Reading Time: 5 minutes Don Pepin Garcia makes some astounding cigars, but are they as good when the price is bargain? That’s what we’ve come to find out! See our reviews to learn if it’s a buy or a bye…
CA Review Panel: Siboney Reserve Maduro Cigar Review (Video)
The Siboney Reserve Maduro by Aganorsa Back Story
It’s no secret. Avid cigar enthusiasts have discovered that the tobaccos grown on the Aganorsa estate farms in Nicaragua are among the best in flavor, color, texture, and aroma. It’s what’s made cigars by Aganorsa Leaf, Warped, Illusione, and HVC, among others, achieve incredibly loyal followings.
Founded by Eduardo Antonio Fernández Pujals in 1997, Aganorsa tobacco is grown and supervised by Cuban agronomists in the old-fashioned Cuban tradition. As a result, Aganorsa Leaf has become a tour de force in the cultivation of Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99 tobacco. Now under the direction of Eduardo’s son, Max Fernandez, the company also has its own factories in Estelí, Jalapa, and Miami, Florida.
A Cuban Revival
In 2019 Aganorsa breathed new life into a bygone Cuban brand – Siboney Reserve. Offered in four shapes, that cigar is a full-bodied Nicaraguan puro rolled in a flawless Corojo 99 wrapper. Made exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop, Siboney Reserve by Aganorsa has become one of the best-selling boutique cigars in Famous’s private label arsenal.
Enter Siboney Reserve Maduro by Aganorsa. This dark sequel boasts a ripe Mexican San Andrés wrapper over the same hearty, Aganorsa estate-grown core tobaccos as Siboney Reserve. And also like its predecessor, Siboney Reserve Maduro is made expressly for Famous Smoke Shop, presented in boxes of 10 cigars, and offered in the following four shapes:
- Toro – 6″ x 52 (box-pressed)
- Lonsdale – 6″ x 44
- Robusto – 5¼” x 50 (box-pressed)
- Rothschild – 4½” x 48
Siboney Reserve Maduro by Aganorsa – Toro
Factory: TABSA S.A. – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 6″ x 52, box-pressed
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder & Filler: Aganorsa estate-grown Nicaraguan
Presentation: Box of 10 cigars
John Pullo’s Tasting Notes…
Construction: A very soft box press, and the barrel has nice give. Wrapper is milk chocolate brown with very fine tooth.
Draw: Nice and wide open.
Pre-light flavor: Fermented tobacco, sweet cream and leather – along with something else I can’t quite put my finger on.
Toasting & Light: Cedar, dark chocolate and a hint of salt. Base flavors: Cedar, fermented tobacco, dark chocolate.
Retrohale: That’s where you find the spice…
Aroma: Sweet cedar.
Burn & Ash Quality: Ash stacks nicely, with some flake; we’ll call it a “chewy” burn line, like someone went after it with nipping pliers.
Balance of flavors: Not a large number of flavors, but every one gets a turn.
We start with sturdy tastes up front, primarily wood and dark chocolate – then round out quickly to leather and sweet. Pepper eventually becomes noticeable, but never really establishes itself as a staple of the flavors. If it’s front-loaded, it’s not with the spicy stuff. As for the general tastes, there’s cedar for sure; leather, too. The best way to describe that underlying sweetness is that it’s like what a chocolate chip cookie tastes like when there are no chocolate chips…so I guess that would be brown sugar.
The Maduro taste is savory, but doesn’t overdo it…like how soy sauce is super savory, or A-1 steak sauce? Those are over-savory. This Siboney has a San Andres wrapper that creeps up on your taste buds, as opposed to conquering them like Vikings – which is something a Broadleaf might do. If you’re pairing this, try a stout – even with a low ABV, it’s got plenty of body to match up with Maduro. If you’re not a beer person, try a whiskey with smooth and fruity tasting notes on the bottle.
With nice, thick smoke all the way to the end, this is what I’ll call a midday Maduro – and I was really close to saying, “let’s add this to the list in our Maduros for Beginners buying guide.” Then I got near the end, and this Aganorsa just opened up with a burst of strength. So, after you’ve developed a taste for Maduro and you’re ready to explore more, be sure you make a stop here at Siboney Reserve.
