Name Change for Well Known Brand

Aganorsa Leaf Logov2

Casa Fernandez is changing its name to Aganorsa Leaf. The company is best known for creating brands such as Casa Fernandez, JFR, Lunatic, Guardian of the Farm, and others.

Company reps say the name change is to better align the brand with its tobacco-growing roots. Most of the current brands are crafted with Aganorsa tobacco.

by Frank Samandari
Industry News Contributor
The Layman’s Cigar

Frank Samandari is an award-winning journalist, web writer, and voice talent based near Daytona Beach, Florida.


Review: Flor de Valle by Warped

Don’t let the diminutive size fool you: this cigar packs a fine punch. My only concern was that the spice was a bit overpowering up to three inches in.

Flor de Valle by Warped6” x 42 (“Cristales”)
Full Bodied
Corojo wrapper

Review: 50 Caliber by Warfighter

50 Caliber by Warfighter

I really wanted to love this veteran-owned brand. Unfortunately, this smoke fell short in many ways.

The wrapper was thin, the ash hold non-existent. It’s “light on leaves” construction made it burn hot and fail to stay lit past one or two puffs. The overall taste was one of ash and an unpleasant after taste.

This one should go back to the drawing board.

50 Caliber by Warfighter5” x 50
Columbia, Nicaragua
Medium Bodied
Maduro wrapper

Big Brother Strikes Again

If good ol’ Andy Cuomo gets his way (again), your favorite smokes could soon cost a lot more. The New York governor is poised to approve a budget that includes a roll back in cigar taxes to the 2013 rate (75 percent of the wholesale price).

Cuomo says “revenue actions” are necessary to close a $4.4 billion shortfall. Along with the cigar tax rate hike, he’s proposed increases on other product taxes. If approved, the changes would take effect September 01.

Smoke Screen

If these misguided lawmakers pass the budget (which is almost certain), a $10 cigar would be taxed $1.43. A $20 cigar would be hit with a whopping $2.85 tax. Savvy consumers will simply bypass New York brick-and-mortar stores and cross state lines for their smokes (online sales would still incur the state tax), hitting small business owners where it hurts and putting their quality of life in jeopardy.

This is just another battle in the larger war on tobacco. In a region that regulates everything from sugary drinks to public animal performances, it’s difficult not to view the tax increase as one more attack on anything good ol’ Andy and his out-of-touch cronies don’t personally enjoy.

But despite their best efforts, good ol’ Andy and the maniac New York lawmakers will never prevent God-fearing, hard-working, tax-paying citizens from exercising their still legal right to enjoy cigars.

by Peter P. Gaseoustania
The Layman’s Cigar

(Still) Not a Safe Alternative

A new study has found that e-cigarette flavors contain cancer-causing chemicals. The study concluded that fruity flavors top the list for harmful additives.

For years, I’ve argued that — despite public claims to the contrary — e-cigarettes are not a “safe” alternative to tobacco use. However, lawmakers across the country have embraced ‘vaping’ whilst demonizing tobacco.

While I certainly can’t be happy to learn of any potential health harm, as a cigar smoker and tobacco enthusiast, I hope this new insight will help level the playing field. At the least, lawmakers and the general public should immediately wake up to the facts and end their sickening love affair with vaping.

by Peter P. Gaseoustania
The Layman’s Cigar

Smoke or Drink (but Not Both)

Virginia tobacco enthusiasts will have to forego their favored adult beverages whilst enjoying a fine cigar in the state’s lounges. Lawmakers voted down a bill that would have allowed beer, wine, and liquor consumption at cigar bars.

State law says “mixed beverage licenses” can only be issued to establishments whose revenue constitutes at least 45 percent food sales. Since most cigar bars don’t sell food, they’re ineligible under current law.

Review: ADN Dominicano by La Aurora

ADN Dominicano by La Aurora

The thin, overly veiny wrapper overshadowed any pleasant notes of sourdough and hay present. From there, it was simply a downhill spiral.

This stick has absolutely zero ash hold. The ensuing taste is reminiscent (one can only assume) of licking a full ash tray. Then there’s the unravelling wrapper. I cut the smoke short not half-way in. This is a “gas station cigar” at a hand-rolled price.

As a La Aurora fan, it pains me to be so blunt. But I’ve vowed to be fair and honest in this forum. Regardless of my appreciation/affection for the brand, I must call a spade a spade.

This is a downright disappointing cigar. The manufacturer that’s produced countless gems, sadly, created a dud here. As they say, no one can be perfect 100 percent of the time.

ADN Dominicano by La Aurora6” x 58
Dominican Republic
Full Bodied
Connecticut wrapper

Not So Fast

Not everyone wants to raise the smoking age. Lawmakers in four states have spoken out against proposed legislation. Bills in Indiana, Idaho, and Mississippi failed to meet a vote deadline, while a similar measure in South Dakota fell flat in the House.

Politicians and citizens in these states wonder why a country that allows 18-year-olds to vote, join the military, and legally purchase firearms doesn’t trust their judgement when it comes to tobacco. Meanwhile, at least 14 other states continue to push for the misguided measure.

by Peter P. Gaseoustania
The Layman’s Cigar