Ilja 2015 test blend by Joya de Nicaragua

In 2006 Ilja van Horssen died, only 36 years young. Since his passing away, his brother Sasja uses his connections as the major independent cigar importer in The Netherlands to release 36 boxes of hard to find cigars in memory of his brother on an invite-only event. All the proceeds go to charity.

I’ve been lucky enough to be invited the last few years and Sasja gave me a test blend for the 2015 release. It’s a cigar made by Joya de Nicaragua, based on their Quattro Cinco blend but with a different size (7×52). The cigar was rolled on 28 October 2014 as shown on the band and I smoked it March 7 2015.


The predraw is fine, I taste some sharp flavors like straw and some pepper. Just from the predraw alone I get the feeling this cigar needs more time. The looks are great, nice chocolate brown wrapper but I smell ammonia. The construction feels good.


The first flavor is acid and soon I taste some wood too. There’s clearly still a lot of ammonia in the cigars and the lemon like acidity is overpowering. After half an inch I taste some wood again. There isn’t much going on.


Halfway the wood and the lemon grow stronger, this cigar isn’t hitting a home run yet, its clearly too young but it has potential. After ⅔ the wood grows stronger than the acidity but soon after that changes again. It’s like drinking a lemon drink.


I got a lot of thick white smoke, the burn is flawless and the silver-gray ash is firm. From start to finish this cigar lasted for 2 full hours.


Would I buy his cigar again? Yes, but then I’d age it for another year.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 6
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 6

Categories: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: ,

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