Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua Red

When you mention Joya de Nicaragua to people they instantly think strong cigars. The Dark Antano is famous, or infamous depending on your view of strength. A lot of people overlook some of their cigars including the Cabinetta which is mild to medium in body out of the fear that was instilled in them from the aforementioned strength of the Antano.

This weekend at IPCPR the company which is distributed by Drew Estate is set to unveil their latest cigar, a medium bodied one at that called, Red. The Joya de Nicaragua Red is available in 4 sizes; Short Churchill (4.75 x  48), Robusto (5.25 x 50), Cañonazo (5.5 x 54) and Toro (6 x 52). The JDN Red has an MSRP of $5.75 to $8.00 before local taxes.

Cigar: Joya de Nicaragua Red
Size: 5.5 x 54 (Cañonazo)
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Distributed By: Drew Estate

The Look: I really hate to do this, but it was so obvious I feel the need to point out the band on the Joya de Nicaragua closes in the back much like the Camacho with its triangular point. To be honest, I like this much better than the traditional band as it is much easier to remove and I hope more companies adopt it. The Habano wrapper has a lot of character in the form of a few veins that stand out and a nice amount of oils. In the hand the cigar is firm with an average weight. Looking at the foot there is a nice swirl of darker tobacco near the outside and it reminds me of marble rye (Seinfeld, anyone?). The cigar is exquisitely rolled and has an almost seamless like appearance.

The Notes: Once the cigar is cut I verbally said out loud, “Holy shit, this taste like molasses”. The cold draw is incredible with a super sweet molasses and hints of maple while the foot of the cigar has some of the same notes as the cold draw and as my co-worker Ed points out, cinnamon. I am really hesitant to light this up, but decide it is time before I suck all the flavor out it.

Once the cigar is lit there are notes that remind me of Highland Park single malt scotch, with a subtle sweetness lurking in the background. Working into the first third of the cigar there are notes of oak and cinnamon. There are some tannins present as well, but they remain subtle and don’t take anything away from this cigar which has me really impressed at this point.

The second third of the Joya de Nicaragua Red really begins to showcase some incredible notes of cinnamon. There is also a slight molasses and floral note with the latter being amplified by the incredible aroma.

In the last third of the cigar some spice develops through the nose that was not present in the first two-thirds. The cinnamon notes remain with some nuts and a note that reminds me of Buitoni Instant Pizza which I haven’t had since I was in grade school.

The Burn: While the burn of the cigar was slightly asymmetrical it featured a razor-sharp carbon line on the burn. The slow burning Joya de Nicaragua Red has a nice white ash with some speckles of light gray and it holds on firm not falling off into my lap for half the smoke. The draw can be described as thick with just the right about of resistance. The cigar stays lit for the entire smoking experience which is a plus to me, but a negative to butane companies.

Overall: Epic. The Joya de Nicaragua Red is a desert island cigar to the max. With its complex notes over a medium strength cigar it is a walk off grand slam home run to win the world series. It has surpassed every cigar I have smoked this year for review and it is a definite contender for Cigar of the Year. The key will be consistency and I look forward to reaching into a box once these appear on the shelves of my favorite tobacconist.

Score: 95
Price: $8.00

Joya De Nicaragua Red

Joya De Nicaragua Red

Joya De Nicaragua Est 1968

Joya De Nicaragua Est 1968

Joya De Nicaragua Red Foot

Joya De Nicaragua Red Foot

Joya De Nicaragua Red

Joya De Nicaragua Red