Jared Gulick’s Tasting Notes…
Construction: Excellent craftsmanship with an even press. The wrapper is evenly dark and mostly seamless.
Pre-light flavor: A little zesty, but sweet.
Toasting & Light: Peppers, earth, and spices.
Base flavors: Coffee, nuts, and sweet earth, and pepper. Dark chocolate later. Gets creamy at times.
Retrohale: Hot and potent. Heavy on the pepper.
Aroma: Nutty and sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Excellent ash that takes a good amount of tugging to remove.
Balance of flavors: Good balance here between strength and flavor. Both are high on the spectrum.
We received quite a few samples of these cigars, so I had a little fun and tested a bunch of different sizes. I noticed that the smaller sticks tended to be stronger and fuller flavored. That’s typical, but the strength of the Lonsdale, for example, was quite high in contrast. If you’re reading this review and like smaller ring gauges, just be ready for it!
Let me start this review with two questions. Do you like strong cigars? Do you like full-flavored cigars? If you answered yes to those questions, Siboney Reserve Maduro deserves to be penciled into your schedule. The market is filled with nicotine bombs that are good when you want your derriere kicked but lack memorable flavor. This Maduro will give that familiar lump in your throat while still managing to thoroughly impress your taste buds.
My Toro sample was exciting up front. Heavier hitting in the beginning with big pats of pepper and spice, but strangely not so much heat…at least not until later. After about two inches, the strength starts to back off and the peppers make room for drier notes of coffee and nuts. Plus, there’s a pleasant creaminess that came throughout the rest of my session. Toward the second half and beyond, the cream transitions to flavors of dark chocolate through the nose, and even a little on the finish. As you make your way through, the retrohale gets a little more bite-y, so be on the lookout for that.
It’s an unbelievably delicious cigar for the money! A must-try smoke for full-bodied fans is my verdict, and I’d recommend this cigar to those with plenty of experience.
Gary Korb’s Tasting Notes…
Construction and Overall Appearance: Beautiful. The cigar is seamlessly rolled and well-pressed inside a very fine-toothed wrapper. There were no soft spots along its length and the head was finished with a neatly applied, triple seam cap.
Draw (airflow): Just right
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Coffee, cocoa, nutmeg.
First few puffs: Salt, leather, sweet tobacco, earth, cedar, pepper.
Base flavors: Leather, cedar, damp earth, sweet spice, coffee grinds, bittersweet chocolate, black pepper.
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent. The ash is very compact and mostly grey in color.
Aroma: Sweet and sharp.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.
The cold draw, which had that very familiar coffee and cocoa essence found in a number of Nicaraguan cigars, is what first caught my attention. But, like a lot of pre-light flavors, once lit, they were gone. For me, the cigar opened with a medium-full dose of light salt, leather, earth, cedar, and sweet tobacco with a peppery finish. The first act offered plenty of thick, chewy smoke, which continued throughout the entire session. But this early stage went through a mostly earthy-woody phase with only slight sweetness, while black pepper notes lingered on the finish.
As my Toro hit the midsection, the body and strength moved-up a notch, but it was just getting warmed-up. The sweetness remained surprisingly low-key as the leather, cedar and earth constituted most of the base. Moving along, flavors of coffee grinds and cocoa entered the mix riding atop that layer of black pepper.
I found this unusual for a cigar with a San Andrés maduro wrapper, but the sweetness didn’t fully reveal itself until the final third. By then, I was consumed by an onslaught of leather, cedar, sweet spice, damp earth, coffee grinds, bittersweet chocolate, and black pepper.
Suffice it to say. . .the Siboney Reserve Maduro Toro offered a dark, full-bodied, and spicy smoke that will appeal mostly to those who crave bold, balanced Nicaraguan cigars. That said, I wouldn’t dissuade novice-level cigar smokers from this cigar, but for this caveat: The last act packs a heady salvo of Nicaraguan earth and spice. Regardless, the icing on the cake is that the Siboney Reserve Maduro Toro is also reasonably priced for the luxurious, hour-plus experience it provides.