Some may call it City of Bridges, some may call it City of Champions and some may call it Steel City, but whatever name you call it, you are referring to Pittsburgh, PA. In that large city is an area northeast of downtown called The Strip. This area began as a large industrial development area, but by the 1970's it was turning more into retail locations than industrial centers. Today it is known for its restaurants, coffee shops, ethnic food stores, retail stores and Leaf and Bean in the Strip. Leaf and Bean, which is located at 2200 Penn Ave., is a colorful cigar shop that is owned by a man of Jim Robinson. He goes by the nickname Island Jim, and if you ever saw photos of him you would understand why. When I first saw a photo of him I thought, is this guy a parrothead? Either way, Island Jim has a lovely cigar shop and has currently been teaming up with some smaller manufacturers in making a lot of in house blends. He has teamed up with the crew of RoMa Craft Tobac, Noel Rojas and a man by the name of Oscar Valladares.
With Oscar, Jim has created a blend with four different wrappers. Each cigar is rolled like your standard cigar, and instead of being left out of cellophane or in cellophane they used a tobacco leaf and wrapped it around the cigar. What you are left with is a cigar that is covered with a tobacco leaf, and to get to the cigar you have to unravel the tobacco leaf protecting it. It is very cool in presentation and is one of the most unique things I have seen done. The extra leaf protects the cigar, but is much cooler than cellophane. Packaging is probably a pain in the ass, but who cares if it looks good. For this review I am going to be covering all the blends as these were samples I smoked back to back. Each are unique and very enjoyable. Enough of this though, let's get down to business.
Made in Danli, Honduras, all Leaf & Bean by Oscar smokes are toros, and measure 6" with a 50 ring gauge. All cigars have Honduran tobacco in the filler and binder, but the Connecticut features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, the Corojo an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper, Maduro a Nicaraguan maduro wrapper and the Sumatra features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Each cigar has a band over the tobacco leaf covering the cigar that classifies the wrapper underneath, and when you take off that leaf you see the standard Leaf by Oscar band. All the cigar were rolled well and had a nice firmness to them and a solid cold draw. Oscar Valladares is a guy who I have not head of before this cigar, but he is producing his own line which will be a Honduran puro. I am interested to see how this cigar will be, as I love good Honduran puros, but these cigars will be helpful in seeing what he can do.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 93, 91, 91,89