go see it, and it exceeds your expectations.

Paul’s Tasting Notes…

Summary: Diving into the JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre you get hit with a false start. As in, you’re greeted with a hot red pepper kick that might have you reaching for your big boy britches, But it’s soon apparent that this beginning shotgun blast is pure Ecuador Habano wrapper from the closed foot. As the binder and filler take light, charred wood, leather, and a light floral note swoop in to soften the intensity and round out the flavor profile. Getting back to the closed foot for a minute, the first few draws are reminiscent of trying to drink a fresh milkshake—there’s resistance but the payoff is worthwhile.

As the JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre burns, the greyish ash grows to a stack of dimes—a signal of Aganorsa’s superb craftsmanship. Each draw issues a creamy and dense smoke with an appealing blend of floral and nutty aromas.

Moving to the midpoint of the Lunatic Hombre Libre, a rich and luxurious sweetness takes the blend to new heights. For me, this was the peak of the Hombre Libre—medium to full bodied with woody and nutty notes playing foil to the sweetness and adding layers of depth.

The last portion of JFR Lunatic Hombre Libre was akin to coasting to the finish line. Some spiciness and salty nuts re-emerge like an encore to a great concert. Overall, the Lunatic Hombre Libre clocked in as medium to full bodied and took nearly two hours from light to nub.

As someone who hasn’t smoked a lot from JFR—I was impressed with the richness, the depth in the flavor profile, and the construction. Not only is it a great looking stick, but what’s on the inside shines as bright as its gold foil sleeve hiding it. Anyone who loves Nicaraguan tobacco—and Aganorsa in particular—should become acquainted with the Hombre Libre pronto. All in all, I’d recommend this cigar to those looking for an affordable and tasty medium to full bodied treat.