cigar review

Leaf by Oscar Maduro Big Johnny 8

The next cigar I will try as part of my cigar challenge should be from the Oscar cigar brand. However, I am not convinced that the Leaf by Oscar Maduro Big Johnny 8 that I ended up purchasing is from the same brand as featured in The Cigar Companion.

The Oscar cigar brand mentioned in the book is from the Dominican Republic. The cigar band featured the words ‘Hecho a mano’. It came in various sizes, including the Don Oscar, the Prince and the Oscarito. From my research, I cannot see a connection between the Oscar cigar brand and Oscar Valladares, the Oscar behind the Big Johnny 8.

The Oscar cigar brand as featured in The Cigar Companion

If you know any more about the original Oscar cigar brand, do reach out and let me know! Here’s more about the Big Johnny…

The stats:

Length: 8″
Ring Gauge: 66
Strength: Medium
Country of origin: Honduras

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduras
Binder: Honduras

Leaf by Oscar Maduro Big Johnny 8


Oscar Valladares appears to be the guy behind this particular cigar. His factory is located in Honduras and has been operating there since 2012. Oscar has connections with Rocky Patel. It appears they used to work together.

Oscar Valladares. Credit: Cigar Journal

The Big Johnny is associated with the Leaf by Oscar family of cigars. It is a huge 8 inches in length with a massive 66 ring gauge. It consists of a hefty amount of Honduran filler and binder tobaccos and a thick, beautiful Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper.

My experience:

Whilst the size and colour are impressive; the cigar label looks half-arsed and lazy. The brand name seems like it has been drawn on with a crayon. If the people behind making this cigar cannot spend time creating a quality cigar band, what does this say about the cigar itself?

I am surprised at how strongly I feel about this. I suspect it is due to trying many different cigars throughout this challenge and really appreciating the attention to detail in each cigar.

Surprisingly upon smoking the Leaf by Oscar Maduro Big Johnny 8, it was an ok smoke. It felt relatively light in weight. It took ages to get through. Not much flavour jumping out of this, maybe some toasted cocoa.

My rating: 6.5 out of 10. Will I be smoking another one of these? Absolutely not!

Next up, we are up to the letter P for Padron!

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