Cigars under the collective title "Leaf by" first began making their way around craft cigar scenes in 2013. The name stems from the Leaf & Bean cigar shop in Pittsburgh, PA, where the shop's owner—"Island" Jim Robinson—began collaborating with the industry's most talented, yet relatively unnoticed prospects. Each collaboration is named for the master blender it is associated with (Leaf by Oscar, Leaf by James, Leaf by Esteban, etc.), with the small-batch releases originally intended to be sold as Leaf & Bean shop exclusives. But after more than five years running, it's safe to say the "small batch" project is now on a... more grand scale, with craft retailers across the country jumping at the chance to offer their customers the "magic of the Leaf."
Each cigar in the "Leaf by" series offers a completely unique smoking experience, custom built from the ground up. Go ahead, try them all, you may just find your new go-to cigar artisan!
Leaf by James
Leaf by James is a collaboration between "Island" Jim Robinson (of the Leaf & Bean cigar shop in Pittsburgh, PA) and James Brown (of Black Label Trading Co. and the Fabrica Oveja Negra cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua). It is a followup to the popular Leaf by Oscar line. Leaf by James utilizes a blend containing a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, an Ecuadorian Habano binder, and Nicaraguan filler. This cigar is known for its dark and gritty smoking experience.
Leaf by Esteban
Leaf by Esteban is a collaboration between renowned blender Esteban Dislas (the manager and co-owner of the Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño factory, best known for producing RoMa Craft cigars) and "Island" Jim Robinson (of the Leaf & Bean cigar shop in Pittsburgh, PA). The line is rolled at the Nica Sueño factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. With Leaf by Esteban, Esteban created a blend using aged Nicaraguan fillers and a unique double binder (Crillo and Corojo), all tucked beneath an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Fans of RoMa Craft's cigars can expect a similarly intense experience, showing a unique flare from Esteban's added creativity and freedom in this project.
Leaf by Omar
Leaf by Omar is another entry in the "Leaf by" series. This cigar is in collaboration with Omar González-Alemán’s La Corona Factory and "Island" Jim Robinson, of the Leaf & Bean cigar shop (located in Pittsburgh, PA). Don Omar Gonzales-Aleman took his background in farming to Havana, where he ran one of the most famous factories in La Corona.
Nick & Jim PBE
Nick & Jim PBE was originally to be named the "Lavida Isla," the name being a combination of Nick Syris (of LH Premium Cigars' Lavida Habana brand) and "Island" Jim Robinson (of the Leaf and Bean cigar bar and its famed island lifestyle). The duo had some problems getting naming rights, so they decided upon the moniker P.B.E., or Pre-Band Edition. It is made at the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory in Costa Rica and sports an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuador binder, and fillers from Nicaragua and Peru. This unorthodox blend produces a medium body and exotic flavors of wild herbs, aromatic cabinet spices, cedar, natural tobacco, and a hefty cocoa component.